The Birnam Oak

This Perthshire oak tree is several centuries old and thought to be the last survivor of the ancient medieval oakwood mentioned in Macbeth. It is believed Shakespeare was inspired when he visited the area in 1599 as part of a troupe of travelling players. In the play, the witch tells Macbeth he will remain King until Birnam wood comes to his castle at Dunsinane. This sounded an unlikely eventuality until an attacking army camouflaged itself with branches from the great wood.

The oak has been in the wars again recently enduring flooding in the wake of Storm Desmond. It had some branches removed earlier this year but needs more work. A coalition of local conservationists is campaigning to secure its future.

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Beneath the stars by Martin Devlin
Via Flickr:
Another shot from this week taken at a different time. Not really sure which one I prefer. Boarhills church close to St Andrews in Fife.


On September 29th 1952 tragedy struck when  John Cobb made an attempt at the world water-speed record on Loch Ness which ended in tragedy as the boat crashed and Cobb was killed.

Mystery surrounds the reason a ripple of water appeared as it should have been a calm water, no other craft were on the loch that day, this of course has caused the finger of blame to be pointed at Nessie. 

A memorial cairn to John Cobb can be found on the A82  south of Urquhart Castle.