Loch Muick spring visit
Our first visit to Loch Muick (pronounced 'mick') was in late summer of 2013. Yes, mid-August in Scotland is late summer. The heather was coming into bloom and the light was soft and hazy. This year we spent a few days on Deeside just after Easter, and made a return visit on a day of hard, bright sun and a thin wind.
There were still patches of snow on the hills, although none at the lower level of our walk.
The circuit of the loch is an easy 8 miles. On the north side there's a broad track, which feels a bit like cheating, but was fine for me to get going again after being under par with the wretched pleurisy.
We came across a fenced section, and stopped to read the lengthy notice.
Love the email address!
We saw no evidence of the browsing deer. Apart from some birds of prey, our encounters with wildlife were of the miniature variety: all along the side of the track on the uphill side were large pools of water full of frogspawn. Pools below a certain size had no frogspawn - evidently the frog brain had calculated that they risked drying out too soon.
And every pool also had its sunbathing frog. I couldn't decide if they were smug because of their large output of frogs-to-be (although the mortality rate must be huge), or smiling because they were basking in the sun after a very long winter.
Overhead we kept seeing two planes flying in parallel, very high up.
They criss-crossed the sky from north to south and back again several times. We put it down to a NATO exercise that we had heard about, but when I checked later I found that it wasn't due to start until the following week. Rather spooky.
Here's a good solid holiday cottage - at least if you're Queen Victoria. Called Glas-allt Shiel, it was her retreat from Balmoral Castle.
Towards the head of the loch there's a tantalizing route into the more remote Dubh Loch and its waterfalls. We didn't have time to branch off, but we'll definitely explore further on a return visit.
Easter Island-like boulders litter the hillside.
A rare sighting of me on my blog, looking extremely happy to be outside and out of the city.
For my husband, who likes the stuff, some port.
And a comfortable four-poster bed with a view of red squirrels in the trees outside the window.
We stayed again at Glendavan House, which was just as lovely as before. I think we're hooked - perhaps an autumn visit next time?