best part of the day: swammonade – Auto Republish

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28th Nov.

When life gives you swans, make swammonade. Ok, that needs a little work. The sun was shining and everything was looking good. We went looking for more otters (m’otters?) and I had a notion to visit the trees (and maybe dippers) in the Hermitage while we hoovered up the positive vibes and vitD and blue skies. Let’s go!

sunny side of the street!

met  Aisling and pup and forgot to take a photo until we left.

met Ollie and Vic out pounding the park

nuclear detonation at Mossmorran 

perfect weather, perfect water, but n’otter in sight

pentos looking swish

Mary, sleep-running through town

I had had a notion to revisit the Hermitage and Braid Burn. Last time I was there it wasn’t very decent weather but the route through the trees above the burn has a lovely spacious feel and I made a mental note to return soon and do some tree hugging. That’s so last century, of course I mean forest bathing. We approached from the Liberton end, having jogged down from Newington. Eyes peeled for dippers, but nada. 

plenty insects out and about

I had been wondering how to convince Mary to run up the burn checking for dippers then double back to do the treeline higher up. Since the low Winter sun was failing to reach down into the depths of the gorge I reckoned it would be much more pleasant upstairs, so forsook my bibbed friends for the sunny side of the ravine. It was a good call. We found a warm spot on a log to sit down and share a bong. I mean a sports bar. Only woodpeckers and treecreepers could have improved this perfect setting. 

shinrin yoku

If I look a little concerned in this shot above it is because I am beginning to wonder if balancing my camera on tiny thin twigs a metre off the hard ground to take a pic on self-timer is a wise idea. Happily it stayed aloft until I retrieved it.

morning wood

Running down Braid Road there were a pair of blackbirds eating berries in this tree. They did not hang about for long and regarded us warily before flying off. I fluffed more pics than nailing it. These 3 came out ok; though I think there is only nearly enough in all 3 for 1 decent photo.

Across the Meadows and this building was looking curiously Scandinavian with its steep roof. It was such a nice day I was not quite ready to head home whereas Mary was exactly ready. We parted company on good terms and I returned for a final lap of Holyrood and the chance of catching an otter appearance in such photogenic weather. Near the Commie Pool roundabout there was a (not brand new) tube of (dual action) athletes foot cream. I was stumped as to what might be a credible backstory to explain this. Mary has just reminded me it is also used to combat ‘Jock Itch’ and so apart from the inherent covid bug dangers, there almost certainly would have been a medley of other infestations in the greasy thumb-print squeeze of the tube. Nice!


leaves well alone

On the road round it was all looking perfect for otter-graphs

but where are those pesky mustelids???

It was such a nice day I couldn’t get upset about the lack of otters.

the sun was in such a place as to make St Margaret’s Loch look
wonderful and nostalgic, whereas in real life it is a muddy, pigeonshit bread-bin

I am not a great fan of swans. They are visually striking, being white and large and long necked but they are also ubiquitous and just don’t get my pulse racing. However the light on St Margaret’s Loch was remarkable and made the commonplace exceptional. I was glad that Mary had gone on herself as she is not a big fan of hanging around for 10 mins getting cold while I take the correct number of photos. The correct number is a dozen more than necessary, or the bare minimum, so that statistically you stand a better chance of the happy accident. And maybe get lucky with a gull taking off just as you push the shutter release…

Mary says there’s too many necks and heads for bodies here.

I have plans to paint this one. The colours in the water as well as the blue shadows on the bird are just calling out to be painted. I have already cleaned up (cloned out) all the floating debris on the surface of the water. Another thing to add to the endless list-of-things-to-do-this-winter.

feeding a child to the duckies

walking the tortoise

utterly splendid day out (even without otters)
If Winter was like this more often I wouldn’t have to complain.

14 miles

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Resident-led action group seeking redress from the long-term social, health and environmental impacts from the Mossmorran facilities in Central Fife operated by ExxonMobil (Fife Ethylene Plant) and Shell (Fife NGL).


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