Continuing my account of my holiday in Scotland with a piece about shells.
Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Scotland.
One of the things I identified early on about where we were located was the preponderance of shells of various kinds. I decided therefore to include a post dedicated to them. I took my title from a chapter in Richard Dawkins’ “Climbing Mount Improbable”.
As with all activities on this holiday I adhered strictly to the policy outlined in this infographic of my own creation:
We had noticed the presence of a footpath to Kyle of Lochalsh, and I was particularly keen to sample it. I was not expecting the walk to pose too many problems as the distance was only three miles. However, I had seriously underestimated the difficulty of the terrain. Thus it was that after a brief period in Kyle of Lochalsh we got a bus back.
LEAVING THE ROAD – WOODS
The footpath began by climbing up through some woodland, before emerging into the open.
ON THE HEIGHTS – TO SCALPAIDH BURN
The middle point of the walk, until we crossed a footpath running between Scalpaidh Bay and Loch Scalpaidh, took place high above Lochalsh. This junction came at the crossing point of the only major waterway on the route (there were numberless minor waterways cutting the path at various points – this is northwest Scotland we are talking about!).
THE DESCENT INTO KYLE OF LOCHALSH
The final stages of the footpath were on a steady downhill gradient as we approached Kyle of Lochalsh. The whole walk took two hours due to the difficult terrain (there were points when the path was almost indistinguishable from what as around it). We walked it on a warm day during what had been by the standards of the area a dry period.
LUNCH AND THE RETURN
We had lunch at Hector’s Bothy, also making use of their wifi before getting a bus back. This bus service runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and although its first scheduled stop is Balmacara Square they acceded to a request that we be dropped at the turn off leading to Glaick (pronounced Glike) wherein Ferry Cottage is located. The fares were remarkably cheap at £1.20 each (central King’s Lynn to the Hospital costs more for example). The bus is the smallest vehicle I have ever seen running what purports to be a public bus route:
Setting the scene for a series of posts about my recent holiday in Scotland.
Welcome to this first in what will be a substantial series of posts about my recent holiday in Scotland. Although I still have a lot of photo editing to do from said holiday I do now have enough photos at my disposal to start the series, and I will look to interleave the rest of the editing with producing posts for you.
THE HOLIDAY TIMELINE
I travelled up on May 26th and back on June 4th. These two dates were entirely taken up with travelling (14 hours each way approximately). In between these two days there were:
Saturday – most of the day spent waiting for my parents to arrive so we could go up to the house that would be our base for the week, three miles from Kyle of Lochalsh.
Sunday – a quiet day featuring some walking in the immediate vicinity of the house
Monday – A walk to Kyle of Lochalsh, lunch there and a bus back. A quiet afternoon.
Tuesday – a visit to the Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye.
Wednesday – a brief visit to Plockton to book the a table at the Plockton Inn for supper, a trip to Applecross and then back to Plockton for the supper (the birthday meal).
Thursday – The Jacobite Rail Journey (steam train between Fort William and Mallaig, a section of railway known to vast numbers of movie goers as the route of the Hogwarts Express).
Friday – the final full day.
Kyle of Lochalsh is on the mainland of northwestern Scotland, very close to the Isle of Skye, to which it is nowadays linked by a road bridge. Ferry Cottage, where we were staying is located at Glaick (pronounced Glike), three miles from Kyle of Lochalsh. Here are some maps for further clarification:
SOME PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE AREA
Here are a few photos from the immediate area in which we were staying:
THOMAS’ CALENDAR CHALLENGE
I saw some quite amazing scenery while in Scotland, and it has become something of a tradition to produce a photographic wall calendar each year. A number of my Scottish pictures will undoubtedly feature. If in the course of this series of posts you see a picture that catches your eye as worth a place in the calendar there are two things I invite you to do:
Post a comment identifying the photo that has caught your eye and/ or…
Create a blog post about the picture that has caught your eye explaining what it means to you and why you think it should be included. If you do this I will reblog your post.
Should you succeed in convincing me to include the picture in my calendar I will give you credit for doing so. I end with two final pictures, the second of which is almost certain to be in the calendar:
This is a collection of interesting things I have seen on the internet recently. They are grouped broadly in three categories, the second of which includes a few pictures I took today.
