Thursday, 31 December 2015

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Clatteringshaws Walks & Red Deer Range

Hello, I'm back from an unplanned break from blogging!  I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas...... and a Happy New Year to you all when it comes.
I will be back with some nail art or new nail polish swatches soon.  I was lucky to receive some lovely nail goodies for Christmas, so have plenty to be getting on with!

On Tuesday, I caught up with my oldest friend, Rachel - I've known her since she was born! - and we decided to go and do some touristy things.   We went on a couple of the walks at Clatteringshaws, in the Galloway Forest Park, and we also visited the Red Deer Range.

It was lucky that we went on Tuesday as the weather turned on Wednesday, with the arrival of Storm Frank, and I wouldn't have been able to reach Rachel!

The weather was quite nice for a walk - cool (it did get a bit cooler as the day progressed), and not rainy or too windy - but not too great for pictures, it was a little overcast (I blame Frank).  We went up the Loch View Trail, which took us up above the trees opposite Clatteringhsaws Loch.

Afterwards, we did the short walk to Bruce's Stone.  In my opinion, the prettiest bit at Clatteringshaws is down by the side of the Loch.

There is a replica Iron Age Roundhouse on the way to Bruce's Stone.  One of these was uncovered many years ago when the Loch was drained.

I took a selfie with Bruce's Stone.  Allegedly Robert The Bruce rested here after winning a battle with the English in 1307.

Check out Rachel's victory pose...!

We then went to see if there were any goats down near the car park at the Wild Goat Park, but with Storm Frank looking like it was on its way over, unsurprisingly there were no goats down in view.

With it starting to drizzle, we decided to pop into the Red Deer Range hide to see if we could spot any red deer.  We didn't have high hopes as the last time I ventured up there I saw no deer (and no other people either), and the best time to see the deer is early in the morning.  This time, however, we were to be pleasantly surprised.  Just after we parked, another car pulled in to the car park, which was a surprise in itself.  An even better surprise was the fact that there were two stags in view, and once they saw people, they looked very interested and one started walking towards us!!  There are windows which open at the hide, and we had them open so we could take better pictures.  The first stag came straight up and put his head right to the opening!!  They are friendly deer there (during the summer there are deer tours conducted by a Ranger, where people can go in with the deer, stroke and feed them), and this stag enjoyed a chin tickle!

Soon after the first stag ventured towards the hide, the second one joined him.  Some more people then turned up at the hide, and they had come armed with bags and bags of carrots (for the deer)!! It was lovely to observe the deer as such close range, they are really quite big!  After about half an hour, a female deer (hind/doe) came down to join in the carrot feast.  She was just as friendly, taking the carrots out of the woman's hand, and enjoying a nose rub at the same time!

Watching the behaviour of the deer, there was definitely one stag who was superior to the other.

Sometimes it is lovely to just stop and take in your surroundings.  Both Rachel and I agreed that we are so lucky to be able to visit such beautiful places as this, and get out into the great outdoors.


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