Towns and villages across the north-east were awash with Saltire flags and campaign banners on referendum day as the First Minister toured polling stations.
After casting his vote near his Strichen home, Alex Salmond joined a Yes Campaign rally in the heart of rural Turriff.
Joined by dozens of emotional supporters, he told local people that Scotland’s future was now “in the hands of the people”.
The SNP leader spent more than 20 minutes posing for photos with supporters, a baby and even two dogs.
Dude and Hector, two German short-haired Pointers with Saltires tucked into their collars, were brought to the rally by owners George and Cally Wight.
Mrs Wight said: “I’m voting yes to be able to build a better Scotland. The dogs have been helpful on the campaigns carrying flags. They’ve even been on a Dogs For Yes website.”
For the first time 16-year-olds were able to vote and as the lunch bell rang at Turriff Academy, pupils began making their way up to the ballot box at St Ninian’s Church.
Euan Firman, 17, said: “It’s a big event and we need to go and get involved. I don’t think enough has been said to convince me so it’s a no for me.”
Friend and classmate Justin Christie – who voted Yes – disagreed: “I think we should be able to decide for ourselves how to run the country.”
In Banff, voters gathered at the Old Parish Church hall to cast their votes.
No voter Sheena Lindsay, 65, said: “It’s too much of a risk, we have got the best of both worlds right now and I’m proud to be Scottish and British.”