An Autumn Wander In The Woods

I love Autumn, especially in Big Tree Country.

It is a bit sad that summer is finally over but the slight chill to the air makes everything seem so crisp and clear. The rain washes everything clean and brings out the most amazing smells in the forest. It also tops the river up so that the salmon can swim back up to spawn.

The light is wonderful for taking photos, especially of all the wonderful toadstools and mushrooms that are emerging out of the ground just now. They create miniature landscapes, gatherings that could be tiny dwellings and have the most intriguing shapes. Just crying out to be drawn and documented in some way.

Here are some photos from my wanders around the Hermitage in Dunkeld, Scotland. One of my favourite places to be…

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Ossian’s Cave is really wonderful. I was told that a hermit used to live here when I was a child!IMG_7168 IMG_7169 IMG_7178

The folly looks out onto the waterfall. The noise of the water is incredible and the spray often hits your face when the river is full.

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The blaeberries and ferns are changing into the most fantastic colours now..

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One of my favourite ‘shroom finds this autumn. Aren’t they wonderful ^_^IMG_7315 IMG_7316 IMG_7318 IMG_7320 IMG_7321 IMG_7322 IMG_7323 IMG_7324 IMG_7326 IMG_7327 IMG_7328 IMG_7330

Toadstool lineup

Exploring New Lands: Let’s See What You Got Dubai

So yeah, the view from the hotel totally gets the thumbs up for impressive buildings.. But enough of that just now..

We decided to use Dubai’s new metro system to get us around. Initially a bit daunted (well it is a bit scary navigating public transport in a foreign country sometimes isn’t it.. And a cracking challenge!) but it was super easy! There are only two lines right now.. The red one and a green. For now, there are plans to keep expanding it. But what they have already is fab… And so clean! In fact the whole city was crazy clean! Everything is sparkling and puts my flat to utter shame!

We only had one day to explore so we headed straight to the old part of town and the harbour. Passing mosques and amazing buildings along the way..

The river was clean, turquoise blue and a busy thoroughfare, highly utilised by the water taxis. They were lovely simple wooden boats ferrying people from one side of the river to the other. Just taking their time and picking their way through the other boats.

We continued round the water’s edge and found some of THE most stunning old boats! People clearly lived on them as well as them being cargo boats. I desperately wanted to take some close up shots but their owners and folks around didn’t seem like they liked that idea as much as me. I respected this.. But did get a few shots from further back. Here they are…

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Many of the boats were carrying spices, clearly headed for the nearby spice souk. We followed our noses.. And found sacks of spices and the most amazing colours and aromas!

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We thoroughly enjoyed the sights and smells of the spice souk. I had to stop myself so many times from sticking my hands in the sacks of spices just to experience the textures too. I didn’t. I behaved.

Neighbouring the spice souk was the well known gold souk. Neither of us are fans of gold.. I never wear it but the thought of all that bling in one place was too intriguing!

And bling we found! LOTS of it! And lots of people leaping out from every angle trying to sell you said bling, as well as bags and shoes and every designer they could remember in one breath, he he! We kept moving!


There were bundles of coconuts everywhere and little stands where the coconuts had their tops chopped off all ready to drink the milk inside. I seem to remember trying fresh coconut milk before and it was too sweet, so we didn’t have one. Maybe I should have tried again? Maybe next time I have me a coconut encounter I shall!


Soon it was time to head back to the big fancy new buildings again and find some food. New and old Dubai.. Such a yin and yan! So black and white in its polar opposites. Rather appealing.

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A quick beer before bed in the longest bar in the middle east (apparently) a bar made to look like an old bar, where all the walls were clad in wood panels and the staff wore shirts, braces and bowler hats. I really loved that little quirky touch!


Morning time.. And all too quickly it’s time to get back on the plane…

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