Woodland walk

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Just such a glorious morning today. Perfect for walking and lots of new smells for the dogs to investigate. Very frosty last night and pretty chilly out walking this morning. Our garden pond is frozen over for the second consecutive day.

Mist hanging in the glen and then lifting and falling again, creating magical effects in the woods. One of our favourite walks and an added bonus is that we rarely meet anyone. Some really atmospheric views through the trees at times and the wonderful golden colour of the larch, birch and beech trees glowed in the sunshine.

Squirrel heaven!

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Some don’t mind close scrutiny, others prefer a little camouflage cover. One tiny one thought he/she could play hide and seek behind a big tree!

Autumn in Perthshire

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Monday was another glorious Autumn day and we made our second visit to Cluny House Garden in a week. Many leaves had fallen since last Wednesday – strong winds and heavy rainfall doing the damage. However, there was still much colour to be marvelled at and it was another wonderful walk through this woodland garden. The added bonus this week was the number of Red Squirrels dashing about all over the place. At one point we could see five of them at the same time!

Autumn at Cluny (2)

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More jewels! Just look at those colours. The magnificent blue seedpods –  Decaisnea fargesii. We have never seen those before – such amazing texture and colour – and John just happened to be on hand to tell us what they were and kindly give us one,  so that we can try and produce some plants ourselves.

Autumn at Cluny (1)

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A glorious Autumn day yesterday, so a visit to Cluny House Garden was our destination. Clear blue sky and the varying greens of many of the trees still to take on their autumnal tones, provided the perfect backdrop to the jewel like colours of the leaves on others. The colours are truly spectacular and there will be more to come as Autumn progresses.

It was easy to imagine that you were wandering through some magical place, inhabited only by birdsong and Red Squirrels. The latter were in abundance, dashing hither and thither from man-made feeder to feeder, and then up into the tree tops to enjoy nature’s autumnal harvest. It was warm, the air was still, humans talked quietly. Only the squirrels were in a rush! Slowly wandering along the paths soothed the soul. Apologies for being a bit over poetic but it was just lovely.


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We have never seen so many fishing boats in the harbour before. Pittenweem is the busiest of the several harbours along this stretch of coast and has a thriving fish market. The buildings are so typical of the fishing villages  of east Fife. Many are brightly painted and a common feature of many such villages right down the north east coast, are the step gabled roofs covered with red pantiles. The latter has to be a Dutch influence. At one time, red pantiles were shipped across from Europe as ballast in the sailing vessels and then left behind when the boat returned with its cargo. Nothing would be wasted and so the local inhabitants put the pantiles to good use on their roofs. It was altogether a very colourful scene and required the obligatory ‘selfie’, from the younger members,  to record the visit.

The dark clouds loitered in the west but we continued to enjoy blue sky and warm (if you were out of the wind!!) sunshine, as we continued our trip, visiting Crail – clear views of the Bell Rock Lighthouse twelve or so miles off the coast, its white paint shining in the sunlight – and then northwards along the coast to St. Andrews. We  did a couple of short detours along this stretch of coast, so that the driver could check out the golf courses!

Home via the Tay Bridge and a good view of the newly opened V & A Dundee building before heading west and driving into the ominous grey and very wet weather. It seemed to be our ;icky day and we were soon out of the rain again and it turned into a lovely evening. The day ended with a spectacular pink and red sunset. Lovely time had by all.

East Neuk of Fife

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We have been ‘tourist guides’ this week to a 3rd cousin and her husband, who are holidaying in the UK from Adelaide, South Australia. It was so much fun having them stay with us and meeting Brett for the first time. On one of the days we toured the East Neuk of Fife, managing to escape some pretty awful weather and find glorious sunshine.

We headed to Elie first of all. The tide was well out and there were many birds feeding on the beach, where the patterns in the sand were as interesting as the feathered visitors.

Moving along the coast we went to St. Monans and then to Pittenweem. Delighted to see Eider ducks bobbing about on the water at the entrance to the harbour.