August slides to an end…


August comes to an end…..  and what a mixed bag of weather we have enjoyed.  Not quite the anticipated summer month of sunshine, but a month where the umbrella and waterproofs were always handy.

For many farmers it has also be a race against time and weather.  With crops ripening under a hot sun, on the occasions it shone, and the threat of heavy rains to come, it was always a gamble. Harvest or wait, harvest and beat the rain, wait and maybe loose a good deal of the harvest and hope the weather will improve… yes a gamble.

A gamble this farmer took.  At the end of this August day, I guess it paid off.  this harvest was secured… but only just in time 🙂

Whatever your plans for September….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st August

(C) David Oakes 2021



Moody Monday….. Kintail

Easdale Lumig

The Five Sisters of Kintail, Morvich, West Highlands of Scotland

Nearly a typing slip there….. for a moment I typed  “The Wet Highlands”….. and to be honest it often is.  This particular day it had been heavy highland rain all day.  We drove down the old Military Road from Glenelg, through the Ratagan Forest to the top of the Ratagan Pass.  As we headed down to Shiel Bridge, the heavy cloud parted and the late afternoon sun burst through.  It was only a brief break, then the fast moving clouds from the west rolled in once again.

To say we were fortunate is perhaps an understatement…. at the top of the pass is a convenient parking area especially for this viewpoint. 

The view down to Morvich and Shiel Bridge at the head of Loch Duich and the surrounding mountains of Kintail, known as the Five Sisters, is truly spectacular…..  but on this very wet moody day it was pure magic.  As mentioned it was only a brief break, but well worth getting out of the car and also getting wet. 

We were staying in the village of Morvich and that Highland rain continued overnight and all the next day. 

Wherever you are and whatever your weather……

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

30th August

(C) David Oakes 2021


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Fences & Gates


The Gate to the Orchard, obviously not been used for awhile.  A traditional style Farm gate.

Further along the track we find another gate…very different.  Designed as a squeeze for cycles, a horse gate and a Gate for approved vehicles only (those with a key)



Two submissions for Cees Black and White Challenge – Fences and Gates


Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th August

(C) David Oakes 2021

Silent Sunday…. Another Abbey Re-Visited


Melrose Abbey, Roxburghshire, The Scottish Borders

Reflecting on past trips, Melrose and its Abbey came very much to mind.  I guess I have to own up, I have always found these ruins of a once great Abbey rather special.  Maybe because of its surroundings in the Tweed Valley,  over shadowed by the mellow Laidlaw Hills.  Maybe because it is also part of the busy border town of Melrose itself a town of great character.

Founded in the 11th century this Cistercian Abbey played an important community roll.  Perhaps most importantly in the Famines of the 12th Century when the Abbey fed many thousands of people across the Borders.

As with so many of our Abbeys up and down the UK, we have to blame Henry VIII and his policy of dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538 for their destruction.

Ruins they may be, but what remains is still a lasting testament to the craftsmen who built these massive structures so long ago.  Skilful stone masons and hard labour in a time of limited tools and perhaps equally limited knowledge of building knowhow.

Significantly the importance of Melrose is perhaps underlined, as this was the place selected for the return of Robert The Bruce’s Heart.  Robert The Bruce was King of the Scots from 1306 till his death in1329.  His place in Scotland’s history firmly established when he led the First War of Independence against England.

A simple Plaque marks the spot

If your travels take you to Scotland and you have a chance to explore the Border Region (which is a must) then Melrose should be placed very high on your to do list.  You will not be disappointed and if you do just take the opportunity to stand, pause and imagine.

Wherever you travel near to home or far away once more normal times return…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th August

(C) David Oakes 2021