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A Very Scottish Winter

Tuesday morning, December 4th.

The air was still. Cold. A thick mist moved round Loch Lomond. Pale sunlight touched the snowy mountaintops.

Snowy Loch Lomond and Hills

The landscape had little color, and the trees were black silhouettes. Loch Lomond lay before us glassy, reflective, serene. Even the birds were silent.

Snowy Line of Trees on the Shore of Loch Lomond

Wrapped in our woolen scarves and heavy coats, we ventured forth into the Trossachs, a national park, and a place of sheer beauty. We snapped photos of the mountains through the front window of the motor coach. The road was too snowy, too winding for us to pause longer than a moment.

Snowy Mountains in the Trossachs

We descended into a glen and discovered Loch Achray. A low-lying fog bank stretched along its shoreline, with a brilliant blue sky above. Though we still couldn’t disembark, we opened the door to catch a clear shot of this ethereal view, reflected in the loch.

The trees along the shore were more imaginary than real.

Misty Loch Achray in the Trossachs

At last, a stopping point, where Highland coo—cows, if you like—posed for our cameras.

Against the stark white field, a red Royal Mailbox, with footprints all round it. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers…”

Royal Mail Box and Highland Coo in the Trossachs

One step to the right, and I saw the empty field, bathed in a snowy mist.

Trees in the Snowy Trossachs

Our next stop, the ancient town of Stirling.

A week ago the Ochil Hills were sunlit. Now clouds hovered over them, brooding. The ground below looked hard, frozen.

A frosting of snow decorated the top of the dry stane dyke.

Snowy Misty Ochil Hills above Stirling

Outside Stirling Castle, Robert the Bruce surveys the land for which he—and William Wallace—bravely fought.

From this vantage point we might have watched The Battle of Stirling Bridge (September 1297) or the Battle of Bannockburn (June 1314).

Robert the Bruce Statue at Stirling Castle

Below the castle lies the King’s Knot, a garden built centuries ago. Along its boundary, King’s Park, Stirling’s Victorian neighborhood.

Snow on snow on snow.

Snowy King's Knot in Stirling

Even so, a patch of blue sky. A reminder that this is Scotland, where anything can happen, any season of the year.

Big Black Bird on a Chimney Pot

If you’ve experienced a memorable wintry day, kindly leave a comment.

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14 Responses to “A Very Scottish Winter”

  1. Mary Kay December 14, 2012 4:04 pm #

    Experienced a few, actually. 🙂 I love how the character of the sky changes so completely and so quickly. Absolutely stunning “landscape.”

    And your photos — lovely, Liz. Thank you for these breath-taking photos (and a wonder-filled trip!). I’ve been trying to show Ed how the clouds/sky differ there. Your pix do that sublimely. And I give an extra thanks for the King’s Knot. Mine did not turn out.

    Wishing you happy evenings sorting through your photos and memories. And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 17, 2012 10:35 pm #

      Many more photos to post, dear Mary Kay. Only a few with sunshine (week 1) and many more with mist and snow and changeable skies (week 2). Thanks for your comment here, and far more, for joining me in Scotland!

  2. Joanne Bischof December 14, 2012 4:10 pm #

    The only Scottish winter I’ve ever experience was with Jaime, Leana and Rose 🙂 But my what a trip!

    These pictures are absolutely stunning. Scotland looks like one of the most beautiful places. I would love to visit one day, but in the meantime, am so thankful to get to enjoy your pictures!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs December 17, 2012 10:37 pm #

      That’s precisely why I created MyScottishHeart.com, Joanne! Delighted to know you are enjoying the photos here. Happy Christmas!

  3. Lora Strang January 12, 2013 10:51 am #

    I know I’m making my comment way past the holidays, but we didn’t get a break this year until after new year. My husband & I travel the USA in a semi truck. One of these days I would love to venture to Scotland; home of my ancestors. In fact the Kisimul Castle in the Isle of Barra (I think that’s correct) belong to the McNeil, MacNeil, Neil etc… Clan. My maiden name is McNeil.
    Beautiful pictures Liz, thanks for sharing with us all.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 21, 2013 11:57 pm #

      I’ve not been to Barra, but have always wanted to visit there. Yes, the Barra McNeils are a fine clan indeed! Thanks for visiting MyScottishHeart, Lora.

  4. SallyAnn October 24, 2013 6:27 am #

    Hi Liz,

    I have been following your Bad Girls of The Bible weekly Bible study and have been enjoying it. From Jezebel’s Pinterest page I found My Scottish Heart, and am very glad I did.

    I have been interested in Scotland since I married into the Bruce family.

    My father-in-law was able to visit Scotland years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Some day my husband and I hope to go too. But until then I will visit it through all the photos you share.

    Thanks so much for sharing and also for the Bible studies.

  5. Josi Morton Ingram June 24, 2014 10:42 am #

    I am new to your Scottish books, but am hooked! I have been “rabidly Scottish” since I was a child. My husband and I spent 10 days in the Lowlands in October of 2011, and I am just now starting to read “My Heart’s in the Lowlands”. It was not yet winter, but it was decidedly cooler than we are used to, and we loved every second of it! My dream is still to live there for a few years, in spite of the weather. I am from Arizona and now live in Texas, so the weather would be a real change, but what an adventure!

    Thank you for sharing your adventures in your novels and your non-fiction. I am looking forward to seeing you at the North American Christian Convention next month. Many Blessings,

    Josi Morton Ingram
    Hospitality Coordinator
    Pioneer Bible Translators

  6. LJ Hadley June 30, 2014 11:10 am #

    I have come lately to your novels and this website. I started “Fair is the Rose” before I realized it was the 2nd in the series, so midway, I backed up to read “Thorn in my Heart.” I am so thankful that I found these photos – gorgeous – and they add understanding to the books.

  7. sandra c arr October 20, 2014 3:50 pm #

    just as recently as September 2014 came upon your Scottish series “Thorn in My Heart”, “Fair is the Rose” , and “Prince….” As I dislike starting in the middle of events, I had the librarian request “Thorn..” from another library so I could read the series through..Have always had a special place in my heart for things Scots and this was no exception…Am enjoying IMMENSELY “Only Angels Can Wing It”. Am looking forward to all else “LCH”—-and now I find yout coming tour of Scotland!!!! in 2016. Maybe I can be in shape enough to land one of the reservations.Laying this in the lap of the Lord..Thank you for your web site and for your literary output.LOOKING FORWARD…:-D
    ..

  8. Marilynn Bahr January 26, 2015 5:41 pm #

    The beautifully crafted romance of MINE IS THE NIGHT was a most rewarding experience; am rereading beginning with chapter 31 and discovering nuances I missed. Must admit that the first reading was maybe hurried as the suspense drew me on. The second reading is a richer experience in a sense.
    And yes, I did reread the ‘original’ in the OT book of Ruth !
    Thanks for including Jacques Buchanan Jr at the end; I always felt that Jane Austen closed her Pride and Prejudice a bit early.

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  10. Gwen April 29, 2015 9:57 pm #

    Dear Liz,
    You are hard to keep up with dear sister! I’m not sure how I had not found your “wee blog” before now, but what a treat! I hope at some point in my life, I can visit Scotland, Ireland and GB. But in the meantime, I will enjoy a trip via your blog! What a beautiful place! Keep the pictures coming!
    Blessings dear sister!
    Gwen Burns

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