Reasons I Love Autumn

Happy September everyone!

Can you believe how quickly this year is speeding by? Tomorrow is the start of Freshers’ Week but it only feels like the students broke up for the summer last week. My elders were forever saying to me when I was a child that the years fly by the older you get, and I now totally understand what they meant. It is less than 7 weeks until I turn 30! How did that even happen?

Anyway, I digress. September may mean back to school and university, but it also means that autumn is upon us. And it just so happens that autumn is my favourite season. Yes, I like summer. I like the long days and getting up in the daylight and being able to eat out till 9.30pm and going to the beach and eating ice cream, but…well, I haven’t actually been able to do any of those things this year. Summer has well and truly bypassed Scotland. And even if I had done all those things, they just don’t compare to all the great things autumn signifies.

Like what, I hear you ask? Well, here are my reasons why I think autumn is the best.

Beautiful Colours

I simply love, love, love how colourful autumn is. All the golds, amber, reds, yellows, browns…everywhere you look there is colour. As a lover of all things pretty and photographic, I can’t help but sigh over autumn scenery. Once the leaves turn it is like the world is gifting photographers with a ready-made canvas. Nothing can rival an autumn forest with a blue sky and fluffy clouds. Whenever I look back at our photos from Aberfeldy in October 2015, I am struck again by how breath-taking autumn is. Autumn is basically nature showing off, a bit like the male peacock when he fans out his tail feathers. Continue reading “Reasons I Love Autumn”

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Dalkeith Country Park

Last Saturday was the one and only day of Scottish summer (well, unless the forecast is right and next week is nice and sunny and warm, but I’m not about to hold my breath as I have the week off work so it’s bound to chuck down with rain). Considering I spend 98% of my days stuck in an office, I was not going to miss the chance to be out in the sun, so off we set for Dalkeith Country Park.

Dalkeith Country Park is so ridiculously easy to get to I have no idea why we have never visited until now. Seriously, it took us maybe 25 minutes tops to drive there. Little did we realise until we were pulling onto the A720 that the Dalkeith Show was on last Saturday so it was crazy busy. Getting parked was a bit of challenge and we may have had a small domestic, but it was worth all the stress in the long run.

The main house is not open to visitors, but it sits atop a hill, looking down on the massive lawn and everything going on in the main area of the Park. It was an impressive view and I don’t really think our pictures do it justice. Incidentally, we both agreed that the lawn would make the ideal place of a picnic. There were quite a few families dotted about, just soaking up the sun and the stunning view of the Montague Bridge.

Continue reading “Dalkeith Country Park”

Winter Wonderland

This past week has been very, very cold. You’d think, being Scottish, I’d be used to chilly temperatures, but to be honest we don’t normally get properly cold weather until January. November tends to be a bit wet and windy, but so far we have been experiencing clear blue skies and frosty mornings. While this has made the commute to and from work a bit nippy, there has been one upside – beautiful skies.

I’m not a morning person. A little bit of my soul dies every time my alarm goes off at 6am. There’s nothing pleasant about getting up in the dark, but last week the early mornings were made more bearable by the gorgeous sunrises I stepped out to. The skies have been awash with fiery reds and oranges. One morning in particular the sky looked as if it were on fire. Unfortunately I had to rely on my phone camera to capture a picture which doesn’t really do it justice.

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There have been some lovely sunsets this past week too. Looking up from my desk at 4pm, I have watched wistfully as the sky turned from dusky pink to lilac before night took over. Three nights in a row the world was bathed in an ethereal light that made me wish I was out on a beach capturing the moment with my camera. I did try with my phone but alas the picture doesn’t reflect the many pink hues that were visible to the naked eye.

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Winter is my least favourite season. I loathe being cold, but there is something about a clear winter day. Seeing the ground coated in a layer of white frost, sparkling in the sunshine, made me smile. Nature has a way of making you feel calmer and happier, even in the bleakest of moments. The spectacular skies of the past week have certainly helped me combat the stresses of my daily commute. It just proves that even when it’s freezing outside there is still beauty to be found in the world.

