‘Song of the trees’

An evocative and heartwarming poem by Joy Mead

Sycamore: colonist or custodian?

Often seen as an intruder in old woodlands, the sycamore still deserves a second glance for its beauty – and older specimens could tell a tale or two about bloodshed and drama!

12 Trees in Autumn

Celebrating the variety of seasonal colour in our best-loved deciduous trees

Three favourite woodlands for autumn colour

Looking forward to the glorious colours of these woodlands in Argyll and Perthshire

Rosebay willowherb

‘Fireweed’ or ‘bombweed’ lights up roadside verges and waste ground with a blaze of late summer colour

Standing stone near Loch Ederline

Checking fields at random around Kilmartin Glen will reveal any number of cairns and standing stones. This one, right by the roadside, was still a surprising find.

Blackness Castle

There’s nothing romantic about this castle on the Firth of Forth: armed to the teeth, with walls 18 feet thick, Blackness was once a power to be reckoned with

Kilbride Kirk, Lerags

In this mossy graveyard close to Loch Feochan, many generations of MacDougalls have been laid to rest

The Lerags Cross

Standing beside the road to Lerags in Argyll is this beautiful late medieval cross

Clava Cairns

Rays from the midwinter sunset filter into the deep heart of these passage graves, built 4,000 years ago in northern Scotland

WILDLIFE AND NATURE

The song of the aspen

Fluttering on impossibly slender stalks, aspen leaves whisper a message that seems to flow from the Earth itself

Devil’s-bit scabious

These pretty blooms of late summer are an important food source for butterflies and bees

The fire of the ash

The ash is a beguiling tree, elegant in all seasons, and mother to a host of legends

HISTORY

Melrose Abbey

Scotland’s first Cistercian monastery, Melrose still has an air of faded opulence

Smailholm Tower

A ‘peel tower’ in the Scottish Borders, basking in the autumn sunshine and remembering a colourful history of reiving

Old Castle Lachlan: loyalty and loss

Ghosts of horses tend to come in different guises, some of them benevolent and some of them more inclined towards the Apocalypse. The story that is linked with Old Castle Lachlan is moving and gentle, touched by the sadness of Culloden