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Showing posts from July, 2015

Mountain hare survey

I joined the mountain hare survey team again today.  We walked up Lammer Law once more, stopping to enjoy the views to the north, across the Firth of Forth, over to Fife.

The landmark twin chimneys of Cockenzie power station were visible - as always.  But not for much longer.  They are due for demolition on 26 September.  The event seems to have taken on the morbid attraction of a public execution.  Tickets have been sold.  I think there has even been a raffle to win the right to press the 'exploding' button.  I am glad we will be away.  I am rather fond of the twins, and will miss them.  Certainly the landscape will not look the same without them!
The ling heather is not quite flowering, just a few plants, here and there.  The colour across the hillsides is coming from the bell heather.  
I had to look up this little cluster of delicate loveliness.  I have seen it before, lots of times, but never bothered to find out what it is.  I think it's reindeer lichen, Cladonia porten…

Coastal walk from Gullane to North Berwick

By the time I have walked about four miles, my toes are screaming at me - it's the arthritis, you see.  One of the joys of being that little bit older than I was.  However, for a long time, I have been keen to walk along the beaches, and follow the coastal path, between Gullane and North Berwick. So, having worked out the tide times, I decided today was the day, and off we went.
Below is our starting point, the bay at Gullane.  It's a lovely beach, very popular with dog walkers. This is looking east, the direction Tilly and I were going to take.
Looking back, up the Forth, the unmistakable bulk of Arthur's Seat, and Edinburgh's skyline, just clear enough to see.
For most of the walk, there is the choice between wandering along a series of beaches, or following a path along the top of each.
There's no denying it, at heart I am a shell-seeker.  I have loads of shells at home.  We lived on one of the out islands in the Bahamas for a just over a year, a long time ago, and …

Nature's colours

The sea might have been cold and grey today, but the rock face at the top of the beach is always bright and cheerful!
You've got to admire the optimism of these plants, clinging to the rocks and crevices, finding precious little sandy soil to grow in!
And talking of optimists .....  I am not sure if this raft has just arrived on the overnight tide, or maybe someone is planning an adventure later today! On the headland, the ling heather, behind this pretty pink cross-leaved heath, is just about to come out,
and the lovely bluebell of Scotland, the harebell, has been flowering for a few weeks now.
I love the fuchsia colour of the bell heather, and the very soft mauve tinge of the unglamorously named pignut - below.  It's such an unfortunate name for a very pretty, delicate flower.

What larks!

Don't miss this!  Wherever you are in the world, you can get BBC iPlayer, Radio 3's Words and Music programme.  Today it's about the skylark.  Hooray!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b063d81y



Sunday walk

We had expected endless rain today.  The weather forecaster's charts showed a pretty grim Sunday, so to wake this morning to glorious sunshine was a real bonus!  Time for a walk.  

Mr Gaucho dropped Tilly and me on the other side of the village, to the south-east and the first third of our walk was in new territory.  First we came to a ford, where the lane collided with the River Tyne.  We crossed over by footbridge and then along a path which followed the river, back towards the village.  It was a lovely walk, quiet and peaceful.  
There was quite a lot of the invasive Himalayan Balsam, Impatiens glandulifera, growing along the river bank.  It is a handsome plant, a relation of the Bizzy Lizzy (which I have never liked), and I would rather it had confined itself the Himalayans, as it is a troublesome thing. It spreads quickly and effectively, and studies have shown that it can dramatically reduce the diversity of our native species, competing successfully for the attention of the p…