Annual visit to Ghlas Bheinn – a colourful palette

You might well think that in a former life I was a gold-fish!  But it’s not that I go back to Ghlas Bheinn every year because I forget what it’s like ….it’s the exact opposite; I go back there each year because I remember how good the views are from its low undulating ridge.

As I’ve said in the past, it makes a wonderful short winter walk and with the daylight hours being so short at this time of year, it’s especially good for me.  On our past three visits we’ve gone there in December and have seen it under similar but still different conditions.  Indeed, the first time we went there it had been especially cold over the previous two weeks and although there was no snow at lower levels, all the lochs on Rannoch Moor were frozen.   Last year I think the snow level was down onto Ghlas Bheinn and with little sun that day it made for a very cold little walk.  I remember Nita pointing out the tracks of small animals in the covering of fresh snow.

This years visit wasn’t as cold and the snow that had been covering the ground on Ghlas Bheinn a few days earlier had mostly thawed leaving just very small patches lying in the grass and heather.  Patches of solid and partially melted ice were everywhere too and it all made for interesting patterns and colours.

Above Loch Tulla, a grey November morning

Above Loch Tulla, a grey November morning

It was the intense colours at the end of the day that really marked this walk out, but when we started a few hours earlier it was under very grey skies.   The cloud though was above all but the highest summits and with the snow level being around 700 metres everything was looking very good.  Loch Tulla was incredibly calm and as we made our way up the lower slopes of the hill overlooking the loch, we could at times see the mountains reflected in its glassy surface.

First brightness over Rannoch Moor

First brightness over Rannoch Moor

There were a few breaks in the cloud though and when we caught one of these the colours in the bright sun were very strong …..a short glimpse of things to come.  By the time we were sat eating our lunch at the summit a couple of hours later, there was increasingly large amounts of clear sky moving down from the north west and in the clear air and bright sun, Rannoch Moor looked very big and incredibly beautiful.  Being November rather than December, the colours of the grasses were different.  They had not yet turned to the straw colour of later in the winter and were, instead a mixture of bright ochre’s, oranges and yellows.  As the sun got lower it accentuated this, creating stunningly colourful scenes against the snow topped hills and the deep blue of the sky.

From the summit of Ghlas Bheinn

From the summit of Ghlas Bheinn

One of the problems about walking with such limited sight is that I have to walk along staring at the ground just in front of me.  On grey days this can get tedious but on Sunday afternoon in the bright sun I could simply enjoy these amazing colours and patterns made by the grass around my feet.

Towards the hills of the Blackmount

Towards the hills of the Blackmount

In the past, after each of our previous visits to Ghlas Bheinn I’ve created at least one painting based on my experiences there.  This year I think there will also be a painting or two coming from this latest walk.  As you know, I’ve been working on several more abstract 80 x 80 cm oil paintings.  I think I may well try and create a couple more using the bright colours we saw on Sunday.  I’ve been wanting to create a larger painting for some time now too and a couple of weeks ago bought a 120 x 120 cm canvas…..it could be perfect for creating a painting about the big bright colourful views we experienced.  Watch this space!

Rich afternoon colours

Rich afternoon colours

 

November landscape, Blackmount

November landscape, Blackmount

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