Sunday, 28 June 2015
Although I didn't know it on the day, this turned out to be a sheep themed post. The herd of sheep in the main street running through Lockerbie, a town with a long history as a livestock market, particularly the lamb and sheep trade, hence these individuals taking pride of place near the town centre. Lockerbie is a small Scottish borders town around 30 kilometers from the border with England.
Although not raining the air up here was damp. With heavy hearts used to constant sunshine on trips away we carried on, hoping it would clear. A small pine tree was passed, covered in Christmas decorations, a few of which had been blown off by the wind and were scattered untidily over the hillside. Another modern tradition it seems and an incongruous sight on a windswept misty hillside.
A Guide to Glasgow Outdoors by Bob Law just released on kindle bookstore for £1:99. Over 60 walks and cycle rides around the Greater Glasgow area. (most of the walks can also be done on a bike, as I did last year to make sure the details were accurate and had not changed.) City parks, country parks, riverside and gorge walks, upland routes and every other day out I've enjoyed on the OS Landranger Glasgow map Sheet 64 which covers a wide area around the city. Packed with 165 original colour photographs through the various seasons, many never seen on the blog, this is also a love letter to Glasgow and the surrounding towns and rural areas. Link here. The first section of this guide is free to view.
Video this time is a mommy bear climbing a near vertical canyon wall leaving baby bear to fend for itself. You can see one reason why bears need claws right here. No wonder they are endangered. Filmed by a kayaker going down a river system and finding this happening round a corner. Best watched full screen for the drama. I pinched this from Graeme :o)
Monday, 22 June 2015
I'm always trying to push the envelope with my photography as far as my limited budget will allow for camera equipment and the surprise addition of a new camera after my old Lumix model developed a fault and I got a new free replacement might mean a jump in quality. See what you think with this one? I'm pleased with the increase in clarity and colour definition anyway. It has a couple of drawbacks, one being it's not as good in low light or sunset shots which the other model excelled at but seems better at straight landscape shots. Still getting used to it and managed to ruin an entire set taken in the Lake District recently as I just used my old photo card in the new one which didn't capture onto computer properly for some reason. Had to buy a new card before it worked.
The sheer amount of bees and other insects in this rape field was impressive.
"Satan's slippers! That's a lot of bees." I remarked to myself, edging cautiously along the edge of this yellow field for the above photo, all too aware of being stung half a dozen times last year cycling past opened up hives that a beekeeper was working on.
Although I suffer from hayfever myself, and these fields can increase this supposedly, one benefit of getting older is a lessening of this debilitating condition which used to blight all my teenage summers as a wheezing, nose running, eye streaming child. I hardly get it at all now and learned long ago never to touch or rub my eyes if it does flare up occasionally. Not a joke condition for anyone seriously affected and I used to get a course of injections every year from the doctor to attempt to build up some resistance to grass pollen.
This spring my blog pals Alan and then Alex have followed suit with an impressive pond and waterfall each in their own gardens and a subsequent increase in wildlife visiting. Very important for our increasingly under pressure wildlife and a great asset to any garden if you have an enclosed space where young children can't enter. Drowning possibility in an unfenced garden for very young children or toddlers wandering in.
My third book is now out on kindle bookstore. A Guide to Glasgow Outdoors. £1:99 pence digital.
This contains every enjoyable walk and cycle ride I've done over the years on the OS Landranger Glasgow map Sheet 64. It has over 60 routes described from a couple of hours easy stroll to full day adventures and is probably the most comprehensive list of things to do outdoors in Glasgow ever assembled in one volume for that knock down price. City parks, country parks, riverside walks, hill trips and rural adventures from Balloch to Cumbernauld, Airdrie, East Kilbride, Larkhall to Stewarton and all points in between. Illustrated with 165 colour photographs, many of which have never been seen before as they were taken for the book only and not for the blog, if you like walking or cycling around this large area covered on the map this guide should prove a life long companion. No maps are included in the guide as the intention is you spend half a day with the OS paper map of Glasgow sheet 64 and mark them all in with pencil or pen yourself then the guide becomes a reminder and photo album/inspiration and the map alone gets taken whenever you go out. It's that simple and once done should last for decades. Younger folk can use GPS or smart phone technology but the simplest, cheapest and easiest method is this one and is all you need for many years of enjoyment. Most of the routes described can be walked or cycled and many are little known, except to locals living nearby. Put it this way... I wish I'd had this guide 40 years ago as it would have saved me years of solo exploration, wasted trips to poor walking areas and a great deal of money on magazines, other guides and untold handfuls of free leaflets lying around the house gathering dust and long forgotten.
Also good for folk who have lived in this area or are interested in Scotland as its packed with Scottish wildlife, city parks and countryside looking at its best throughout the seasons with some brief history added in.
Friday, 12 June 2015
Day two of our Arran Trip, after our day on the Arran Ridge, was a family affair. See previous post. Gail is a keen geocacher with over 6000 cache discoveries in Scotland and abroad and while I think its fair to say, husband John, seen here, and long time friend, myself, the invisible man ( Nae selfie. nae arrest in 5 countries) are not so committed to geocaching, it was a good way to explore Arran. Indeed on this trip we visited a few interesting places we'd never been before purely because there were geocaches hidden in out of the way places that we had no reason to explore on previous trips.
A geocache is usually a small waterproof box of metal or plastic hidden in the landscape with various trinkets or objects inside. Co- ordinates are then given to find them or you can plant your own. Locations can be as hard or as easy as you are capable of from mountain tops and caves to steep gullies, under bridges or remote islands. There is even one on the space station I'm informed.
Link here. Well worth a look at his collection and photos of previous art works. I particularly like the real seal photos happily relaxing beside the carved one at Corrie.
With its beautiful little harbour containing a replica Scottish/Viking longboat and some quirky features, ie : pier bollards painted to look like sheep, Corrie has long been my first stop on bike tours round the island.
Me 2nd night. European Donkey chunks, blood and brains scoffed in the tent before pub. No alcohol either. It's the Devil's brew! A healthy lifestyle like my ancestors of old.
Last afternoon. Skipness Castle Area. Seafood delight each.
Me. Nothing apart from nature!
A great holiday weekend. Only three more boxes of donkey chunks to get through. Happy days.
Something a little different for a change. Surprisingly catchy tune for an eco group I stumbled across a few weeks ago and an interesting video.