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Showing posts from July, 2019

Painted Ladies

When we went out for our early morning walk yesterday, I became aware of butterflies, flying up out of the wet grasses on either side of the path.  They were invisible until they took flight.  Everything was so soggy and drooping following heavy rain overnight.  I must have seen about two dozen painted lady butterflies on that walk.

Later in the day I took the dogs for a mooch along the path which runs along by the sea, between the little harbours of Port Seton and Cockenzie.  More butterflies, masses of them, fluttering around the buddleia bushes and alighting on anything and everything!  I was intrigued, and when I got home I went online to see if there was anything published recently to explain these large numbers of butterflies.  I found this article.  http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/blog/2019/07/28/spot-a-once-in-a-decade-butterfly-phenomenon/
In the early evening sunshine at home, there were a few more painted ladies on the lavender spires, along with lots of buzzing b…

Music at Paxton

On Tuesday evening, I drove down to Paxton House, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, for a concert given by one of today's leading international violinists, Tasmin Little, and Australian pianist Piers Lane.  It was a lovely programme but for me the lure was Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending.  It is a firm favourite of mine, one of my 'Desert Island Discs!
Paxton is a country house built at the expense of Patrick Home of Billie, in an unsuccessful attempt to woo a Prussian heiress. Perhaps she was used to something bigger!  She may not have been impressed by this classic pile, sitting in glorious parkland with a lovely view down to the River Tweed and the countryside beyond, but I was.  As an aside, if you are in search of unspoilt, glorious gentle countryside in which to walk, dream away summer days, the Scottish Borders is the place to be.  I love it!  On my journey to Paxton I crossed over the border into England (Northumberland) and then a few miles later, back over into Scotl…

Desirable North Berwick

In 2017 The Sunday Times proclaimed that North Berwick was the most desirable place to live in Scotland.  I can't disagree.  We lived there for two months almost three years ago, and I didn't want to leave when the time came to move on.  It's a cracking little seaside town.  Disappointly, the Council have permitted the construction of three large housing estates around the town's perimeter.  Just as well the town is bordered by the sea to the north, so no development on greenfield sites there.  Anyway, it will always be a great place to visit, and there are some good walks in and around the town.  The other day, ours started off on the east beach.

We walked along the beach and up through The Glen, which is a wooded ravine where you can climb up to a path which runs along at high level, back towards the town.  It's a good place for a panoramic view of North Berwick, out into the Firth of Forth and some of its islands, Craigleith, The Isle of May and the Bass Rock.  …

A fairy vase on Monday

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my enduring love of wild flowers was engendered by Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairy books.  I have got them all.  Had them all my life.  I have very old editions, which were originally my mother's and date from the 1920s, and I have a collection given to me as a Christening present by an aunt, and I have more recently editions, which I bought when my daughter was young.  I can't resist them.

When I think of the flower fairies, the first one which comes to mind, every time, is the adorable, chubby little figure of the White Clover Fairy.  She is one of the Flower Fairies of the Summer, appearing first in 1923.  Here she is, in all her summer finery.
This time next year, if all goes well, I will have a beehive or two, and the White Clover Fairy, who reigns supreme around here at the moment, is going to be my bees new best friend!