A bit of a boob

My long-term neighbours (LTN) decided, some time ago, to pack whatever they needed and go travelling in their caravan. They are currently somewhere in Scotland.

They were good neighbours and the sort of folk who like gadgets, like to make things, build things, improve things, maintain things. Always busy, on the go. Whatever they do, they do to their utmost, they do it effectively and, with planning, and the right tools, which they have in abundance, they always end up with a very professional job.

A couple of years ago they put up a quadruple nest box on the back of their house, designed for sparrows. No-one took up residence!

Meanwhile, they let out their house to a young couple who had decided to try out living together to see how it worked out. Apparently, it’s a thing! Who knew?

They seem very pleasant, both are musical types, she a teacher of wind instruments, he, I have no idea, but he is away a lot, putting on shows of some sort.

They are both 20 something but seem childlike in their behaviour. Perhaps I’m just an old fuddy duddy.

He is very slim, quite small, and wears the normal uniform of jeans, tee shirts , and trainers. She is small and a little dumpy, and tends to wear low cut neck lines that could raise my blood pressure were I to dwell on them, especially as she has very well developed muscles.

Last Spring we were having a bumper time for birds. I have feeders all around the back garden and we cater for everyone who wants to visit. We were particularly blessed with many pairs of Goldfinches. They like Niger seed!

Next door erupted out of their patio doors, playing some sort of “chase me” game, giggling. They greeted me over the fence and we exchanged a few pleasantries. I offered to fill up their empty Niger seed feeder (all the feeders left by LTN were long since emptied) and guaranteed that within an hour their garden would have several Goldfinches visiting. The birds did not let me down.

This Spring I noticed a pair of birds very busily building in one of the apartments in the aforementioned nest boxes. If you watch too closely, and too often, they would abandon this site and move elsewhere, so I had not drawn anyone’s attention to their building.

A couple of days ago I met young lady neighbour and mentioned that they had a nesting pair in their box.

“Sparrows?” She asked.

“Great tits” I replied, my gaze sinking Southwards!

 

Is it true? See below.

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It is true apart from the last 3 sentences, and it is actually a pair of Great Tits that have taken up residence!

 

 

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Nadine

Wouldn’t you just love to meet this lady, and aspire to be just like her in the future!

Storyshucker

There was a chilly mist in the March air, but I love my early morning walks and this gray gloom wasn’t going to keep me from today’s. I stopped midway on a bridge over the creek to watch a pair of mallards silently pick and poke along the muddy bank. Nothing could ruin this perfect serenity.

“Hey!” the shrill voice called. “Beautiful, right?” The spry old woman pointed towards the ducks as she marched enthusiastically onto the bridge to stand beside me. She twirled her arms in several rapid circles, stretched her back, then leaned on the railing and began doing standing push-ups. Dressed in sweat pants and jacket, baseball cap and sneakers, she had all the markings of devoted walker.

“Hi.” I said tentatively, unsure of what was happening.

“You’re from the South, aren’t you? Hiiiii. That’s how you said it. Hiiiii.” She spoke with her back to me…

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St Kilda – Island on the edge of the world.

Anyone who saunters through my blog will very soon find that I was, for over 28 years, an Army man, a soldier, a squaddie!

This involved living in all sorts of weird places, in peculiar circumstances, and doing all sorts of things that the average joe doesn’t get to experience.

One of the places I lived was on the remote island of Hirta, in the archipelago of St Kilda. In all I spent over 8 months there, normally on a rotational basis of 6 weeks on, 12 weeks off. You can read a little about it here, and here.

During my time there I don’t think that I ever experienced the superb 4 day block of good weather that Angus Mackie and his group of kayakers did for their trip that is shown here.

This post is not about me but it does show a place that is dear to my heart, and to anyone who has ever been lucky enough to experience it.

Just as anyone who has experienced a true desert will know  what “desert fever” feels like, those who’ve been to Kilda will be forever drawn back there, even if it is only in memories!

This expedition report is rather lengthy, and will be hastily skipped through by some, but for a few it will be of great interest. The link at the bottom will take you to a marvellous set of photos and videos. It takes a while to load as they are high resolution, and lots of interactive 360˚ shots. I hope you have time to enjoy them.

