The past holiday weekend was one of the warmest I’ve experienced since living in Scotland, with temperatures reaching 24 degrees celsius locally, and 26 across parts of Argyll. Although I find the warmth divine, I spare a thought for nascent life. Fledgling birds (and indeed their industrious parents) must find these conditions trying, and I despair for our local tadpole population who have seen their reservoirs dwindle to muddy shallows. We can’t do much for the tadpoles, but please consider putting out a shallow dish of water for the thirsty birds. A few pebbles breaking the surface will allow bees and butterflies to drink as well.
On the warmest day – Monday – I visited RSPB Loch Lomond, one of my favourite local walks nestled at the southern tip of the Loch and often quiet while the more popular parts of the National Park welcome the Bank Holiday ingress.
A fine choice for a wander under searing skies: the path firstly loops idly through meadows that shimmer under waves of heat, before transforming into a woodland walk underneath the cool green shade of birch and oak.
The walk continues Loch-side, before opening up onto a stunning panorama encompassing the width of the Loch and its mountainous flanks. The sustained warm weather had lowered the water levels, and you could see the silted bed of the Loch as far as the eye could see. The shallows were warm but still cooling, and we lingered a while to let Freya enjoy chasing sticks in the water.
On the return walk I enjoyed the alternating shade and slices of sunbeam through the canopy again, kept company by a cuckoo, wrens and warblers. The motions of a plucky caterpillar drew my gaze to some oak leaves that had been wrought into beaded contortions by cherry galls.
The rays of sunshine fell magically onto wildflowers, transmuting them into blue and indigo gems amidst the duff of dried leaves and grasses.
Where is your go-to place to make the most of the warm weather?