The Scottish landscape starts to take on its dramatic and forbidding look as the first significant snowfall settles in the valleys and on the hills, which it will maintain until spring, depending on the severity of the winter. Few parts of the nation suit the postcard image of a winter in Scotland better than the Cairngorms, where this image was taken on December 8, 2014.
Glenshee, on the edge of Cairngorms National Park, is the venue. It is known as the Gleann Shith Valley of the Fairies in Gaelic, but it is also the Red Deer Valley, which feeds on grasses, sedges, heather and woody plants and lives in the Cairngorms in large herds. The deer prefer to remain in single-sex groups even during the mating season, and this image shows four deer foraging on a slope that is already holding the first cover of snow, their antlers silhouetted against the winter sky.
There’s an explanation if the picture looks familiar or evokes a response. The English painter Edwin Landseer moved north from his native London nearly 200 years ago, in 1824, to enjoy the first of many trips to the Highlands. “Refreshment Room”Refreshment Room. The King Of The Glen passed through numerous private hands when the Hermine-clad peers declined to put up the fee of £ 150, and finally ended up in the Scottish National Gallery. By this period, the painting was very popular and representative of what could be considered the “cookie tin view” of Scotland.
The stag of Landseer has 12 points or tines on its antlers, making it more of a royal stag than the variety of monarchs, which normally has 16 points (asymmetrical antlers with an odd number of points can occur). An imperial stag would have 14 marks, on the other hand. None of our specimens seem to have even 12 marks, even though they’re no less impressive.
That being said, before you see them, you can smell them, especially if they are in large numbers. “very, very strong smell of deer”very, very strong smell of deer. There were so many that, he told a local newspaper, steam was rising from them.
Not only steam, but also significant quantities of methane are released by deer, and large grazing herds can damage plant life and biodiversity. Calls for legally enforceable culls are, therefore, mounting. One thing is the romantic 19th-century vision of the Scottish countryside by Edwin Landseer; preserving the living mountain in the teeth of the environmental catastrophe of the 21st century is another.