Twinned with Burn of Qu'ran in Gainseville, FL....
On one of our visits to Ballater back in March, Hilary and I went in search of the Sheiling of Mark, of which there is a large photograph displayed in our favourite Ballater coffee place (The Bothy).
The Sheiling of Mark is a bothy run by the Mountain Bothies Association, and is located a few miles East of Loch Muick. There is a path of sorts from Glen Muick, though much of the time it's a case of following a stream (of which more in a moment) up to a small watershed and then walking down to where you know the bothy must be (it's completely invisible until you're almost on top of it). Or as one bulltin board has it, "this isn't a bothy you just come across".
Here is your correspondent, Buff wrapped around head to stop baldness leading to sunburn, heading up the burn. That's Lochnagar in the background, over on the other side of Loch Muick.
Here is the bothy, viewed pretty much from where you first see it.
And here is a closer view of the bothy with my wife alongside it. It looks like a pretty good bothy, clean, dry and well-maintained: though I gather that in heavy snow (such as we had not very many weeks before these pictures were taken) it can get quite deeply buried, as well as getting snow down the chimney.
The bothy's name comes from the Water of Mark beside which it is situated. There are other similar names: Glen Mark, Invermark Castle, and so on. So a name from an area rather than anything relating to a bloke called Mark. But what of that burn I mentioned, the one you walk up on the approach? Well, it's called the Burn of Mohamed, and you won't be surprised to discover that there are no similar placenames to that in the area. Or anywhere else as far as I have been able to tell. This placename seems to be a puzzle for everyone. I suppose it could be a corruption of something vaguely similar-sounding in Gaelic (McHaimaid?) but the bottom line is, nobody knows. I suppose those who want to look for evidence of creeping Islamisation of Britain will love this....
And here, finally, is a wonderful photograph of the Sheiling of Mark by moonlight, taken by Paul Mackie.