Sunday 29 March 2020

A Perfect Morning. Lunderston Bay. Kip Marina. Animal Magic.

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The coastal town of Gourock at night. All posts from now on were taken before the corona virus lock down in the UK but I have a backlog of posts to pick from. This is the second part of our North Clyde Estuary Tour/weekend. A night walk across the Inverclyde Hills and streets during the hours of darkness...
Gourock streets at dusk....
Greenock Waterfront walk....
A still, clear night of twinkling stars blossomed into a perfect early spring morning of mirror calm seascapes with just a hint of snow left over the mountains. The type of day that  makes most humans feel alive, after months of grey skies, floods, wind and rain, but something of an ordeal now given the current situation. Maybe nature is taunting us. And she has every right to do so.
Musical notes with magpies. Can you guess the song though? It's a happy tune. As far as I know most wild creatures can't get the corona virus- only humans- maybe pigs, rats, and bats. Very bad for the economy, business, and people but if there is an upside and a winner in all this it must be nature itself.
Sleeping wild fox. With over a million dead creatures in Australia recently due to bush fires, forests the size of small countries decimated, and a predicted 30 to 50 years worth of fish left in the oceans it's about time nature got a break to recover- and this might well be it. At least for the short term. Can a killer virus be a saviour for some? Instead of 'bounce back'- the bite back.
All the protests about climate change tend to fall on deaf ears at the top but maybe now things might change faster with humanity forced into a wake-up call. I can't think of any protests that would successfully ground planes worldwide for months on end but it's happened now. Just a guess but I'd imagine this might be good for the planet. Millions of restaurants, seafood cafes, and fish and chip shops shut should mean millions of fish and sea creatures still safe in the oceans- they might even have time to breed for a few short months before things recover back to normal.
With this happy thought we set off for a beach walk along the shores of the North Clyde Estuary---- and the wildlife seemed to agree... as we saw lots of it.
Sssssnake bird on a boulder.
Black Guillemot. A small diving bird that's equally at home swimming between icebergs in the arctic ocean as around the Scottish coast. Given the mild winter this must feel tropical yet a family pod of killer whales created a stir recently when they entered the Firth of Clyde on a hunting foray, being spotted off Greenock many times before they departed.
Birdland Pastures. Oystercatchers and Jackdaws? hunting for earthworms.
A series of beaches and flat rocks lead to Inverkip. A perfect morning.
A distant view of Arran.
The town of Dunoon across the water.
Coastguard Rescue Helicopter.
Maybe it's for her. Rafts of eider ducks dotted the calm seas in full mating ritual. One female surrounded by seven strutting males. I've seen similar situations with humans at times where a single beautiful, usually well endowed young female finds herself followed relentlessly everywhere by a  group of teenage admirers. Butterfly and nets.  Like sudden fame, not a situation every girl would appreciate or be happy with I'd imagine, being found attractive and desired by almost everyone else in a room or while attending any event before you've found yourself and your inner confidence as a person and maybe drawn into a hard to manipulate for your own benefit roller-coaster of lifetime emotions- a  hectic existence of potentially constant relationships and ever eager future partners with little opportunity for self discovery or time on your own. As with certain landscapes, towns, and cities worldwide, great beauty can often be as much a curse as a blessing. But that's just my view. A lucky few can use it to their full advantage.

And with a bunch of other females nearby, getting far less attention, maybe she encouraged it herself in some way. Who knows.
Like humans, some animals do not mind being by themselves, and the corona virus lock-down  and social isolation will be endured with relative ease. A normal day for them. Greenshank wading.
While others will suffer without company. Redshanks here.
Frogs in a puddle. But if you want an uplifting thought at this potentially stressful time... most of the natural world over the next few months will do perfectly well without us. Maybe even thrive... free from human disturbance and exploitation for once. And the planet will be healthier as well. There is an upside.
Into the blue. North Clyde Estuary Seascapes.
A varied walk of open vistas, coastal woodlands...
and the Kip Marina.
A beautiful spot on a sunny day. Tropical in fact.
Returning inland via the Ardgowan Estate grounds.
A pleasant and scenic gem throughout.
The beauty of the North Clyde Estuary on a sunny day.


Monday 23 March 2020

Day and Night Gallery Around the North Clyde Estuary.

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Dumbarton Rock and Castle in sunshine. It's been a while since I've been down to Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow so this is a weekend away with Anne, visiting friends who stay in this area. Although essential for maintenance in old buildings it's nice to see the scaffolding mostly removed from the castle as it does detract from photography. An adventure in itself as it's fairly steep to explore Dumbarton Castle and the surrounding rock, is good value and cheaper than most castles at £6:00- Adults- 4:80 cons- 3:60 children under 16.
Argyll Flyer. The passenger boat from Gourock/Greenock to Dunoon which replaced a much larger Cal Mac ferry. Vehicle traffic and cyclists still have the roll on roll off ferry operating from Gourock. Apparently this smaller boat is not as reliable in rough conditions or so I've been told. Not been on it myself since it arrived and I dislike the new Gourock car park layout as I can never be sure of a parking spot now. Gave up trying to park there as a day tourist which I suppose was the idea behind it to free up space for shopping- same as Ayr..
Greenock's container docks from the hills above.
Cross of Lorraine with Gourock behind.
Cross of Lorraine from below on a night walk.
Dusk in Gourock.
Winter Evening. Greenock Waterfront.
Frozen golf course. Greenock.
Lyle Hill from Gourock Bay. Icy streets and pavements.
Shops in Gourock. Nocturne.
Empty streets in bleak midwinter.
The limpet town of Gourock, hugging its coastal hillside location. A day shot.
Same place at night.
Ferry coming in. Gourock/ Greenock pier.
Fabrication yards from Port Glasgow.
Greenock's Victoria Tower.
A wave walk. North Clyde Estuary at night.
Tower Hill Stairs view. Gourock.
Empty lanes. Atmospheric in the darkness.
Night time in Greenock. A surprisingly colourful place at night.
Boudica or Athena and her chariot. One an Iceni Queen the other a Greek Goddess. Take your pick.
Open air swimming pool. No takers at minus one degrees.
Port Glasgow fishing mural. A bygone era. As depicted above sniffing barrels of herring was in vogue and all the rage then.
The Gala. Port Glasgow.

For anyone bored indoors during the corona virus and the soon to arrive UK lockdown.... I discovered recently that French You Tube equivalent Dailymotion has the full set ( in English of course) of Back in time for Dinner 60 minute episodes. A few Back in time for School Episodes and one Back in time for the Corner Shop. 1950s/1960s. All are worth a watch going back to the 1950s, 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s in music, fashion, gadgets, and food advances. Nostalgic, funny, and interesting. Once you are in the Dailymotion site type in Back in time for Dinner into the DM search box at top of page and you'll see them. 
For instance I only discovered watching this why I became a latch key kid at 12 when my mum went out to work and I suddenly came back to an empty house lunch-times and at night for several hours before my parents returned. As I said to my dog at the time while feeding us both, somewhat disgruntled by our new situation. " She's abandoned us Kim. We're on our own now boy!"

The reason was the invention of the fridge freezer, frozen ready meals, and a wider selection of tinned goods which freed folk up so women could go out to work during the day instead of buying, cooking, and serving up meals daily with foodstuffs on the marble larder shelf that went off if not used right away. Being thick I never properly realized at the time why these three things were connected so firmly to my predicament. I just assumed we wasn't loved anymore. Sniff, sniff, Wah! :o)