On the way out, I found the head of a deer. A female, it was lying upside down in a puddle, stabilised by the large ears, and it was empty apart from the bones. Good job, ravens, foxes, otters. It was also very obviously the result of a decapitation. No animal can make such a clean cut. This was not an accident or a fight between prey and predator. This was mutilation. But why.
Minutes later, after unshackling the bicycle from a fence (yes, the bicycle, parked halfway in a little tree plantation, and the perfect solution for the dreaded approach is found). Also, after a short dip in the raging river, which was icecold, but not as cold as the loch, hundred meters higher. After all that: A car, in front of Daldhu Cottage, the first house on the way. A normal, small car, not the usual landrover. Man, I thought, how did this guy park with the front just at the stream and the rear just at this mound of, well, something. What is that. What is.
A mound of deer cadavers. All with their heads and their feet cut cleanly off. Maybe half a dozen. They smell like wet animals, not particularly unpleasant.
Clearly, I am not alone here.