Winter's grip


Time to return from Kosovo to Scotland, with wistful thoughts that while spring - or even summer - has come to Kosovo, it certainly hasn't arrived in Scotland.  Along the banks of the Lumbardhi River in Prizren the pavement cafes will be busy.  A quick check on the BBC weather site shows temperatures there in the mid 20s.  Here in Scotland, the forecast is for a high of 8 degrees.  It is almost May, and there are virtually no leaves on the trees.  A few cautiously unfurling chestnut leaves in sheltered spots, but overall the trees still look as they did in February.  

We drove north on  Friday evening into sleet and snow, and a curious grey landscape around the Drumochter Pass.  The shot above is taken heading towards Dalwhinnie and into an ominous blackness.  The camera on the pole at the left of the shot is a traffic cam which feeds into the Traffic Scotland website.  Looking at the feed today (it's the A9 Drumochter North cam at this link), the snow has disappeared, leaving a landscape of wintry brown.

 Looking west along Loch Garry, below, a similar blackness.


The new snow cast a strange grey coating over the heather.



Now, after a morning of rain here on Speyside, the sun has come out.  I'm about to go out for a walk to see what signs of this pent-up spring I can find.

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos, very atmospheric....even if a little wintry!

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    1. There is beauty in the wintry aspect, isn't there, even if it isn't quite what we want to see at this time of year.

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  2. Such dreary lanscapes. Spring is really late here too although it is supposed to go up to 19˚C today so maybe the trees will start popping!

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    1. Wow, 19 degrees! It will be a long time (if ever, going by previous summers) until we reach that. I love your metaphor of the trees popping. They do, don't they, when the temperatures rise suddenly in spring.

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  3. I hope you find some. I imagine you are as tired of winter as I am and need some spring and quick!

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    1. On that day I didn't find many signs - in fact it started pouring rain again. But now during this week things are moving along and it's an amazing relief.

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  4. I totally agree with Annie! I particularly like the roll of the soft hills in the second to last photo. We are beginning to see the greening of grass and the Canada Geese and mallards have returned. No sign of a robin yet, though. Finding signs of "pent-up spring" - I like that!

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    1. Hi Shirley, thanks for visiting. You've reminded me that North American robins are not the same as our emblem of winter here. The migration of birds is always a deeply moving point in the year.

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  5. My goodness, Linda! Although it isn't quite as grey here in Colorado, we are also missing the green leaves and flowers of Spring due to consecutive snowstorms for the past six weeks. I do, however, love your beautiful pictures and hope they green up with Spring soon!

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    1. At least we haven't had the snowstorms, but on second thoughts maybe all that white brightens things up a little!

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  6. It's very pretty scenery even if it's late for the snow. Here in Colorado we're on our spring roller-coaster - today I went hiking in perfect weather in a t-shirt and shorts, our guests got sunburned yesterday, but more snow is expected this week.

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    1. I love that term - 'spring roller-coaster'! I would jump at the chance of enough sun to get sunburned, although of course it's very bad for the skin.

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  7. Beautiful!!! Love the wispy clouds and fog...

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    1. Oh yes, plenty of clouds and fog...

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    1. Thanks Karen. They were taken from the moving car - no, I wasn't driving - and it's always difficult to avoid snow poles by the side of the road getting in the way.

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  9. Oh dear - you've made me feel very guilty about the signs of spring down here - but I think that the snow in Scotland has its own beauty. I can't tell you how nostalgic those photos of the mountains make me feel! Judy.

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    1. I've been enjoying the signs of spring on your blog, Judith, as a contrast to the greyness up here.

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  10. Love the snowy photos, even though I'm sure you're very tired of winter! Here's hoping you get some spring soon.

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    1. Absolutely - although for you it means the end of the skiing season :(

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  11. My goodness GRACIOUS!! I bet you have warm socks on!! I have missed a few posts so I am off to catch up with where you have been. Love following you on your travels!

    PS.... birds are singing and trees are mostly green now. I am sitting with the French door open to the early evening air. Guess this is a GOOD time to be in Texas! I will be yearning for Scotland come July and August!

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    1. Two pairs of socks, even, for that journey, plus the snow shovel and survival kit in the boot (trunk).

      Spring in Texas sounds just delightful.

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  12. I checked out the weather cams and it looks like the snow has disappeared. Maybe spring is finding you.

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    1. Yup, it came and went, and may come again, but I think we're moving forward now.

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  13. This is how Scotland looked the very first time I saw it. I have a photo poster of a lone tree against a backdrop of snowy mountains in Glencoe hanging in my stairwell. Every wall of my house features a photo poster from my trip to Scotland, so that I can always "look out the window" and be there in my mind.

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    1. I actually cherish the dark skies and brooding mountains. And a lone tree against a Scottish mountain would have me overwhelmed with homesickness if I lived abroad.
      You might be interested in the Scottish photos of this photographer:

      http://www.brucepercy.co.uk/pages/Misc/store_prints_scotland.html

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  14. What a threatening black sky. Perverse as it may seem, the Drumochter Pass is my favourite spot on the A9. I love watching the temperature gauge drop as the car climbs to the top of the pass, and the glimpses of bog and silver loch away to the west, and those bleak, bleak hillsides where the occasional herd of red deer is the only punctuation mark in the emptiness. It looks as if nothing has changed since the last Ice Age. (Erm, apart from the railway, of course. And the road...)

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    1. Drumochter is always good value. The A9 has such varied landscape. The other new thing since the Ice Age are the pylons - soon to be even bigger pylons.

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  15. Wow! This photo stopped me complaining about the cold winds we've been walking through here in Aberdeen. It's balmy in comparison!

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    1. Well, I think Aberdeen's icy winds are probably colder than Drumochter's. That very special North Sea cutting edge adds an extra something.

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  16. I adore the greyness in your shots, it must be my Belgianness
    seriously, gorgeous photos, Linda!

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    1. Let's stand up for grey! Nations of Northern Europe unite!

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  17. Linda, just saw your vote rolling in... thanks!

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  18. We are travelling to Scotland in four weeks - hope the clouds may have parted, but either way Scotland has a dramatic beauty all of its own whatever the weather.

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  19. Hi Linda Thanks for visiting my blog. Gosh, it does look grey up there! But here in this last week spring has arrived in a hurry, almost like watching a time-lapse camera. From winter bare to green in a week. Hopefully it will do the same round your area soon.

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  20. They were really wintery looking shots. I enjoyed the visit.

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  21. J'aime ces 'road trip'! belles photos!
    Cath.

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