A Winter Wander . . .


What a difference a day can make. Most of November has been pretty wet and dreich, but now we’re into December; a couple nights of hard frost and a beautiful sunny day! It’s certainly far too nice to be inside just the sort of day for a walk in the hills. And, with the Ochils on my doorstep, I don’t need to think long about where to head: Innerdownie would do just fine.

Castlehill Reservoir where I parked was as still as a millpond carrying perfect reflections of Downhill. The road from here up to Glen Quey farm and the start of the climb proper was covered in frost and, even with my boots on, extremely slippery. I didn’t mind; it was just good to be out. The orange wintered bracken and backlit grasses helped keep the camera amused.

Innerdownie holds special memories for me and I often enjoy a climb to its cairn and to the wee quarry hole nearby. In that quarry my grandfather and his brother lived for two whole summers while rebuilding the long march dykes over the hills. Although I never met either of them, it really adds to a walk up here knowing that more than 115 years ago the stones in these dykes I’m walking beside were placed by their hand.