A link to a newly updated blog post of “A Superlative St Kilda Sea Kayaking Expedition with Skyak Adventures.”

St Kilda is a place of superlatives!

The remote island archipelago of St Kilda lies some 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides and not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site but it has the highest sea cliffs in the UK, the largest seabird colony in northern Europe and a quarter of the world’s gannet population.

It’s also an amazing place for sea kayaking…!!

 

I’m Angus Mackie, a professional forester and photographer, based just north of Inverness on the beautiful Black Isle.  I’m on the North Coast 500 and am well placed to discover most of the Highlands.  The iconic scenery of Glen Affric and the Cairngorms are close by whilst many of the wild and dramatic locations on the west coast are within easy reach.

Mountains, landscapes, coastlines….  As a landscape and panoramic photographer who specialises in 360° photography, I enjoy exploring Scotland and its wild and remote places and have discovered some of the best photography locations in the Highlands over the last 35 years of living up here.  With a broad and wide ranging knowledge of the Highlands, I still enjoy finding new locations and fresh perspectives for my photography.  The use of natural light to capture stunning scenery at spectacular locations is very much a key factor for my photography.

I’m a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, a Sea Kayak Leader and a UKCC Level 2 Sea Kayaking coach, with many years experience of leading and guiding.  I am also a longstanding member of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team.

Copyright © 2018 Scotland360° and Angus Mackie.

https://www.scotland360.co.uk/Blog_St_Kilda_July_2014.html?fbclid=IwAR0jolFavOHKug8o9RkHNk_oxkkAcyjGYtSI-heTlQk7dehf9o-Xyo-xans

Twittering Tales #118 – 8 January 2019

It’s time again, for Kat Myrman’s wonderful challenge, to write a story, inspired by her picture prompt, in 280 characters or fewer.

Here is this week’s prompt, and my contribution. In fact, I have 2 tales to offer this week!

Check out all the fabulously creative entries here and, if you’ve never had a go, why not try a story of your own? You may surprise yourself!

smoothie-2243369_1280Photo by Anasegota at Pixabay.com

Polly’s Revenge  – following on from Polly’s Dream

Her mistress was insisting that Polly drank a kale and cabbage smoothie every day.

It tasted awful. She was not going to put up with it.

She’d had some senna pods stored in the cage corner, just in case.

She now mixed all of them in with the smoothie.

They’d soon change their minds!

(280 characters)

The Intern’s error

Each intern was warned – “Do not take petri dish B17 out of the fridge”

Simon didn’t listen!

So, when he was told to take out the samples ready to incubate them, B17 was amongst them.

She had been waiting for 39 years, and now, breathing at last, she prepared to take over the earth!

(280 characters)

Twittering Tales #117 – 1 January 2019

It’s time again for Kat Myrman’s wonderful challenge to tax our creativity. Just take her photo prompt and write a story, inspired by the prompt, in 280 characters or fewer.

Here is this week’s prompt and my contribution.

Check out all the fabulous entries here and, if you’ve never had a go, why not try a story of your own? You may surprise yourself!

parrot-846074_1920-1Photo by Free-Photos at Pixabay.com

This follows on from my Lundi limerick #16 of yesterday

Polly’s dream

I’m sick of this cabbage and carrot diet. Look, it’s turning my tail feathers green!
Thank goodness it’s Christmas.
Maybe I’ll get some plum pudding, and there’s bound to be some nuts and fruit going spare.
I’m hoping there may be stilton and port left over too.
Now we’re talking!

(279 characters)

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 23/12/2018 – Season

img_1345-3Well, I guessed wrongly!

Having had “Boys”, then “Girls”, I just lost the shirt off my back by betting on “Babies”.

However, it is the season of a baby so I could have gone with my original idea, but I won’t!

I’m not even going to give you the lyrics to this song, you’ll know most of them anyway. So, just sit back, relax, and enjoy a bit of fun. I defy you not to smile a little bit!

I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas, and that the New Year is one with a bit of fun, lots of good health, a modicum of success, the love of family and friends, and some good music!

To view the fantastic opportunity that Helen continues to give us all, to share music new and old, known, and unknown, click here.  Thank you Helen.