Tuesday 31 March 2020

One good thing - 31st March 2020

Just across from our house a group of Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) have built nests in the upperworks of a Scots Pine tree.  We've watched these fascinating and characterful birds in flocks through the winter, then as they re-established their pair bonds - one particular pair use a tree in our garden to display to each other; they are an obvious pair and it's possible to distinguish male and female by appearance as well as behaviour.

The birds usually nest in early February but were held back by the series of violent storms which crossed the UK.  Things are well underway now though, and today we thought that we heard the first higher pitched "caah" of a tiny young Rook...new life emerging.

Monday 30 March 2020

One good thing - 29th and 30th March 2020

With the change to British Summer time early on Sunday 29th March, the evenings seem so much brighter and lighter.  Whilst we have to spend evenings at home, longer evenings are a boost.

Saturday 28 March 2020

One good thing - 28th March 2020

Today, many good things combined in one good thing on a longer walk (though still directly to and from my back door) on the Correen Hills.

A searing northerly wind with temperatures most definitely in winter values.  Being able to stride out on the broad ridge, constantly changing light.

Being alternately in bright sunshine which belied the knife-like wind, then cringing through stinging batterings of hail and snow.  Having to crouch with my back to the worst of the squalls. Being intensely grateful for every single minute of it.

Friday 27 March 2020

One good thing - 27th March 2020

There was really no doubt about the highlight of this day......

As the evening drew in, we sat out in the garden to watch the light fade.  A Blackbird tried out his song phrases, clear toned and carrying in the clear, cold air.  After a run of overcast days the sky cleared to give the most marvelous view of a bright new moon with the brilliance of Venus directly above.

As the local dialect has it, this was "the aald moon in the arms of the new 'een"....absolutely beautiful.

Thursday 26 March 2020

One good thing - 26th March 2020

In the field opposite our house, a neighbour makes an investment of hope for the future, as he's done year after year, by sowing barley for the late summer harvest.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

One Good Thing - 25th March 2020

While it's still OK to take one form of exercise outside the home each day I've been walking for an hour or so after working at home.  On an overcast and cool day thee wasn't too much colour about, but I was just thankful to be healthy and to be out in the fresh air for a short while.

Today's good thing was another plant; along the banks of Aberdeenshire's River Don the last of the clumps of Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are still in flower, a delicate seeming yet tough splash of late winter brightness.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

One good thing - 24th March 2020

The world has become a very uncertain and insecure place.  The COVID-19 Coronavirus affects all of us as it begins to spread among the population.  In an effort to slow the rate of transmission, restrictions on movement and normal patterns of life have introduced which would have been simply unthinkable a few short weeks ago.  We all have to adhere to these restrictions and to hope that our National Health Service has the capacity, resilience and support to minimise loss of life.

It would be very easy to slip into a state of negativity and of fear; I'm determined to try and avoid that if at all possible.  So, to help in maintaining some personal balance, I'm going to try to do one positive thing each day and to find one good thing about each day wherever I can.  This small blog normally features some of the more remote and spectacular part of Scotland but that's not going to be the case for some time.

Today's "one good thing" was the bright clump of miniature Daffodils (Narcissus sp) which have flowered at the base of a wall in our garden.  Just a few inches tall, they were originally in a pot - but have done really well.  Much earlier than the larger Daffodils, they're a cheeful sight - which is welcome.