"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?"
Arriving for work at the hotel the other morning I heard a hauntingly familiar sound. Looking up to a clear,blue sky I saw the W formation of a group of Whooper Swans passing over. “The Hounds of the Sky” they are called because of the lovely “whooping” call they make as they glide down from on high after their long journey from their summering grounds in the north.
On that same morning we had the first snow of the season. Not on low ground, but the surrounding hills had a good fall, some 3ins, on the tops. The stags are in full cry just now, roaring out their challenge to all and everyone.....a good time for a walk in the hills to hear the commotion. And another sign of the changing season is the appearance of fungi. Most are welcome but recently, puffballs have begun to appear on both the putting green and the tennis courts. The former are an annoyance and can be dealt with(we hope), but puffballs pushing up through 3ins of tarmac on the tennis courts are another thing altogether and could be a very expensive problem to solve.
Semi drunken pigeons wobbling around on the lawns is a common enough sight at this time of year and with the huge fall of beech masts these birds are at it again. They gorge on the ready supply of masts and it must be some sort of fermentation process that seems to affect them, but drunk they are.
Grey squirrels have been absent for over 18 months now, in the grounds, which gave us encouragement that the control operation is working. However an observant guest did spot one the other day so we will need to keep our eyes open in case it tries to settle here. Much more likely that it is a young animal, of this season, and is travelling through looking for territory.
Beans, turnips, parsnips, courgettes and tatties are in abundance in the vegetable garden. The runner beans, especially, are a surprise as they looked poor initially but they really have produced over the last few weeks and are still producing as many as we can pick.
It’s autumn. The Enchanted Forest, roaring red stags,grunting fallow stags, autumnal tree colours and crisp air....a good time to visit the Palace. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
Thank You to all sponsors.