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.