Pulled bracken beside the lodge and up on the hill path is turning a lovely russet brown.
Tubs have been planted out by the steps to the Stone Lodge verandah to make a beautiful splash of colour….
…and this is a tiny stonecrop, growing in the cracks of a stone. It is such a pretty plant.
the left one being the dining room and kitchen, the right one being three beautiful ensuite bedrooms. They were built in the foundations of part of a row of “cleared” cottages, using stone that had fallen into the ruins.
These were found in the ruins of the old houses too, a flat iron, a broken old cooking pot and some implement probably used in ploughing. There were two of these, and several little glass bottles, etc.
Doune has three boats, Mary Doune, Gripper II, and Eda Frandsen, Doune’s own “tall ship”. Originally from Stavanger, Eda was rebuilt at Doune …twice – the second time after a devastating fire in the boat house a number of years ago. She is normally chartered and away at sea when we are at Doune so this was a rare treat, seeing her in the bay.
In this photo (enlarged) you can see plenty of colour… and also an LBJ (a little brown job) as an unidentified little brown bird is referred to. He’s sitting on the yellow lichened rock. I’m still not sure what it is!
I love wandering down on the shore and pottering around the rock pools at low tide, where you can see tiny whelks and mussels, along with limpets and sea anemones.
I took myself off on a walk over to Doune Head one afternoon after work was over for the day. It had been raining, and was then only drizzling – Scotch mist – but the ground was quite wet and boggy, and the grasses heavy with raindrops. The headland was the original prehistoric settlement here, and traces of the old vitrified fort or dun can be found if you know where to look. In due course people built small stone houses further back and round the bay, draining and cultivating the land, eking out a meagre existence in the remote countryside till the middle of the 19th century when many landowners decided their tenants couldn’t bring them as good an income as sheep, so threw them out, destroyed their homes and brought in flocks of sheep to graze the land. There are plenty of traces of the ruined houses, rectangular foundations, one or two with walls a bit higher, or maybe just an area of green grass where houses would have stood. For some reason the bracken doesn’t always grow where houses have been. You can see the grass-covered ridges of old walls and also the overgrown “lazy-beds” that were the cultivated strips of land the old inhabitants worked hard on, growing crops to feed themselves with.
In the shadow of a large rock fairly near the sea beyond the Dun is what was once a corn kiln, and now just a ring of stones full of bracken. I used my walking pole to beat the bracken down, and could then see the large dish shape it had once been. Underneath would have been where a fire was lit to heat the grain for whatever purpose it would have been used for – flour, some kind of beer, perhaps. In this photo beyond the bay are the walls of an old sheep fank, or fold, built by the new shepherds brought in to tend the sheep. The White House by the pier was also a new build after the Clearances. It was likely built by Irishmen (the style of the fireplaces apparently gives an indication of the builders’ origins), for the factor or foreman, but even it fell into disrepair eventually and was rebuilt and extended by the Robinsons who about 25 years ago began the project that is now Doune-marine. Click to see the website. There is so much more there than I can tell you about.
Talk again soon