Thursday, August 06, 2009

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh (Day 7)

For our last morning in Scotland, we hiked up Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano. We enjoyed both the view and the nature on this hike!

There are 3 lakes (or lochs) on this hill. We spent quite a bit of time watching the birds in this loch. There were a family of swans - the parents and 3 fairly large gray babies. As you can see in this photo, Alex is taking off (or putting on?) her pullover. We all had jackets or pullovers and we took them on and off multiple times every day. It would get cooler or hotter, depending on if it had clouded up for another rain or was sunny.

At first, we thought something was wrong with this baby swan's leg... but then saw the mommy doing the same thing. Our guess is that they rest their legs this way.

An unidentified butterfly on some thistle.

This is a view of the castle from Arthur's Seat. You can see it was built at a high point - it is on top of what is called Castle Rock. In fact, the street from the castle to the palace is called High Street. (It is also called the Royal Mile and is approximately one Scotish mile.) They did build their castles on "high" places and they also named their streets for the obvious, thus "High Street." Most "main streets" in the UK are called High Street.

A cute little red-breasted bird.

We saw LOTS of these caterpillars. I really wish I'd bought a book to help me identify some of these creatures!

A pair of beautiful little butterflies... or moths...

The "hike" was more of a walke up this easy path. But, it did go very close to the edge which was a steep drop off at times! These "cliffs" are called Salisbury Crags - Wikipedia defines a crag as "a steep rugged mass of rock projecting upward or outward, especially a cliff or vertical rock exposure in the north of England or in Scotland."

We saw LOTS of these large black slugs. This one has "squished" itself up as Alex put her finger near it to show how big it was. So, actually, it was quite a bit longer. I loved how "velvety" they look!

And, we saw LOTS of these snails along the side of the path.

I wondered what all of these white tents were and later found out they were setting up for the Scotish games... the next weekend!!! Oh, how I wish we could have seen those!

And, a photo of Alex in front of Edinburgh, Scotland. After this, we hopped back on a plane to Ireland. I LOVED Scotland and would love to go back. It was just beautiful, friendly, there was great food and so much to see and do. How I miss it!


Rhonda said...

What wonderful sites and interesting animals and insects. I really enjoyed this tour of Scotland.

Dana said...

I really enjoyed your pictures of the wildlife. Must have been fun to see some new creatures! That black slug is really something. All your posts really make me want to visit someday!

live4evermom said...

Still reading about your trip and enjoying it.

lahbluebonnet said...

Terrific wildlife photos! How neat to see all those castles and where they were built and how they were named. That would really impact studies on the Middle Ages!

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Hi....from Scotland! We're in the Western Isles (you may know them as the Outer Hebrides). Maybe next time you'll come visit us in the North-West. You'd be most welcome....
Love, Anne x

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