"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?"
We had just a hint of what was to come last month and this month the trees and shrubs have gone on to deliver autumn colour to rival that found anywhere in the world. Reds,golds,yellows...for a few weeks we have had one of the finest displays seen for many a year.
Trees of course donít all shed at the same time and as a matter of interest I logged the Palace trees this year into an imaginary league table.. First to go, and bottom of the table, were the limes followed by sycamore and maple. These latter trees have spectacular sized and coloured leaves which are often collected for floral displays or art work. Many of the birches also shed at this time but the odd birch still has leaf cover as I write this towards the end of November. Alder, aspen and chestnut were mid-table with beech, oak and larch nearer the top. But the top three are unchallenged this year. Our own native hazel and willow compete as runners up but the champion, without any near challengers is the Tulip tree. While all the other trees are almost bare the Tulip tree hasnít yet begun to shed....and I have no idea why this is.
The wet weather has continued into autumn so for yet another month itís difficult to find motivation to write on gardening issues, so I wonít try. Excitement is around in parts of Highland Perthshire however as one of the old relics of our past has returned. It hasnít done so completely on its own and one assumes that some sort of human help has been involved but who cares, Castor Fiber is back after probably 4 centuries or more. The European beaver was hunted to extinction, with many other magnificent beasts, by our forebears and although the NGOís have discussed reintroduction programmes it is always at an agonisingly slow pace. So by whatever means beavers have returned to Highland Perthshire and have bred in some places. Interested parties suggest that around 150 may be at large and established within the Tay catchment. There is a chance that the government will insist that they are removed but I truly hope not. We lag behind many countries in the world in our inaction about redressing some of the wrongs of the past. Let the beavers survive and let them be the first of many reintroductions. Innes
Innes finished in 04:41:34 and came 1987 out of 4117 who completed the race. A fabulous achievement!
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