15 November 2018 - ABANDONED CASTLE WITH HISTORY IN SCOTLAND


ABANDONED CASTLE 
WITH HISTORY
 IN SCOTLAND

G'day folks,

Yep, here is another abandoned structure. This one is in Scotland. 


She’s been asleep for over half a century. Cocooned by a forest, half swallowed by nature’s encroaching fingers. A forgotten castle in the Scottish Highlands, waiting for its story to continue or find an ending. Such places do exist, you just have to be curious enough to find them.




So you want to know where it is. Locals in Stirlingshire, Scotland know her as Buchanan Castle. She’s the elephant in the room in their quaint country village.

Built in 1852, the castle was commissioned by James Graham, 4th Duke of Montrose and it became the home for the Montrose family, and remained as such until the 1920s. James’ father was the 3rd Duke of Montrose, the man responsible for the persuading Parliament to remove the law forbidding Scots to wear tartan and the traditional highland dress. It remains the seat of the Clan Graham to this day.

The Montrose family owned the castle until 1925 when it was sold and opened as a hotel in the 1930s with a golf course. The outbreak of World War II delayed further plans for residential development on the estate, at which time the house was requisitioned as a hospital.






Rudolf Hess, a prominent politician in Nazi Germany, appointed Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler in 1933, was a patient at the Buchanan castle’s makeshift hospital in 1941 after he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom. He crash landed his plane, injuring his foot and was taken prisoner, convicted of crimes against peace. He was sentenced to serve a life sentence until his death by suicide. Hitler had ordered the German press to characterise Hess as a madman gone rogue when he realised the blundered mission might leave his allies, Italy and Japan, suspicious that the Führer was trying to secretly open peace negotiations with the British.





After the war, the building served briefly as the Army School of Education and in 1954 the roof was removed from the house and outlying parts of the building were demolished. Removing the roof of a house would deem a property uninhabitable by the government and avoid the burden of taxes on a house that was no longer wanted. A number of residential buildings were subsequently built in the castle gardens and grounds.

As recently as 2002 and 2004, redevelopment proposals were put forward for the category B listed building to be restored and turned into residential flats, but those plans were refused. The castle is currently included on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland.


 Clancy's comment: Wow. Yet, another deserted property, eh? What a waste.

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14 November 2018 - FACTS ABOUT THE AWESOME POLAR BEAR


 FACTS ABOUT THE 
AWESOME POLAR BEAR

G'day folks,

The polar bear is a hypercarnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear.

At home in the ice-covered Arctic, Polar Bears are the world's largest land carnivore. They feed mostly on seals, can swim up to 60 miles without a break and can sniff out prey up to 10 miles away.




Quick Facts
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Life span: 25–30 years
  • Size: 2.2–2.5 m
  • Weight: 772–1,543 lb
  • Habitat: Ice sheets and coastal waters
  • Range: Arctic
  • Scientific name: Ursus maritimus
·         Polar Bears are at home in the Arctic, living in parts of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Norway. Though born on land, they spend most of their time at sea and hunt only from sea ice.




·         What do Polar Bears eat?
·         Polar Bears are usually carnivorous, although they are known to feast on other food sources when prey is scarce. Seals make up the majority of their diet, but they also consume carcasses, such as those of dead whales.




·         How do Polar bears hunt their prey?
·         Polar Bears are excellent swimmers. They can swim for more than 60 miles without having a break, yet they rarely hunt at sea. Instead, they use the ice as a platform and wait patiently for seals to pop up at breathing holes or ice edges.

·         How do Polar Bears stay warm?

·         Polar bears live in one of the planet’s coldest environments and depend on a thick coat of insulated fur and a layer of insulating fat to keep warm. They even grow fur on the bottom of their paws, which not only protects them against the cold ground but also helps them grip on the ice.
·         Their skin also has a key role to play in keeping them warm as its unusual black colour means it absorbs heat from the sun.

·         Where do Polar Bears give birth?

·         Female Polar Bears give birth during the winter months in snow dens dug out from deep snow drifts. The dens provide protection from hungry predators and insulation from the harsh cold winter.




·         Are Polar bears sociable?

·         Polar Bears live a solitary lifestyle, with only mother and cubs staying together for any length of time.

·         Are Polar bears dangerous?

·         Polar Bears are powerful predators that often do not fear humans, which can make them dangerous, especially since the sea ice is disappearing and prey is scarce and hard to catch.  Near human settlements, they can acquire a taste for garbage, which brings them and humans into dangerous proximity.

·         Do people hunt Polar bears?

·         Yes, they do. For thousands of years, Polar Bears have been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous people.




  Polar Bears have no natural enemies; humans are their biggest threat. They are classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with 8 of the 19 Polar Bear subpopulations known to be in decline. Though following the introduction of controls and quotas, some populations are recovering.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now lists global warming as the most significant threat to the Polar Bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food.
 

   


Clancy's comment: They must be great survivors to put up with such a cold environment.
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