Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Early morning skies

We do enjoy some wonderful sunsets here, but in recent days the early morning light has been equally beautiful.  Last week, there were still lots of leaves left on the trees, but a couple of sharp frosts has brought many of them down - but not before I managed a couple of snapshots to record them in all their autumn glory.  
The sky last night was vivid with another lovely sunset.  I like the idea of the sun disappearing over the horizon and travelling down under to shine on my family and friends in Australia, before reappearing here again this morning! 
This week the morning light has been more gentle.  The silver birch trees are looking particularly lovely in the soft peachy light, and today I finally remembered to take my camera with me on our walk at around 7.30 am.



Sunday, 5 November 2017

Weekend walks

More golden days!  We have had a great weekend of clear blue skies, lovely sunshine, and late yesterday afternoon an absolutely massive orange moon emerged in the darkening eastern skies.  It was quite a sight to behold!

On Saturday, the dogs and I walked along two sides of a huge field, which was playing host to some swans.  Their number will swell over the coming weeks, and they will stay here, to overwinter well into next year.  They were slightly flustered when we appeared on the edge of the field, a few stretching up and flexing their wings, just to show us whose field it was!  We kept well clear, skirting around the edge, and enjoying the views across to the Lammermuirs in the south.
Does anyone remember the opening sequence to the children's programme Ballamory?  Do you remember Archie's pink castle?  Well, Fenton Tower, below, is Archie's castle, painted pink for the programme, but usually a soft yellow ochre.  It looks rather more vivid here because of the golden light.
Today we walked along a short stretch of the estuary, where the River Tyne (nothing to do with Newcastle) comes out into the bay, just to the west of Dunbar.  It's one of my favourite places to walk, and today we were in luck because there were a few curlew, pecking around in a field of winter wheat.
 And then home for a quiet sit by the fire!



Thursday, 2 November 2017

Golden November afternoon

We had a beautiful sunny afternoon today, and in the golden afternoon sunshine a friend, the dogs and I had a short walk along the coastal path from Gullane towards North Berwick.  We were only out for an hour from 3pm but during that time the November sun quickly changed from being warm on our backs on the way out, and sinking very low and dazzling in our eyes on the way back.  
The sea buckthorn bushes growing throughout the dunes behind the beach at Gullane, are laden with their glorious orange berries.  They are rich in vitamin C and I would love to be able to pick and cook with them, but they seem to be impossible to harvest.  If I try to take one off the tree, it just squishes and explodes in my fingers!  If anyone has any good tips for picking these berries, please let me know!  I once had a sea buckthorn souffle at Tom Kitchin's restaurant in Leith, and it was absolutely delicious, but any attempt to recreate it has been thwarted by the tree, every time!
At this time of year large skeins of geese commute daily across our east coast skies.  Out in the morning, back in the evening.  They are a wonderful sight.
By the time we were almost home, the sun had gone down and the bay between us and Edinburgh was a glowing golden yellow and the sunset picked out the distinctive outline of Arthur's Seat.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Annual reccy

Wherever we have lived, I have always kept a close eye on the local holly trees!  Once they have produced their new crop of berries, I make a mental note of which trees are looking abundant, and which appear to be a bit sparse.  All this, of course, is with Christmas in mind!  Since we left Edinburgh, I do have a favourite holly tree which I return to each year.  I went to check up on it yesterday afternoon.  Unfortunately, it is not looking very promising, berry-wise, but there are other trees I have earmarked to avoid a dearth of holly at Christmas time (which is not an option!) 
Once we had checked on the tree, the dogs and I enjoyed a walk around familiar fields with much loved views.  
I think the beech tree gives the best of autumn colour.  Glorious rich colours which make the countryside glow.
We walked along this lovely grassy path, with crunchy ginger biscuit coloured leaves on either side, and then back up the hill to the car.  A very enjoyable sunny, autumn walk.


Friday, 27 October 2017

An Autumn afternoon

Mr Gaucho was meeting a contractor on site this afternoon, at the home of an old neighbour of ours, so the dogs and I had the opportunity to walk round our favourite field.  It is just further down the drive from where we lived in the wood.  The sad part of the afternoon was having to pass our old home, and to see the soulless place it has become.  My lovely flowerbeds, full of delicious smelling rugosa and old fashioned roses, along with other plants I love, have all been dug up.  The little hawthorn tree my eldest son gave me for my 60th birthday has gone, and the garden looks naked and suburban. It is no longer a rather rambling but lovely country garden.  To add insult to injury, the house has been adorned with bits of twee tat.  Totally out of place in those surroundings, and such a shame.

Anyway, moving on swiftly to more important and better things, the field was as lovely as ever, and the dogs really enjoyed all the smells they found.
We then went to North Berwick to give the dogs a walk on the beach.  On the way we passed some headless, but colourful, men - having a little pre-Halloween boogy in the fields!
Ted is beginning to resemble Chewbacca from Star Wars, as his coat is in desperate need of a stripping, but we rather like him looking shaggy.  I take him down to the Borders, to his breeder, who enjoys keeping in touch with one of their pups, and making a date to do that is at the top of my list of things to do!
Tilly, the old girl, enjoyed her afternoon walks, and is now having a little post-supper snooze.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Confused little soul

Autumn is in now in full swing, and the leaves on the trees have a glowing palette of golden yellow, reds, tawny golds and crispy browns.  And in the midst of everything falling to bits in the countryside, I found this confused little soul, nestling in amongst moss and the buttery yellow fallen leaves of silver birch.  Made my day!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Over the garden wall

The first evening sky of October, at about 7.30 pm.
Five minutes later.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Exotic North Berwick

Our walking group had a very enjoyable stroll around North Berwick yesterday.  Up, down and through its wooded slopes, with wonderful views of the beaches, through the lovely park and around the harbour.  The small semi-tropical border in the park was looking like a tiny  jungle, luxurious with red banana palms and orange abutilon.