Loch Skeen

Loch Skeen in Spring In late April the hills around Loch Skeen slowly relinquish their snow Loch Skeen (Loch Skene is in Aberdeenshire) hides in the Southern Uplands, north east of Moffat, at 1,700 feet (510 metres) above sea level. A steady 45 minute walk, takes the visitor (with a head for heights) from the car park at the Grey Mare's Tail, up the thousand foot of ascent. Much of this is assisted by steps. The loch is said to have been stocked with fish by monks in medieval times, in 1882 trout were held to be plentiful, and these are still fished today. In the last two decades it has been used to establish a population of the rare Vendace, from Bassenthwaite Lake. The area was bought by the National Trust for Scotland in 1962. Mid Craig. Mid Craig dominates the south west side Water Craig. The same view in summer with the snow gone Heather and Lochcraig. And by mid August heather gives a 'welcome' glow to the hillsides Mid Craig reflections. Mid Craig reflected in still water Tail Burn and Mid Craig. The Tail Burn leaving the loch with Mid Craig rising above Loch Skeen in summer. One of the two small islands reputed to have been home to Golden Eagles at one time Tail burn and the three Craigs. The colours of the landscape turn from white to green, to the golds of later summer, and then to autumn, only occasionally are there splashes of colour... Tail Burn and marsh marigolds. ...such as these flowers near where the Tail Burn leaves the Loch Tail Burn and White Coomb. The Tail Burn on its way to the waterfall Tree on island. An island offers a safer nesting place Marsh Marigold. Marsh Marigolds attracting flies for pollination As befits the remote feel of the place, wildlife is sparse, ravens and ferrel goats dominate, and most of the movement is provided by the clouds and the Tail Burn which takes water from the Loch to the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall below. Change works on a longer time scale - around the seasons Heathered slopes. The heather in full bloom Lochcraig reflectd in Loch Skeen. Sometimes the waters are like glass reflecting (a little more darkly) the clouds above Mid Craig and Tail Burn. Mid Craig again, this time above a snow covered Tail Burn Waterfall with snow. Ice releasing its hold on a waterfall on the Tail Burn Icicle reflections. Reflected icicles at the side of Loch Skeen Stone and ice. Ice beginning to crack with the Spring warmth Icicles at lochside. Icicles touching the water's surface Mid Craig reflected in iced water. Mid Craig peeping over the frozen loch White Coomb and the loch in winter. The northern side of White Coomb dominates the winter view of Loch Skeen
- more on the area on the next page
The next page takes up from this last view of White Coomb and offers more on that hill, and its surroundings - with an emphasis on snow. White Coomb from Trowgrain Middle. line
Saturday 24th June 2017 Murphy on duty

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