Hill walk routes to climb in SW Scotland - also coastal paths and National Scenic Areas with maps, pictures and other useful information based on extensive local knowledge
Around Loch Skene - Winter
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View along the top of Nickie's Knowe towards Cramalt Craig from Lochcraig Head. View along the top of Nickie's Knowe towards Cramalt Craig from Lochcraig Head. View along the top of Nickie's Knowe towards Cramalt Craig from Lochcraig Head.
09 In the picture above we are looking north along the route I came up from Nickie's Knowe to Lochcraig Head in July. Cramalt is just left of centre in the distance. The time this picture was taken was at 12.21 pm, fifteen minutes after solar noon when the sun was at it's highest and yet look at the length of my shadow. The sun got no more than 11.2 degrees up into the sky at it's highest on 10th December. At the winter solstice on 21st December it will get to only 10.7 degrees and the length of the day then will only be 6 hours 57 minutes and 29 seconds. These facts you can get from a totally fascinating site called timeanddate.com The facts actually apply to Edinburgh.
On Lochcraig Head we are 30 miles or so to the south west of Edinburgh so the times will not be all that different, though it is interesting to think that every spot on Mother Earth has it's own time profile in relation to the sun. I love this fact that everywhere is special when you "take time to it", both metaphorically and in astronomic mathematics. A certain inarticulate subtle-spiritual half-awareness of this provides much of my motivation for going into wild places - just to say a friendly hello to them and feel their presence with respect and even reverence. Such places humble the arrogance of mere transient beings like us, they demand respect, but they seem to cleanse the soul if you let them. When you touch just something of the bigger realities of existence it sure knocks the hell out of the cult of celebrity which dominates our contemporary society.
But the eon-enduring landscape has it's transient aspects too as you can see in the picture below - snow which lasts for a few days and dilapidated dry stane dykes which last for a few hundred years as dykes.
Snow forms against a dry stane dyke Lochcraig Head.
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