Posted on July 25, 2011 by Marie
Glen Affric is a magnificent nature
reserve, and the most beautiful place in
Scotland according to many. The name
“Affric” doesn’t mean ‘African’, but it’s
Gaelic for “very spotted”. The reserve is
well organised with many paths of
different lengths and variety. Every now
and then you come across a panel with
interesting nature knowledge. Most of the
parc is woods, it’s what is left of an
ancient forest that used to cover most of
Scotland. The trees are the local
Caledonian Pine, a very specific kind of
pine with curved branches and a thick bark
that has a reddish colour on the young
branches. The trees can become very big
and old and are truly majestic. Even
though only 1% of the original forest is
left, the organisation “Trees for Life”
strives to restore and maintain the kind
of forest that was originally there.
Sarah and I chose the yellow path that passed the waterfall and then continued on in the hilly woods. At some point, the path went sharply up, until we reached the top with a spectacular view on a little lake we later found out was called ‘Coire Loch’. Next to us on the hill was a really enormous pine tree. We sat beneath it on a branch that had fallen off some time ago. We felt tempted to strike a conversation with the locally present subtle beings.
Are there any little elves here?
– “Yes. There are elves with every large tree.”
What is it you do?
– “We take care of the cooperation between the tree and its environment. Trees are very important.”
Would you like to say something else?
– “There are also elves with ponds and little lakes. But then they are also called nymph. Sometimes there are also elves with great stones or rocks. Then they have a different name, but they are also elves.”
Do the elves wish to say something to the people?
Hm. The elves didn’t seem particularly obliging and talkative in this place. But we didn’t give up yet and asked: “Is there perhaps one elf who wishes to speak? Who wants to say something?”
– “I don’t mind. I am the elf from the little lake down the hill and I am standing with you up here now. Just in front of you. I am normally small, but I can also make myself bigger, about human size. Like a 10-year old. I can also be as small as a large dragonfly. I am beautiful and I look like a flower. My colour is like the wings of a dragonfly and I am most happy when the sun is shining because the sun makes my little lake look beautiful.”
We looked at the empty spot in front of us which wasn’t truly empty because of the presence of the little elf. Her presence, straighforward honesty and simplicity was endearing.
Coire Loch, where the little elf lived, seen from the top of the hill.
We continued our interview: “Would you
like to say something to the people?”
Then she suddenly said:
– “I’m going back down now. I need to look out for a little fish that is still young and cannot find it’s mother.”
And then she went… And we did the same,
continuing our path with a joyful and
friendly feeling in our heart.