until the other day when m managed to prise me out of the front door with the promise of a picnic ... he's learning!
and we had a wonderful time. we drove off up glen quaich way, parked the car and walked off up a tiny track into ... bliss :)
within only a few minutes (and a lot of huffing and puffing up a bit of an incline!) we were in the middle of nowhere. it was lovely to be out and about again, the air was still a bit chilly but it stayed dry, the scenery was delightful and there was so much to see.
in fact, m had to keep turning round to make sure i was still there as i kept stopping to look at this, that or the other as so much was catching my eye, but he knew he wouldn't lose me - he was carrying the picnic, so i wasn't going to wander too far from the food! every other step flushed grouse and black grouse out of the heather accompanied by such a racket it really was quite startling in the quiet.
lots of lovely mosses and lichen caught my attention too.
and then there were the toads ... so many toads! and as we were walking in marshy ground i was being very careful where i put my feet, didn't fancy trying to scrape one of these cuties off my boot!
we took a different path back so thankfully didn't bother any more toads but this time something else was distracting me, gosh i'm going to sound like some kind of freaky geek, but here goes ... there were really interesting looking scats along the way - five really quite different types: deer and sheep, which we recognised; black grouse, which we had to look up when we got home (you can imagine the search history on our laptop - here's hoping it doesn't have to go into the repair shop any time soon); one kind of reddish, oily smear; and one black, circular and quite tarry one. i think i have narrowed them down to otter, mink or fox.
moving swiftly on!
it was a great way to spend a few hours and on the way back to the car we were wondering why we didn't do this more often. to top off the day, m spotted a mountain hare, (apparently the only native hare to britain) which we stood and watched for a few moments before it bounded off. i was so chuffed we had seen it as i'd never seen them before and hadn't even been looking out of one. then a few moments later, another one! this time hunkered down on the hill, and we watched as it sniffed the air, had a bit of a scritch, cleaned it's face, and just sat and watched. amazing!
next time, i might not even need to be bribed with a picnic :)