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Showing posts from February, 2019

The last day of February 2019

This day last year the beast from the east had just arrived, and today a rather different landscape! The closest I came to white stuff today was this lovely blackthorn bush, covered in snow-white blossom!  And then a lovely sprinkling of sweet violets, which have the perfect parma violet perfume.  Joy!

A real buzz

Another shining, powder-blue day!  We have been sitting outside nearly all afternoon, at our favourite North Berwick cafe, Steampunk.  Fantastic range of dogs there today, and we were mightily glad that we had left Tilly and Ted at home because it would not have been nearly as relaxing if they had come too!  Far too much excitement with so many dogs, especially for Ted! The dogs have not been neglected though!  We had a walk before we went out.  Early this morning there was a heavy frost on the ground, but the warmth of the sun had dealt with that by mid-morning.  The bark of the silver birch trees shone in the sunshine, and the bees were buzzing around the catkins on a big willow tree.  I am two weeks into a beekeeping course so it was great to see the worker bees in action, collecting pollen from the willow catkins, which will get things going well in the hives as Spring approaches. And a golden end to a beautiful day!

Seizing the day!

In the UK we are all atwitter about the spell of fine, warm weather. we are enjoying.  It's been gloriously good for all the wrong reasons of course, but with so much else to be feeling stressed about (B-word and all that), I just feel that if the weather is irresistible, embrace it and go for a good walk!  It could be snowing this time next week - you never know. I needed to do a recce for my next walking group walk so today was the day.  It involved a short bus journey from North Berwick to Whitekirk and then walking back, cross country, to NB.  It took the dogs and me exactly 2 hours, to the minute, from getting off the bus to finally reaching the car.  Perfect timing for the walk, which are designed to take two hours.  En route we enjoyed the sunshine, the views, lots of skylarks singing away in the blue skies above, snowdrops and early appearances of sapphire blue germander speedwell and red dead nettle.  I had to keep reminding myself that we are still in February!  Bonkers

A light and gentle vase on Monday

If you go back a post to yesterday's 'Sunday sunshine'  you will see the tree the pussy willow branches in today's vase came from.  The furry catkins are quite spectacular - as good as anything you might buy, at vast expense, from a florist's shop!  Today they are joined by the delicate blossoms of blackthorn.  Finding them in the hedgerow, in full bloom, is the moment I always look forward to, as winter turns into spring.  This time last year we were about to be blanketed in snow by the beast from the east - fingers crossed that doesn't happen again any time soon!

Sunday sunshine

Every year I stop and cut two or three stems from this beautiful willow tree.  It has the best furry catkins I have ever seen and it never fails to produce them from year to year.  I thought that I would cut some today for tomorrow's post - A vase on Monday. Blackthorn blossom has a lovely fragrance of almond, enhanced today by the warmth of the sun.  There were a few bees buzzing from flower to flower. On this favourite walk there is a simple bench half way up the hill, with the view across the field, shown in the photos below.  Today it was the perfect place to sit, feel the warm sun on my face, and listen to the joyful song cycle of the skylark.  I think that was as close to heaven on earth as you can get!

Return to the grounds of Gosford House

Post Script to my last post! This morning Mr Gaucho, the dogs and I walked in the grounds of Gosford House again.  It was very peaceful, with no-one else around, which was lovely! I took the opportunity to take a closer look at the medallion over the boathouse, depicting the goddess of health, Hygeia.  The warm weather of the last couple of days has encouraged the blossom to come out on the tree behind the boathouse.  The other day there only three flowers blooming, one of which is shown in my previous post. There are a lot water birds around the lake.  Grey lag geese, moorhens, mallards, a single swan (who I think is the solitary swan which spends a lot of time on the pond on the golf course next door to us), and various others. The other day I saw a single heron standing by the water, but I did not spot a small heronry high above in a beech tree.  Today we saw about six herons, perched on their nests.  For such big gangly birds it seems a strange place to build a nest, bu