July and August came showery and uncertain. In July Angela and I were steered by the weather to the east of the A9 where the vast plateau of A'Bhuidheanach Beag and Carn na Caim is notable chiefly for its emptiness. Even in clear weather, the navigation should not be under-estimated.
The same weather a few weeks later pushed Dolly and me even further east to Glen Clova. The fact that the subsidiary coire is called Glen Doll tickled somebody quite pink.
The Shank of Drumfollow provides an easy way onto the plateau, where both wind and rain were less than we'd expected.
Below the cloudbase we got extensive views from the munros of Driesh (where Dolly found a nice piece of modern art) and Mayar, returning down the Fee Burn with its waterfalls and heather drumlins.
But west is best when the sun does shine, if only for a single day. Angela opted for the Hill of the Thunderbolt, (Sgorr Dhearg and Sgorr Dhonuill) one of the most picturesque mountains in the West Highlands, overlooking the junction of Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven.
Not feeling quite ready for home, but with steady rain forecast for the following day, Dolly and I decided on a bothy night. We broke our journey at Over Phawhope, where we spent a chatty evening with Mark from Dundee.
Outside the bothy, the moonless skies cleared completely, showing us millions of stars, the whole Milky Way; and our own insignificance.
Inside the bothy, the wine was comforting and the fire was warm.
September comes next week, and Shakespeare's line on "Summer's lease" will give way to Binyon's........
" Now is the time for the burning of the leaves....."
(But please don't look this up. You might come to the bit which goes
"Stooping and feeble, leaning on a stick,
An old man with his vague feet stirs the dust,"