A webcam set up at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park has been capturing stunning views of the snow-covered landscape, reminiscent of the paintings of the late American artist Bob Ross.
The ‘happy little trees’ of Loch Morlich
The webcam, which is operated by the Loch Morlich Watersports Centre, shows the frozen loch and the surrounding pine trees, which have been coated with a thick layer of snow. The scene has been compared to the works of Bob Ross, who was famous for his TV show The Joy of Painting, where he taught viewers how to create landscapes with oil paints. Ross often used phrases such as “happy little trees” and “almighty mountains” to describe his creations, and encouraged people to find joy and relaxation in painting.
The webcam has been attracting viewers from around the world, who have been admiring the beauty and tranquility of the Scottish Highlands. Some have even commented that they feel like they are watching a live Bob Ross painting, and have expressed their appreciation for the natural scenery.
The benefits of nature for mental health
The webcam also offers a glimpse of the benefits of nature for mental health, especially during the winter months, when many people may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is related to changes in the seasons. According to the NHS, SAD can cause symptoms such as low mood, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, and loss of interest in normal activities.
One of the ways to cope with SAD is to get as much natural sunlight as possible, which can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and boost the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Exposure to nature can also reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function, according to various studies.
The webcam at Loch Morlich can provide a virtual window to nature, which can help people feel more connected to the environment and experience some of its positive effects. The webcam can also inspire people to visit the area in person, or explore other natural attractions in Scotland, when the travel restrictions are lifted.
The attractions of Loch Morlich and the Cairngorms
Loch Morlich is a freshwater loch in the Badenoch and Strathspey area of the Scottish Highlands, about 10 km from Aviemore. It is situated at an altitude of 300 metres, making it one of the highest lochs in Scotland. The loch is surrounded by the Cairngorms, a mountain range that forms part of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the UK.
The loch and the park offer a variety of activities and attractions for visitors, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, hiking, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, wildlife watching, and more. The loch is also home to a sandy beach, which has been awarded the Rural Beach Award by Keep Scotland Beautiful, a charity that promotes environmental quality and sustainability.
The webcam at Loch Morlich is one of the many ways to enjoy the beauty and diversity of Scotland’s natural heritage, and to appreciate the artistry of nature, which can rival any human-made masterpiece.