Why is the grass so much greener than it is at home? Probably because it rains nearly every day at some point. Like now, there is a gentle shower blowing past my window at Newbold House.
All this water must force the blades of grass closer together and with 20 hours of day light to grow in, they are much thicker than back home. But its also the quality of light. Since the sun is high in the sky in June and mostly defused by constant clouds. There are less shadows between the blades that would dull down the hue so the colors looks more intense.
Miles and miles of green grass its no wonder the sheep look so content. But even the well fed sheep find holes in the fence big enough to pass through and chomp on the side of the road. Neither them or the passing cars seem concerned.
Thinking the sheep must be use to people and cars I pulled over to get a good shot of a mother and lamb. Before I could get out of the car she was running up the hill with her baby in toe. All I captured was their cotton ball backsides.
I expected to find pullout for curious tourist to enjoy the country side but only a scattered few existed and most were potholed and barely big enough for my car. There were however very few cars on the roads in the Dee Valley up to Glen Chee ski resort and on Speyside roads, so it was possible to stop in the lane on a straight stretch and stick my camera out the window. I drove mostly with my camera off sticking from between my thighs so quick access. Only once did a motorcycle come up hind me and lay on his horn. I stopped to check out a heard of resting deer. They were penned up and must be being raised commercially.
Had the venison burger I had the day before inn Aberdeen come from this ranch?, eaten a stem off the very grass I was looking at? It tasted less gamey than the venison I’d had in the states. I mentioned the taste to Jackson the next night, our first phone call since I left the states a week ago.
He said it was because they were penned and eating the same feed as the cattle. The wind deer have a more varied diet so taste gamey. Makes sense to me.
I told Jackson, that at some point in his life he should visit a foreign country by himself. “I haven’t spoken to an American for a week.” I said. Traveling alone forces you to talk to the locals and really experience the place not simply sightseeing. At first I was afraid and really looking forward to meeting up with the other writers in Forres but after a week on my own, doing what i wanted without concern for anyone else preferences, meeting friendly people in each town and finally understanding the accent, and even my inner voice was starting to draw out its vowels and adopt the scandalized British accent! I arrived at Newbold House having visited six cities and mastered driving on the left but was a little sad for this part of my journey to end.