Sunday, 24 August 2014

Saturday Morning Bike Ride.

A lovely morning, perfect for a bike ride. I set off at about 8am...

After a long steep climb with many pauses for breath, I am rewarded with breathtaking views of the hills when I look back. Once up here, the roads are flat and it's a wonderful spot for cycling.

 Tree silhouettes.

 The tree avenue. This time, for a new take on the shot, I have my camera almost on the road.

Sneezewort I believe.

A closer look.

 Pretty countryside and skies.

 Looking over to the mountains, Ben Lomond is on the right.

Three sheep, sunbathing?

Cottage on the corner.

 Mountain view.

 Resting cows.

The road ahead.

 Field scabious.

 A wildflower I did not know, after consulting my book I think it is tormentil.

 Shadow shot.


 Cow and calf.


I like the nosy cow on the right.

Feathery grass.

 Bike shot.

 And again, from a different angle.

 Approaching a farm yard...

 ...gorgeous flowers add a splash of cheerful colour.

 Past a reservoir.

 And another one.

 Knapweed with hoverfly.

I've not seen a fly like this one before. I've had a look in one of my books and believe it to be of the type polietes lardarius. Apparently they're common in England but less so in Scotland.


Downhills to come.

 Twisty wire #1.

 Twisty wire #2.

 Up and round the corner to where the view opens out. In the clump of trees ahead lies the farmhouse I am always trying to get a photo of. usually there are too many people about...

...but today all seems quiet, and here it is. Not close enough to show much detail though. 

Round the corner is the view I normally take of the buildings. 

 Twa craws.

And to finish, a view of the loch before I head home along the cycle path.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Rounding Up.


A last collection of holiday images...

We begin around Avoch, the closest village to our holiday cottage. We were within walking distance of the village but it was a steep climb back up to the cottage. From our cottage we could also walk to the remains of Avoch castle, the site of the raising of the standard of Andrew de Moray during the Scottish Wars of Independence. I knew there were old castle remains on the hill, but I hadn't realised their significance - I was doing a little on-line research for my class topic whilst hubby and the children were swimming in Inverness one rainy afternoon, only to realise one of the locations I was reading about was right outside my window. A spooky coincidence. Of course, we had to make sure we then climbed the hill to visit what was left of the castle. There isn't a lot there, just a cairn, a saltire flag, some shields with the de Moray crest and a lovely view. I have never seen such a high density of slugs as we saw when walking along one of the fields to reach the castle. The children were freaking out and had to be carried as it was almost impossible to walk along the path without inadvertently squelching one or two slugs.

Next we move to the beach at Rosemarkie where we spent some happy time during the days of good weather we enjoyed at the beginning of the holiday.

Lastly, a super quick visit to the Clootie Well. Some people claim to feel a great aura of mystery and magic here, I just thought it was a bizarre sight - interesting but not particularly attractive or emotive. You can read more about the Clootie Well here.

So I've lasted another week at school. It is a complete roller coaster experience - there have been a few days where I have really wondered if it was all worth it and have seriously felt like giving up. Today was a good day though and it's nice to end the week on a little high. I've brought loads of marking home to do though, and don't get me started on the planning. This is aggravated by the head teacher's love of differentiation. Prior to starting my teaching course, differentiation meant a form of calculus to me. In teaching terms it involves splitting your class into ability groups and teaching them all separately. Fine in theory, but I feel it results in the teacher's time being spread too thin - I can't assist those having difficulty in getting on with their work as I'm having to be teaching another group something completely different. The head teacher likes the children to work without talking so I can't encourage them to help each other either. Also, to me, it seems that those in the lower groups will never have a chance of catching up if they are always being taught at a slower rate and a lower level. I know I have much to learn as a teacher but I feel it's all a question of balance and sometimes it tips too far in one direction...


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