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Our foggy Perthshire woods are where it’s at this autumn.

November 6, 2015

As usual at around this season, I feel as if the year is suddenly rushing towards its close with the majority of the things I meant to accomplish still unachieved. Good Lord, it was Hallowe’en at the weekend and Bonfire Night only last night, but the media is full of Christmas adverts already, with the Big Day looming ahead like a brick wall at the end of a motorway. (Christmas absolutely shouldn’t feel like that, should it? There is always time to reflect on peace and love and acts of kindness at some – many, ideally – point in the Christmas season, but in November I bet most mums have the same growing feeling of mild panic about all the planning still to be done.)


Perthshire amber: looking up at October beeches

Perthshire amber: looking up at October beeches

However. Enough about the C-word. Busy though it’s been, this autumn has been a lovely one. September was warm; October was bright and golden. Now November has come in with lingering mists and dense fog, like a November from central casting. It is beautiful too in its melancholy way. We are in the middle of the Perthshire Amber festival, a feast of traditional music and community events organised by musician Dougie Maclean and his family. With visitors drawn to our part of the country from across Europe and North America, it is a pleasure to share something of our autumn with them.

Swans on the lochan on another foggy November morning

Swans on the lochan on another foggy November morning


The Danes have that wonderful word, hygge, which means something like a feeling of cosiness and good cheer. We don’t have an equivalent word that I can think of in either English or Scots; but we certainly have the feeling of hygge in this week of music and laughter, friendships old and new, morning walks in the glowing, dripping autumnal woods and afternoons and evenings filled with songs and stories shared over a pint or a warming mug of tea and a freshly-baked scone. Wrap up warm and come and join us next year!


Huge toadstools and a coppery carpet of leaves under my feet in the woods

Huge toadstools and a coppery carpet of leaves under my feet in the woods


You might enjoy Whirling and paddling: just another week in the castle or An amber autumn.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Toffeeapple permalink
    November 6, 2015 3:40 pm

    You always post such beautiful images! I hope you enjoy the Amber festival.

  2. boyd hussey permalink
    November 6, 2015 3:54 pm

    i came to appreciate “amber” while living in Thunderbay Ontario at the end of Lake Superior. They do not have the brilliant reds of the maple I was used to but your word “hygge” perfectly describes the richness of their Autumns

    • November 7, 2015 5:17 pm

      We don’t have much red maple here – only in gardens – but the amber is so beautiful too in its way.

  3. hmunro permalink
    November 6, 2015 6:17 pm

    It’s truly sad that Christmas is “looming ahead like a brick wall at the end of a motorway” for so many of us, DB. But through your beautiful post you’ve reminded me to take a deep breath and pause to enjoy the autumnal splendor that is surrounding us right now. (Although I must confess that your fall colors are much more inspiring than the grayish leaves we got this year! Sigh. 🙂

    • November 7, 2015 5:17 pm

      Greyish leaves? Well, that’s no fun! Maybe you should think about heading over to Perthshire next November…?! 😀

      • hmunro permalink
        November 8, 2015 1:56 pm

        Yes!!! Steve and I had promised ourselves that we’d travel only domestically next year to allow our savings to build up a bit again, but in spite of our grand resolution we find ourselves talking a lot about Scotland. So it’s not inconceivable … 🙂

  4. November 6, 2015 8:55 pm

    Amber is quite an appropriate thing to include in the festival name. This is a good time to take a breath before jumping headlong into Christmas. (Maybe the cool front coming will help be get motivated to think about jingle schedules and tasks….hard with muddy dogs taking so much time right now.) But I do love the colors of this season – and the winds – if only seeing/reading about them elsewhere until Fall actually makes an appearance here. I like that Danish word!

    • November 7, 2015 5:20 pm

      This festival does indeed make a nice pause, giving us time to appreciate the autumn before the Christmas rush. I sympathise with you about muddy dogs! Frost and snow is much cleaner! 🙂

  5. November 8, 2015 3:02 pm

    Beautiful photos, especially the lochan in fog, with the leaves dripping. It’s been a while since I’ve seen fog like this and I must admit I have quietly enjoyed it! (Not so much the howling gales we’ve got at present!)

  6. November 11, 2015 12:16 pm

    Oh yes! I get that dread about Thanksgiving and Christmas every year! With a very full life already it always seems impossible to fit extra stuff in and I remember all to well how physically hard this is. Glad I’m not the only one. I am trying to think about how important these memories are for the children’s childhood and emotional well being. 🙂 Lovely photos! We have had an extra nice fall here.

    • November 17, 2015 3:38 pm

      Your fall photos are beautiful. I must admit I’m glad I don’t have to fit in Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, much as I like the sentiment behind it. It must take a lot of planning to be in charge of both feasts for the family! As you say, though, they will treasure the memories.

  7. Janet permalink
    November 11, 2015 4:39 pm

    On point, as usual, DB. Appreciate your posts. Would love to participate in Perthshire Amber one day; it’s just a wee jog from Montana! It is on my bucket list, though. 🙂

    • November 17, 2015 3:40 pm

      Thank you, Janet. I hope you make it one day. Someone I know came all the way from northern California – a five hour drive from her nearest airport – so it can be done!
      (Funnily enough, a trip to Montana is on MY bucket list. 😀 )

  8. December 6, 2015 9:55 pm

    I have been very remiss and have only just seen your comment on my blog. You and I are not exactly setting the heather on fire with the pace of blogging just now! I hope all is well with you and look forward to seeing you on Instagram!

  9. Janet permalink
    December 12, 2015 4:50 pm

    Such a big state, so much to see. Fascinating to hear of the relationship between the Native Americans and the Castle. Don’t forget to stop by the Bitterroot Valley (Perthshire-ish in a rough-hewn way) on your way up to the east side of Flathead Lake, and on to Glacier Park! 🙂

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