ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
I've put this photo up first as it sums up what I've always felt about the natural world and going for walks outdoors. Magical things can happen. Nearly all of my friends, over the decades, I've met outdoors, never inside... like at parties, nightclubs, or bars.... probably because I don't frequent these as much, and never have, or expect great things to happen there... but some part of me does when walking outside. I'm also at my best in nature- comfortable surroundings for me. Three of the apparitions in this photo are natural colour occurrences, caused by sunlight pouring into the camera lens at a certain angle and I've just embellished them slightly. It does show what I've always believed however- that interesting things may occur on any walk.... it's what keeps me going out... and turning each potentially revealing corner in life.
So the second snow day in a row was another one spent with Anne, ( no Belinda this time as she was elsewhere engaged) heading out from Anniesland. Forth and Clyde Canal here taken at the canal boat toilets.
Our first destination of the day was Dawsholm Public Park,with a view over Anniesland District and Anniesland Tower here. Like many Glasgow parks Dawsholm sits on a hilltop and is heavily wooded. It is also a nature reserve, although any park or area of neglected waste ground often is, in my opinion.
Dawsholm Park woods.
Most of the trails in this park go through thick woodlands, over up and down rugged slopes, but it has one open smooth grassy slope with good views on its western edge popular with families- sledging in winter- swing park and picnics in summer.
and this is it here... looking towards the Kilpatrick Hills and Clydebank.
The northern boundary of the park is the River Kelvin gorge where Glasgow's second notable flow of liquid gushes through the city from the northern upland outskirts. This is also heavily wooded and it was near here we spotted an unusual sight. Anne is a bird of paradise in her own right of course but my attention was distracted away from her temporarily, for the briefest of moments, as I had noticed something else in the vicinity I never expected to see...
Snow parrots living at minus 10 below! ( nighttime temperatures on the outskirts going by the weather forecasts during that snow filled week)
To say I was surprised would be an understatement with bare trees and six inches of snow on the ground but apparently small flocks of these ring necked parakeets have been spotted as far north as Aberdeen and have been seen around the Glasgow area infrequently during the past few years. They are an invasive species of course and great flocks of them have been breeding around the London area since the 1960s era, either deliberately set loose or by accident during storms. Unlike budgies or smaller exotics they can see off crows, magpies, or seagulls that would relentlessly bully and kill them them for being different ( many humans are much the same in that regard) but they are resilient survivors and can tolerate the cold as long as they find enough to eat, fresh fruit , berries, tree buds, nuts etc...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose-ringed_parakeet Native range and facts here.
It was a real pleasure to see them though and they did not seem to mind onlookers very much at all. A highlight of our day. They would be harder to spot once the trees turn green with leaves but they are a chatty bird and talk to each other all the time. Bye bye snow parrots. Hope you stay around. Despite it's former reputation Glasgow's not a bad place to live.
River Kelvin gorge. The home of snow parrots.
Snapped trees from past winter storms. Kelvin gorge.
We then headed down into the gorge, over a stone bridge, and then up here to visit Maryhill Park.
An info sign in the gorge.
Maryhill Park and Kilsyth Hills.
Snow Frogs as well. Sneaking up on mating amphibians in a sheltered sun warmed pond.
Sunshine through the trees.
Acre Road mural.
We then returned via Acre Road, seen here, and the network of paths through the West of Scotland Science Park which is a wooded campus of low level technology buildings with some public access and saves you walking down the busy Maryhill Road via a path through scenic woodland running parallel to this main road. It's on the other bank of the River Kelvin opposite Dawsholm Park.
Another old friend. Spiral of Life sculpture at entrance gates.
Science Park signpost.
Science Park woods.
Some more photos from our recent travels around our district.
Lock 27 pub. Anniesland.
Locks on the canal. Cross country ski day.
The wilds of Westerton.
and for those that like hearing good new songs they have never heard before that make you think, I give you this. A modern classic and a haunting slow grower that might well have been universally known and better regarded if it had been written during the 1960s to 1980s era when music mattered more as a stand alone medium/entertainment.. The first five minute song here only, which also features beautiful lyrics, guitar and piano work.Great new music to suit every taste is still out there but it takes finding and you are less likely to hear it showcased on mainstream TV or radio as the trend now increasingly gravitates there towards blandness... so as not to offend anyone... presumably.