As we wend our way through October, the air cools and the Autumn leaves fall. The Virginia creeper that climbs up the side of Ardanaiseig blushes crimson and we take a deep breath of autumn. With a keen eye, a walk through Ardanaiseig’s grounds will reveal a myriad of fungi species hiding under fallen leaves, nestled between tree roots and springing up through mossy ground. Ripe blackberries and rowan berries await the forager and apples fill up harvest baskets.
As the season quietens down, now is a good time for reflection on all that the year has brought so far, and what it may still bring. However, for the deer that live nearby, now is the time for action. The rutting season is in full swing, which sees red and sika stags competing for the attention of the hinds by travelling to their home range and displaying their dominance. Listen out for the distinctive roaring and if you’re lucky enough to see two stags fighting, you will be treated to a powerful display of antler clashes. The following video shows a stag that was spotted beside the road to Ardanaiseig on October 8th, melting back into the trees.
With Halloween just around the corner and some extra logs on the fire, we’re looking forward to cosy evenings with a good book in the drawing room, romantic candlelit dinners in the restaurant, and refreshing lochside or woodland walks to blow the cobwebs away. Whatever the season brings to you, we hope it’s wonderful.
By Rosalea Collinge