Practicing my Photography

My name is Annette Nimmo and I am obsessed with photographs. Ask my friends and family. Everywhere I go I like to have my camera handy to snap pictures of every little thing. It drives my boyfriend mad at times, especially when I shout ‘Selfie!’ for the tenth time. But the way I see it, photographs are lasting, tangible memories. I love nothing more than looking back on holiday snaps and remembering how much fun I had.

While I love taking pictures, I wouldn’t say I was a natural photographer. I tend to just point and shoot and hope for the best. I’ve been trying to improve, but my camera is a standard digital camera and doesn’t take the best pictures anymore. Last Sunday I got the chance to play with a proper, professional-style camera when my other half entrusted his camera to me on a family trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

Figuring out how to work the damn thing was my first challenge. With the man off at work there was no one to give me guidance. I’m used to pointing my camera at something and hitting the shutter. With this fancy piece of equipment I had to focus the lens and work out the zoom before I could even contemplate taking a picture. I soon discovered that simply aiming the camera in the general direction of a flower was not sufficient.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are brilliant for photo opportunities. With spring trying to make its mark, many of the flowers were in bloom, providing a perfect subject. There were a lot of rhododendrons and after some trial and error I managed to snap a few relatively okay pictures of them.

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Beautiful Autumn

Autumn is my favourite season. There’s so much colour everywhere – reds and oranges and yellows, all so vibrant and eye-catching. Sure, it’s getting colder and I can no longer go outside without a jacket, but there’s something about a crisp Autumn day. With the sun lower in the sky, it somehow seems brighter and when it does shine the world comes alive with autumn shades.

This past week have been lucky enough to have some settled, sunny weather. Itching to get outside, I convinced my boyfriend to go for a walk and snap some pictures of the countryside. We live in a part of the country that boasts some beautiful walks and so we headed off in search of some good shots.

Unfortunately when we drove into the hills we discovered it was overcast and damp. Deciding that seen as though we had made the journey we might as well stick around, we got out the car and braved the mud. We had gone to a place called Gifford, where there is a lovely park right next to some trees and a small stream. The ground was quite boggy and I was extremely glad I’d worn my boots, but it was worth it when we made it into the trees. With the ground carpeted in leaves, I managed to get a few pictures that I was quite pleased with. Continue reading “Beautiful Autumn”

Camping Tales

If you have followed my blog for sometime, you may remember that last summer I went camping for the first time (read all about it here). Having survived the outdoors, and having a partner who loves to camp, I must confess I was surprised when this summer passed by without any camping trips. I should have known that my other half was biding his time. What fun is camping in warm weather when you can camp out in autumn?

My first reaction when he said we were going to spend a night in a tent by a lake in September was one of bemusement. Okay, we haven’t exactly had much in the way of summer weather, but really, why didn’t he think of this in June or July? August wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of warmish days. At least it was technically summer.

His mind was made up, though. Rain, snow, thunder or hail, we were going camping. To say I was dubious about the whole thing would be an understatement. The previous week he had wanted to go, but I had to work, and the weather had been awful; it pretty much rained all day. I had visions of us sitting in a muddy field getting soaked through. Continue reading “Camping Tales”

Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy

This past week I was lucky enough to have a mini summer holiday in Aberfeldy. We spent four days in a lodge and it was an action-packed trip. Some of the activities we got up to included feeding the resident ducks (they have hard, plasticky beaks but it strangely doesn’t hurt when they eat from your hand), visiting an artisan chocolate shop, touring a whisky distillery, a very competitive game of Cards Against Humanity and kayaking, something I tried for the first time. While all of these were memorable in their own right, the highlight of my holiday was our visit to Highland Safaris.

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Located a few miles outside of Aberfeldy, Highland Safaris is a great day out for people of all ages. There are loads of activities ranging from gold panning, land rover safaris, 4×4 off-road driving and meeting red deer. It was the deer experience that most excited us and after paying for our tickets we eagerly waited for our guide to come and collect us. I’ve seen lots of roe deer in the countryside around East Lothian, but I’d never seen a red deer before and I couldn’t wait to get to see them up close.

Our guide, Andy, took us to a little barn where he told us all about the deer. There were lots of antlers on display and he explained how stags grow their antlers for the rutting season and then lose them in the spring. It takes roughly 110 days for antlers to grow, even the big ones! Continue reading “Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy”