My favourite view – Watercolour in a Watercolour Moleskine

This attempts to show the view, from Tormain Woods in Ratho, towards Edinburgh. This area forms part of a regular walk for me but never fails to impress. The woods were formed, a long time ago, around the edges of local farms. When the fields were initially cleared lots of large boulders, like the ones shown, were pushed towards the fields’ edges and this ground became useless for farming. Later on vast amounts of beech trees were planted, probably as nursery trees to give some sort of shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. You can tell, by the way the foliage in this tree is “wind sculpted” which direction the weather normally prevails. Now that lots of these trees have reached maturity far-sighted farmers have introduced a programme of planting new trees – represented by the saplings in the foreground. Although I have only shown two of these there must be many hundreds in the woods. A promise planted for the future. You can see some photos of Tormain Woods by accessing this shot and navigating from there:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28475994@N00/5153651255/

Looking further afield Edinburgh Castle is on the horizon just above the right edge of the rocks and about ten miles away. To the right of the castle is the dormant volcano, Arthur’s Seat, which dominates the skyline around the city. The rounded hill, just under the beech tree itself is Corstorphine Hill, one of the main “Seven Hills of Edinburgh”. More shots of Corstorphine Hill can be seen by navigating around this photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28475994@N00/4369752923/

Ratho Village is just around the right hand edge of the middle distant trees. My family and I have stayed here for over thirty years.