Sunday, 28 December 2008

Staggering

Today we headed down to Inverness so Mick could buy me some new walking boots for Christmas. The first decision of the day was which route? The A9 coast road (the longest distance, but the fastest road), Strath Halladale (medium distance, single track) or Strath Naver (shortest distance, very bendy single track). We plumped for Strath Halladale as a balance between miles covered and using a road that had been gritted and were glad we did. This is the view we pulled over to take a photo of:

Strath Halladale (1)

Mick had turned to look at the view in the other direction and was making a strange stuttering noise behind me, which eventually turned into "Stag!" And so there was - a young red deer stag with his lady:

Red deer stag & doe (2)

But nothing could have prepared us for seeing this, just 50 feet from the road:

Red deer stags (3)

There must have been 15 or 20 of them, quietly grazing, completely unbothered by us watching from the car.

Red deer stags (1)

One of them had lost an antler in the rut:

Red deer stags (2)

A bit further on we saw a buzzard by the side of the road, happily tearing a rabbit to pieces, but it had taken off by the time I got the camera out.

I dropped into Jessops in Inverness to have a look at the camera I'm intending to buy and see how it felt in my hand - I've held the next model up from the 50D and because my hands are tiny, find it awkward to hold, but the 50D is fine, fortunately :o) They had the 100-400mm L lens in stock as well and I asked if they could do me a deal if I bought both together. The ticket price was £1,850 in the shop and I knew I could get them online for about £150 less than that - or £250 less if I was prepared to take a second-hand lens in near mint condition. Unfortunately the best they could do was £20 off, so I thanked them for their time and left it.

Then onto Tiso, the big (and I mean big! It has a rock-climbing wall and several types of terrain on the floor for people to try out gear on before they buy!) outdoor shop on the outskirts of Inverness. I never thought I'd own a pair of blue boots, but they were the ones that fit best after I'd walked over their rocky path a few times and they have fantastic ankle support, so I've absolutely no excuse for not getting out and about with my camera next year!

We went back via Strath Naver, seeing another three herds of deer (mostly does, not near enough the road to stop for) and got up it just in time to catch the sunset:

Sunset at Strath Naver

2 comments:

Captain Black said...

You lucky thing. I couldn't get anywhere near enough when I tried to photograph some deer. Oh well, at least it inspired me to write this.

Gordon said...

Just amazing, makes me want to jump in the car and head home.