Driving down to Braemar, we briefly stopped off in the village to purchase a picnic lunch, before heading to the next destination on our itinerary, the Linn of Dee. We had visited here several years ago, and Our Lass was keen to go back, as her new knees hadn't experienced the place.
Leaving my camera in its rucksack, I opted to just take my phone whilst clambering around the gorge where the River Dee has cut through the rock. Starting off alongside the still water at the base of the waterfall, we worked our way through the gorge, up to the Victorian era bridge and out to the shallower river upstream. The bright sunshine and deep shadows of the gorge made photography difficult, both from a compositional viewpoint and also actually being able to see the screen.
Returning to the car, we collected my rucksack and set off for Glen Lui. Once out of the cover of the dense pine forest, it was bakingly hot, but at least this meant there were dragonflies on the wing.
Upon reaching the glen, we clambered down into another gorge to find some shade for our picnic. Several species of large dragonfly were hunting low over the water and up into the trees.
Eventually, our patience was rewarded and a Common Hawker landed on a branch, at the top of the low cliff, just above our heads.
We continued to explore the landscape, enjoying the invigorating sounds of rushing water, the stunning scenery and the patterns of the eroded rocks.
But it was flippin' hot.
In fact, so hot, that we threw caution, decorum and most of our clothes to the winds...
I don't think either of us had been wild swimming since we were kids! Of course, back then it was simply 'swimming'.
And on the way back to the car, we found a few more dragonflies. Both Common Hawkers, the first a recently-emerged female, the second a mature male.
To calm down a bit, we headed back into Braemar for tea and cake, reverting to the stereotype of middle-aged, middle of the road, middling folk. Ah, but we had squirrelled away some fantastic memories...