Sunday, 31 May 2009

Ballindalloch Castle, Buckie and Portnockie

The remainder of May has been beautiful with lots of sunshine, although until the last few days it has been pretty cold. The gardens, countryside and seaside are all looking wonderful in this my favourite month of the year. It could be because my birthday is this month. The rhododendrons are in full bloom at Ballindalloch castle and with my annual pass have made several visits this month. I am always delighted with the range of colours in these beautiful plants. The rock garden and the path to the rose garden are looking exceptional this year. It was lovely to spend sometime there with family and friends. Ballindalloch castle in April and May is a must for any photographer from happy snapper to professional as the landscape goes from the daffodils of early spring to the array of flowers in summer. The colours are fantastic. The next day as the weather was still looking good, we decided to head for the coast and visited Buckie. One of the few remaining fishing villages or towns in the region. We arrived in the late afternoon in time to see several fishing boats returning with their catch. I spoke to one of the fishermen and asked about his catch of prawns. He said it was very poor. Buckie is also where the RNLI lifeboat lives which has saved many lives along the Moray Firth. As the sun was still shining we headed further east and ended up at Portnockie. Where a short walk along the coastal path took us to views of the Bow Fiddle rock. Again it is a magical place for photographers, but it is also a great place for walking along the coast on the coastal path. While we were there we saw many gulls nesting, watched a few yachts pass by and ships further out to sea. We were not lucky enough to see seals, but there are many places along the coast where you can see them as well. This is the time of year to also visit Troup Head which is along past MacDuff to see the gannets, razorbills, guillemots and puffins nesting. This site is now protected by the RSPB who have a warden on duty daily who will tell you the best places to see your favourite bird and let you know which ones have chicks. It is great to live in an area where we have the mountains, countryside and sea all within an easy drive.

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