I start this section with an important open letter from Make Votes Matter. Below is a screenshot of the beginning of the letter. This is formatted as a link so that you can add your name to the open letter should you wish to:
My only link in this section, which forms a natural segue to the nature section, is to a thunderclap organised by Team4Nature and tagged #VoteForHopeVoteForChange. Below is a screenshot which also functions as a link:
I am going to start this section with another thunderclap, before sharing a couple of recent posts from Anna that caught my attention and finally ending this section with some of my own photographs.
THUNDERCLAP: 30 DAYS WILD
This one has been launched by The Wildlife Trusts and the screenshot below links to it:
The first of the two recent posts from Anna that I am sharing is titled “Which Future Do You Wanna Give The Next Generation?“. This post contains both Swedish and English text, and is in particular focused on the campaign to Save Trosa Nature. Here is Anna’s picture from that post:
The second post from Anna is titled “Old Tjikko” and starts by introducing us to the world’s oldest tree (9,500 years old since you ask). It concludes with a marvellous tree infographic which is reproduced below:
I end this post with yet another reference to the rainbow coloured infinity symbol that Laina at thesilentwaveblog introduced me and many others to. The version below is an envisaged centrepiece for the front cover of the 2018 Calendar (see this post for more on my calendars) and features my name in white text incorporated into the symbol and the addresses of this blog and my London transport themed website in each loop:
Some of the best science and nature related pieces I have recently come across.
Having started the day with a science related squib I finish it with a full length post concerned with Science and Nature. As this is a post where all the text will be the same colour please not that links are in bold and underlined. Before proceeding here is a list of all of today’s previous posts:
Yes another thunderclap for those of you who are on social media to support. Click on the screenshot below for more…
THE EDEN PROJECT
The Eden Project in Cornwall, of which I have very fond memories, has just added to its laurels by winning VisitEngland’s award for Inclusive Tourism. Thus I have two links, each accompanied by a screenshot to share:
Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.
A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.
THOUGHTS ON NATURE
My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…
A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY
A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.
My next major link is to a…
To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclapplease do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.
Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported.
Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blognamed after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:
It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…
My 1,100th post on aspiblog – features some fun around the number 1,100, a number of links to autism related stuff and some photographs. Read, enjoy and please share!.
Yes folks, this is my 1100th post on aspiblog. I will start with a section on the number 1100, provide a number of autism related links and include some of my own photographs.
1,100 = 2 * 2 * 5 * 5 *11.
An ammunition store that contained 20 complete pyramids of cannon-balls each with a base side length of 5 cannonballs would contain a total of 1100 cannonballs:
(1 + 4 +9 + 16 +25) = 55, 55 * 20 = 1,100.
These same cannon balls could also have been stacked in five tetrahedrons each with a base side length of 10.
(1 + 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 + 28 + 36 + 45 + 55)= 220, 220 * 5 = 1,100
However, it was standard to stack cannon balls in pyramids, and also a the single cannon ball on top of a stack 10 cannonballs high might be rather difficult to reach.
Another option on the pyramidal theme would be a single truncated pyramid with base side length 15 cannonballs, and the top layer of the pyramid having a side length of 64 (225 + 196 + 169 + 144 + 121 + 100 + 81 + 64 = 1,100.
As a teaser what is the minimum base size length needed to stack 1,100 cannonballs in a single truncated tetrahedron, and what if you restrict yourself by insisting that each layer must be a perfect triangle?
AUTISM RELATED LINKS
This section is devoted to autism related stuff, so the text, including links which will be in bold and underlined, is all in #RedInstead. My first link comes from the blog aliensfromplanetautismunder the title “What Autism Acceptance Means” Below is a screenshot of the start of the post:
Bookings are now open for the second running of the Autism Awareness Cup six-a-side football tournament, which takes place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th (and it is free btw). If you are able to come along please click on the graphic below to book:
ANSWERS TO TEASER
The second part of the teaser was a trick question – there is no combination of consecutive triangle numbers that adds up to 1,100, therefore a perfect truncated tetrahedron is not possible. The first part of the answer is that you can make a truncated tetrahedron of 1084 cannon balls from a base with side length 18 up to side length 7, but there are then only 16 balls left for the next layer which is therefore incomplete.