Loch Ken, July 4th 2008, 9.40pm
Ah, now, would you look at that.
Occasionally round here you get a break in the clouds as the sun is going down over a loch, and the colours and reflections are just breathtaking. You don't have to be a world class photographer; all you need to do is point and shoot and nature does the rest.
Go on, click on the photo and see a full screen version - you'll be glad you did (unless you have a black and white monitor and are still on dial-up).
In fact, this was so breathtaking I ended up taking something like 84 pictures with my digital camera; nearly all came out beautifully and everyone went, "ooooh" when we looked at them on the computer the following day.
However, the gods clearly have something of a dubious sense of humour when it comes to Scotland, creating some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, while simultaneously making them impossible to enjoy because of the weather and the midges (wee flying biting creatures, which make life a misery - if coming to Scotland, be sure to check the Midge Forecast).
If you look real close at the picture, you might just notice all these little specks on the water.
They were not caused by dust on the lens.
Thousands upon thousands of midges were zooming back and forth, a few inches from the surface, while huge clouds of them gathered above our heads.
Despite the dangerousness of the situation, Maggie and I escaped being eaten alive.
There are all sorts of midge repellents on the market, including Avon's So Soft Body Oil. Avon don't actually advertise it as such as the anti-midge quality is an unexpected side effect, but apparently British Royal Marine Commandos on training exercises in Scotland swear by it, and somehow I can't imagine they'd apply it for macho reasons.
However, Maggie's natural concoction of a few drops of citronella added to water in a pump spray bottle and squirted over exposed areas of skin really does the job.
Either that or we were lucky enough to avoid their meal time.