Man wearing camo standing in front of an old stone building

The Mole Catcher

Hermitage Castle Near Newcastleton Borders Region I met Walter Blakey on a chilly March afternoon with snow still lingering in the hills around Hermitage. He’s a mole catcher, sometimes with 60 traps set at the same time, and remembers where each one is. He described to me and demonstrated how his handmade traps work better than commercially produced ones. Walter …

sign that reads "warning lambs on road" with a rainbow in the background


Near Hownam Borders Region I like rainbows. I think most dreamers do. There seem to be lots of songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side. With the frequent drizzling weather and sunny intervals, Scotland has its fair share of rainbows. Sometimes my progress is impeded by the appearance of a rainbow, or even a double rainbow. Not that …

man inoculating several sheep in a pen

Sheep Inoculations

Cliftoncote Farm Near Yetholm Borders Region Paul does inoculations prior to lambing, putting extra antibiotics into the ewes’ bloodstream and milk to produce strong healthy lambs.

little boy standing behind some people in Scottish attire playing the bagpipes

Curious Lad

Royal Gathering at Braemar Braemar Highland Region Usually when bagpipe bands perform, the crowds gather in, but always keep their distance. The sound can be quite overpowering near the instruments. I noticed this little guy making his way closer for a better view, totally oblivious to all the activity around him. He was definitely focused on this new spectacle, seeming …

Castle Stalker in the middle of a lake

Castle Stalker

Loch Linnhe Near Port Appin Strathclyde Region Having never seen photos of Stalker or read anything about it, I did not fully know what to expect in my search down the west coast. When I did find it, what a dramatic situation it occupied. Standing stark and grim against the fading light of dusk, barely silhouetted against the distant hills …

Shepherd and a border collie sitting on a motorcycle

Shepherd and Border Collie Pup

Near Moffat Dumfries and Galloway Region This handy means of transport carries shepherd and dog to the high ground. The pup is likely going out into the pasture for some intense training, to capitalize on his natural instincts for herding. Border collies are truly amazing dogs. No shepherd could do his job without one, or several, depending on the size …

Standing stones of Callanish

Standing Stones of Callanish

Isle of Lewis Outer Hebrides On a bleak barren windswept hill in a remote corner of the Western Isles can be found one of the most remarkable sites in Scotland – the Standing Stones of Callanish. On my first trip to Lewis and first encounter with the stones, I had crested a nearby hill and the majestic apparition emerged through …

Corgarff Castle in a snowy field with a few sheep

Corgarff Castle

Near Cockbridge Grampian Region Corgarff Castle, built about 1530, occupies a strategic position beside the Lecht Road. It has a long and bloody history, from clan fighting to its last use as a base for controlling illicit whisky distilling in the Highlands. Driving the Lecht from Cockbridge to Tomintoul, one of the highest elevation villages in Scotland, can be a …

Cessford Castle in a field of yellow flowers

Cessford Castle

Near Morebattle Borders Region The ruins of Cessford, a once massive castle between Kelso and Jedburgh, presents a sharp contrast to the gentle farmland surrounding it. The castle was stronghold of the Kers, ancestors of the Duke of Roxburgh and an influential Border family. Cessford was built in the 14th century. It ceased to be a dwelling house in 1650, …

two little girls standing next to a sign that reads "danger free range children"

The Round Up

Near Keir Mill Dumfries and Galloway Region On previous cycling trips past Drumlanrig Castle, I had noticed a very cheerful-looking cottage with flower boxes and a fence with various children’s toys always lying about. But never had I seen any people there. A most amusing sign across the road warned of free range children, much like the caution signs in …