My Walk this Week 182 – Ancient Graveyard

My walk this week visits an ancient graveyard in Scotland. Initially I went to see my grandparents and aunt and uncle’s graves, pay my respects and enjoy the rural location.

ancient graveyard entrance

The graveyard they occupy is not so ancient but the original church and graveyard are less than a minute walk up the country road and it is the most fascinating place!

The minister there, back in the day, was clearly a notable person if the inscription attached above the church entrance is to understood:Continue reading

golden light

My Walk this Week 180 – Calling Curlews at Sunset

My walk this week is more of the mind than the body with memories of curlews calling in the evening light and sunsets of south west Scotland back in September.

darkening sky

I was particularly keen and hopeful to capture the sounds of the evening birds across the sandy, muddy bay – in particular the curlews, if they were there. In recent posts I have presented soundscapes recorded on my phone but I had taken my field recorder (Fostex FR2-LE) and shotgun mic (RODE NTG 2) for the purpose. And I was in luck –Continue reading

River Fleet

My Walk this Week 178 – Scottish Woodland

My walk this week is another from Scotland where I took a stroll through woodland on the edge of Gatehouse of Fleet. Starting from the banks of the river Fleet, I enjoyed the familiar footpath as I twisted and turned in a loop, looking at my surroundings with a strong green cast to the light.

woodland footpath

It is a peaceful part of the country and while there is an inevitable background of man-made sound, the ambience of the forest was more noticeable with its birds and flowing water, a gentle breeze in the trees and just the occasional sound of other people in the area.Continue reading

edge land

My Walk this Week 176 – Edging Along Land and Sea

My walk this week comes from the break I had last month and explores the edge of land and sea with rough rocks and calm waters along with the sounds of coastal and mud-loving birds.

rocks and water

I set out along the country lanes of the south west Scottish coast, enjoying the backdrop of the Galloway hills and the textural details of the verges. From a broad beach, empty except for myself and a solitary crow, Continue reading

Nith Weir

Dumfries 2 – River Nith

The River Nith in Dumfries, Scotland, is a fabulous river to watch in the sunshine as the excited water tumbles and tangles over the weir.

Nith rapids

The river is tidal and before the weir was built a greater length of it was affected by both high and low tides, meaning any business that relied on its flow was beholden to the actions of sun and moon twice every 24 hours.

The weir may not be needed nowadays for trade purposes but it stillContinue reading

image on focusing table

Dumfries 1 – Camera Obscura

While in Scotland in June I both wanted and needed to visit Dumfries. I wanted to go there in order to visit the Camera Obscura I had so often heard about throughout my life. My father had seen it when a boy living in Dumfries and I thought it was about time I did too.

River Nith

Dumfries is an attractive town on a sunny day and one of its enjoyable features is the River Nith – but more about that in my next post. The camera obscura is a fascinating contraption housed in what used to be a windmill. It is this fact that influenced the design andContinue reading

dinner time

Fauna Findings 3 in Scotland – Feeding Frenzy

A feeding frenzy of young swallows was one of the most impressive dramas of our stay on the South West coast of Scotland last month. The young birds were fledging and the aerobatics the parents performed to catch insects in flight for their offspring was utterly amazing. Time and time again they would wheel and dive and change direction so abruptly you would think they would leave their brains behind, let alone their stomachs.

house martins

These aerobatics went on for a day or two and then the young ones took to the sky and there was even more drama as their parents fed them on the wing andContinue reading

adder

Fauna Findings 2 in Scotland – Wildlife

We spotted a wide range of wildlife during the hot weather in Scotland last month with multiple spotting of deer in the fields and on the beach, a pair of pheasants calling to each other regularly, an adder crossing a hot footpath, many different birds (even more than usual), and a couple of field mice under the hedge came out each evening to share the food put out for the birds.

deer in the distance

As well as the images I have selected below, we also witnessed dramatic but unsuccessful chases by weasels of small rabbits – one of them ended right at my feet! On hearingContinue reading

crow in flight

Fauna Findings 1 in Scotland – Birds on the Shore

Like this solitary crow, I enjoy my solitary walks, but this is far from the only species of fauna I found when in Scotland last month. I approached it quietly to try and get a closer shot but was spotted, naturally, and it it took to the air, flying across the bay to meet its partner.

I've been spotted

There is a quiet bay, an old disused harbour, along the shore from us where the gulls and oystercatchers – and on this occasion, swans – gather and sit quietly on the water or by its edge andContinue reading

on the top of rocks

Floral Findings 3 – Growing on the Edge

I’m not sure that I can truthfully say that this clump of thrift, on the edge of rocks looking out over the sea, is actually growing. The year has been so dry and they are clearly past their colourful flowering stage . . . but still I find them very attractive!

on the edge

The shoreline has as much to enjoy by way of plants as the coast has just a few yards inland. The fact that they all have a slightly different annual cycle to their growth patterns makes them that much more interesting.Continue reading