NATURE CELEBRATES ST VALENTINE – with flowers & colour

Today Siubhan is surrounded by flowers here at Gallan. Very appropriate for St Valentine’s Day. Great banks of the pink and white winter flowering heathers are at their best. The shining yellow furze. How could roses from a shop match those?

Nature never stands still. Wet or dry, wild or calm, hot or cold – each of these changes everything all year. During the next months, weeks, days … new blossom, birds singing louder and louder and building nests .. stags shedding their antlers – that immediately start to grow again.

The white gold of the wild grasses on the commonage up the road – contrasting with the deep blues of the mountains in the background.

Standing in front of Gallan in the crystal-bright sunshine. Beyond the foreground of the colourful winter heathers, the green of the lawn – though it has suffered from marauding horses and deer.

Then the orange/brown of the withered ferns, bordered by soaring cypress conifer evergreens. Then the hilly meadow that cloaks glacial moraine. Thick woodland is the final sequence of vegetation – still winter brown larch and oak and in the background the occasional evergreen Sequoia and Douglas Fir tower above everything else.

And in the background the great bulk of blue mountain with foothills cloaked in oak now being suffocated by evergreen rhododendron.

Twice in the past ten days I have walked to Faill a’ Crann – the cliff over the trees. The hour to hour and a half hour trek from Gallan is through rising woodland – so the route never floods – though it can be wet – and is sheltered.

The low sunlight through the trees at the moment creates a special effect.

The lichen covered larch create an eerie-warm atmosphere.

From Faill a Crann the spectacular, three-dimensional panorama of the whole of Muckross lake and Lough Leane. Mangerton behind, Torc towering to the left, the imminent peaks of the Tomies, Purple, Glena ridge … the Slieve Mish faintly in the background.

All of that and you want shop flowers as well!

– Frank Lewis

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