"The Atholl Palace is one of my favourite places where each year we meet up with good friends and have fun. It's the perfect place to stay in a perfect setting with lovely people looking after us. What more could a person want?"
Early autumn in the garden this year might well be remembered for three things. Squirrels, guillemots and unusually late colour. How many areas of the country still have enough sweet peas to provide cut flowers for example. In how many areas of the country could you expect to see five red squirrels at the base of one tree and in how many country hotels could you expect to see a guillemot waddling across the putting green. The answer to all three is , probably, not many. But all three have been seen at the Palace this month.
The squirrels are , certainly, unusually active. At this time of year one would expect to see them feeding greedily in the expectation of harder times ahead but it is the social interaction which seems to be beyond the norm. Having discussed this with other interested squirrel-watchers we feel that the likely explanation is males chasing other males. Perhaps they have had a very good breeding success this year which leads to a surplus of young males. At this time of year the dominant males chase out the younger ones in preparation for the breeding season, hence the unusual amount of posturing and chasing, perhaps anyway.
Guillemots on the lawn. Well for reasons not fully understood the Tay/Tummel system has had a rash of guillemots appearing in unexpected places these last few weeks. One appeared on the main street of Pitlochry and one crash landed on the Palace lawn. If nothing else it adds another bird to our data base of “birds seen” in the grounds and I would not begin to speculate why it felt the need to land here.
Finally to autumn colour, and I mean flowers not the expected, spectacular tree colours. We have wonderful colour in the borders, still, which comes as a surprise to many of our guests from the south. Sweet peas, gladiola, dahlias, asters, chrysanthemums and flox are just some of the plants which are still a great show. The roses, which began to fade last month, have also rallied and are also putting on a final flourish. All this is very pleasing to Kenny and I who work in the gardens but it must also be an added bonus to our hotel guests.I hope you will be lucky enough to be here to enjoy it all, it can’t last forever and the pundits are predicting a very hard winter……but I have heard that one many times before. Enjoy the grounds and look out for the squirrels. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
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