Travel Theme: Foliage

Here is my offering for the Travel Theme Challenge: Foliage

These were taken last Autumn in the Birks of Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, Scotland. This is such a stunning ancient beech forest, that it has inspired lots of poets, writers and artists, and I could understand why when we visited. Robert Burns was so inspired he wrote a poem about the Birks, and there is a seat dedicated to him…alledgedly where he sat to write…but who will ever know!

The area around ‘Burns seat’ is a protected site of special scientific interest, as it is home to at least 10 spieces of moss. This moss garden has an especially tranquil feel, despite the rushing water and tumbling leaves, and it was a beautiful spot to sit and soak up the atmosphere of the gorge, in the slightly muffled air.

There are numerous paths winding through the ancient beech trees, and following and crossing the crystals clear icy waters which tumble through this steep rocky gorge. Each corner that you turn offers some new and magical sight, and there are numerous cascading waterfalls filling the air with tiny drops of dew and rainbows, known as the Falls of Moness. Parts of the rocky slopes are still covered in Scots Pines, remnants of the once mighty Caledonian Forest, which reach back 5,000 years into history. There is a feeling of deep antiquity and timelessness all along this gorge, and I cant help but think how little the scene will have changed over the span of time, and yet how it shifts everyday. Constant change, but in a steady rhythm. All of this helps me to have a good sense of my smallness in this world.

The Autumn colours were stunning, and looking at these photos has made me want to go back for a visit again this year. I suspect that if the leaves were continually these colours that it wouldn’t be such a wonderful visual treat. It would be normal, which of course makes me prone to switch into auto-pilot and not really notice. Also I think there is something special about things in transition. The change from day-to-day, even hour to hour really urges me to drink in what I’m experiencing fully and deeply.

I guess it’s a good mindfulness reminder to enjoy what is actually in front of us right now, as it will be different in the next moment. The shifting colours of this season of change, and the positional shift of the leaves from the trees to the ground, make for a great lesson in the constant flow and change of life. Nothing stands still, least of all autumn leaves, and the colours are just so uplifting. I’m away to walk the dogs through some of this years autumn woods closer to home.

Oh and I just have to mention the amazing independent bookshop and cafe we visited after our walk in the Birks. They serve a gorgeous collection of loose teas in cute cast iron tea pots, and its set in a renovated mill. So atmospheric

You will find more great responses to this theme at:

And here is a poem/song written by Robert Burns about the Birks

The Birks of Aberfeldy

Chorus.-Bonie lassie, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go,
Bonie lassie, will ye go
To the birks of Aberfeldy!

Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlets plays;
Come let us spend the lightsome days,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

While o’er their heads the hazels hing,
The little birdies blythely sing,
Or lightly flit on wanton wing,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa’s,
O’erhung wi’ fragrant spreading shaws-
The birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

The hoary cliffs are crown’d wi’ flowers,
White o’er the linns the burnie pours,
And rising, weets wi’ misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

Let Fortune’s gifts at randoe flee,
They ne’er shall draw a wish frae me;
Supremely blest wi’ love and thee,
In the birks of Aberfeldy.
Bonie lassie, &c.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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7 Responses to Travel Theme: Foliage

  1. nuvofelt says:

    It’s a beautiful area, and these are lovely photographs to illustrate. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: The Lettuce… An Edible Foliage?? | Simply Charming

  3. Myra GB says:

    Beautiful images along with your backstory as well, the song/poem was a lovely touch too. As I live in a tropical country, we don’t really get all four seasons, particularly autumn – so you’re very lucky that way. 🙂

    • Thanks for your lovely comment. I love the shifting seasons and its something I know I would miss if I traded living in a sometimes chilly Scotland for somewhere warmer….I just need to keep reminding myself of this when we haven’t seen the sun for days!

  4. Great poem and images! And I agree – the woods are like the surf – the longer you watch, the more you realize that the views never really duplicate themselves!

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