The birch trees are dropping yellowed leaves already. Autumn is starting early.

I don't know how trees manage to keep their branches a specific height from the ground.

This ability is particularly noticeable with deciduous trees.

In the attached photos (two beech trees) the branches grow down to 150cm from the ground, and no further. The trees are somehow able to gauge this distance both on level ground and on slopes.

Dead animal, entrails 

So sad.

Anguis Fragilis

This is the first slow-worm I've seen this year. It is a juvenile, that was probably sun-bathing (yesterday was a very warm day).

This legless lizard looks like it was run over by a bicycle. The remains wasn't far from the location where I saw the Viviparous lizards, recently.

Fighting or mating? I'm not sure which.

Viviparous lizard
Dearch-luachrach choitcheann
Zootoca vivipara

I found these two lizards on yesterday's . They were entangled, with one lizard gripping the other by their jaws. Each lizard was about 10cm long.

They were in the middle of a tarmac road. So, after photographing them, I moved them to safety.

I have acquired a new resident: a Common Snipe - Bog an lòin - Gallinago gallinago.

It is a cute, wee, dumpy thing, with an enormous bill. They are usually found in marshland areas. The fact that I now have one says something about recent levels of precipitation.

The photo was snaffled from the Internet.

Ever since I took the photos of the juvenile Cormorant, I have created an emotional attachment from me to the bird. It has become "my" Cormorant. I worry when I don't see it on my visits to the canal, even though it has likely only "gone fishin'".

Funny how the human mind works.

For the record: I saw the Cormorant on to-day's .

Canal Life.

For the last few weeks I've been seeing this juvenile Great Cormorant (Gairgeann - Phalacrocorax carbo) on a canal pontoon. Any time I've seen it, I didn't have a telephoto lens. Any time I took a long telephoto lens, I wouldn't see the bird. This photo is a crop from an image taken with my 40-150 zoom. Not ideal, but, acceptable.

To allow the birds to catch fish by diving, they don't have oily feathers. Consequently, they have to dry their wings.

Canal Life

"It sure was nice for the humans to provide these airstrips for us ducks."

It's that time of year

Y'now, even the bracken looks nice in the autumn.

Bracken - Froineach - Pteridium aquilinum

Outside the kitchen window there are two very large azalea bushes. The top-most leaves are a combination of bright yellow and rich red. The colour intensity reduces lower down the bushes, and nearest the ground the leaves are still green.

Due to the poor light elsewhere (it is raining heavily) the bright colours on the azaleas really stand out, and the bushes have a wonderous glow to them.

Decay never looked more beautiful.

One doesn't realise how many spiders' webs there are until there is a sunny day with a heavy dew.

Nice to see lots of Bluebells when I was out for yesterday afternoon's dogwalk. hasn't got used to photography yet, so, no close-ups. 😃

Scottish Bluebell
Campanula rotundifolia

animal skeleton 

Poor Sheena the Sheep didn't make it through the winter.

My poor daffodils haven't stood a chance, this year.

Since the heads opened (only a few days ago), we have had lashing rain, howling winds, freezing temperatures, and now a fresh dump of snow.

No wonder the daffodils have their heads bowed.

I'm seeing increasing numbers of raptors in urban areas. This morning, when driving through Fort William, I saw a Peregrine Falcon, two Buzzards, and a White-Tailed Sea-Eagle.

Presumably, the last one popped-into town for a fish supper. 😃

Five minutes before the snow storm hits.

This is the view across the glen to the other side. If you look closely you can see many black dots (just to the left of the foreground larch tree) which are actually deer, digging in the snow to uncover something to eat. Times are hard for the wildlife.

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