Winter weather at Loch Katrine
Many of our guests come to us looking for wildness, to get away from grey concrete and back to communing with nature with all its sweet aromas and changing light. But “sweetness and light” is only one side of Mother Nature: sometimes she smacks us around the chops and gives us “wild and raw”. She tore through Scotland in the form of Storm Arwen last November, and Loch Katrine wasn’t missed off her itinerary. She felled shallow-rooted pine trees like matchsticks, and in the morning when the Stronachlachar neighbourhood gathered to survey the damage, they saw more horizontal trees than vertical.
By some miracle, life, limb and property were spared, and all of the gas tanks that supply the self-catering properties had escaped puncture even though most of them were cowering under tree trunks. The small community of owners and residents pulled together with their chainsaws and wheelbarrows, and by late afternoon the road to Aberfoyle had been cleared for take-off. The off-cuts should keep the local population warm for at least a year or two.
The experience is a humbling reminder that we are but caretakers of this wild planet, but also that adversity brings out the best in people. The landscape has been opened up a little to reveal new vistas, and, for better or for worse, the broadband mast on the top of the Ben has been repaired and we are connected with the outside world again.