Around Orain


Our annual Highland gathering, transferred this year to a new venue – The Bridge of Orchy Hotel. On the Saturday, the party split into several smaller groups. I joined the posse heading for the ridges just behind the hotel: a round of Coir’ Orain taking in Beinn Inverveigh and Meall Tairbh.


It was one of those sort of days when I took a few photos before we entered the cloud.


One at the highest point…


Meall Tairbh (665m).

…possibly; there was some dispute at the time.


And then a few more photos after we had emerged from the clouds.

The weather wasn’t great, but we’ve had much worse. It snowed a bit, at times, but at least it didn’t rain, so it was a round of Orain, rather than a round in the rain.

This lukewarm, lack lustre description, perhaps makes it sound as if I didn’t enjoy the day. But I did. Enormously so, in fact. Partly because of the excellent company, but mostly because, when all’s said and done, wandering around ¬†a soggy hillside in the mist and the snow is my idea of fun. I like it. Admittedly, I don’t always think I will in advance, and it’s proving difficult to think of anything exciting to say about it in retrospect.¬†However, round the day off with a very fine steak and some inconsequential chatter with your oldest friends and you have a recipe for contentment, in my view at least.

No hill-day is complete without some element of list-ticking. Meall Tairbh, whilst not high enough to be a Munro, or a Corbett, is, apparently, both a Marilyn and a Graham, probably a Hump, not a Donald, but maybe a Trump. I’ve added it to my personal list of Hills to Revisit when the Weather is Kinder.

As usual, the weekend was organised (very well), booked (at a discount), and generally only took place because of all-round good-egg, Andy, who’s account of this walk you can read here.






Around Orain

Slightly Blurred

Clark’s Lot – Hollin’s Lane – Slackwood Lane – Leighton Moss – Trowbarrow Quarry – Eaves Wood


In like a lion, they say of March, but if I remember right, this had been a very pleasant day, although sadly, a Wednesday spent at work. I had the idea that I would get out and catch some sunshine, but, as you can see from the photo above, by the time I reached Clark’s Lot, only a few minutes from home, the sun was already sinking behind the trees.

Slightly blurred photos of Long-Tailed Tits have become an irregular feature of this blog. Here is another example of the genre…


Generally, the problem is their propensity to flit about relentlessly, but this was a remarkably relaxed Long-Tailed Tit content to sit still whilst I took three photos. Sadly, the auto-focus trained in perfectly on the branches just in front of the Bumbarrel. Even when the tit moved on, it rested in new positions, allowing me to take more photos, but in high branches, silhouetted against the sky, it came out very dark. It was obviously some kind of Zen Long-Tailed Tit however.


Down at Leighton Moss the Starlings were gathering for the roost, which isn’t the massive affair of earlier in the winter, but still worth watching.


On the Sunday before, I’d been out for a walk in unpromising conditions, leaving my camera at home since rain looked so imminent. I hadn’t intended to stay out long, but in the end, had a great walk, on a circular route I don’t think I’ve ever walked before. (Which says a great deal about the wealth of options in this area). At Hawes Water there had been four Cormorants on the trees where I saw one not so long ago. Later it began to rain, but at Leighton Moss I was cheered by an abundance of spring fungi, Scarlet Elf Cup…


Which was why I wanted to return to Leighton Moss, now that I had my camera with me. Whist I was taking this photo, this Robin…


…surprised me by practically landing on my shoulder.



At Trowbarrow there were some climbers still bouldering despite the gathering gloom, and in Eaves Wood, when it was almost dark, I met a couple of dog walkers. I wasn’t the only one thinking that it was good to be out.


Slightly Blurred