Saturday, 22 October 2016

Easter Craiglockhart Hill

We had a lovely walk today round Easter Craiglockart Hill - here are some of our photos

View from the edge of the Napier University campus to the cliffs of Wester Craiglockart Hill

 beautiful red maple tree
 view across Edinburgh from the top of Easter Craiglockhart Hill
 a bench conveniently situated at the top of the hill

lovely autumn colours in this horse chestnut tree

cute moorhen on Craiglockart Pond

this poor tree is dead already, but if it wasn't it wouldn't have much longer left being invaded by honey fungus like this!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Sleeping with the Blackbirds by Alex Pearl

Ray Nuttersley is used to listening to his parents arguing at home and being bullied by Harry Hodges at school. To help him forget he takes up the binoculars his granny gave him and watches the birds in the garden, where he's put up very popular birdfeeders that he made himself:

"It was little wonder then, that Ray's brightly painted bird boxes and feeders were beginning to attract the attention of all manner of birds. 

The blackbirds sung Ray's praises to the sparrows, and the sparrows spread the word to the smaller birds. Before long the excited chatter was to spread from treetop to treetop."

Later the blackbirds send out a call to all the other birds to help Ray overcome his unhappiness. The blue tits become the main spies as they are small and can hide well in trees as they watch over things, while the Canada Geese are eventually persuaded to take a lead role in punishing the bullies.

Things become worse for Ray at home before they become better as his parents become embroiled in an entertainingly farcical situation. (I particularly liked the detail of his mother buying lots of cheap crockery so she could throw it at her husband).

I felt the main characters (human and avian) were drawn really well, with enough detail to make them three dimensional and interesting and with room for all of them to develop during the course of the story. The story deals with issues including family relationships, bullying and homelessness with a light touch and lots of humour.

This is a delightful and entertaining urban fantasy of how the birds all co-operate to help their friend Ray and to protect the food sources they find in his garden. It's a tale of how a young person can find his place in nature and learn to find his place in the everyday human world too. It's billed as a YA book, but with the 11 year old protagonist it often feels like a book for younger teenagers, on the other hand it's very entertaining for adults too! (And the ending is wonderful.)

Sleeping with the Blackbirds by Alex Pearl.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The glow of Tiger Eyes!

Tiger Eye is one of my favourite semi-precious stones, it has a beautiful depth of colour to it and wonderful variety in that colour too! Some people believe it to have protective energies! You can read more about Tiger Eye here.

I was delighted then to find in one of the bags of unsold and damaged jewellery that I bought from a second hand shop a beaded belt (with some beads damaged, so I needed to take it apart) a few lovely tiger eyes! I also had some ideal necklace chains into which I could fit the stones (given how they were strung in the original belt, the tiger eyes needed to be fitted into a necklace rather than hung as a traditional pendant. I'm quite pleased with how these three tiger eye necklaces turned out and they're now all in the Crafty Green Poet Etsy store.

This silver tone chain, which you can see in the shop here.

This gold tone chain, which you can see in the shop here.

and this black chain choker, which you can see in the shop here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Monday, 17 October 2016

The trees are wearing their Autumn dresses

and when they catch the light, the leaves glow

and these puffball fungi appeared from nowhere about three weeks ago and are growing speedily!

as are these fungi

All photos from Colinton Dell, a lovely place for an Autumnal walk!

for Nature Notes

Meanwhile these butterflies just flew into the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Ivy Shadows

It's another dull and drizzly day today so I'm sharing these photos from Tuesday for Shadow Shot Sunday. I love these shadows in the ivy in Spylaw Park, Edinburgh.

You can see more photos from the same walk here.

For Shadow Shot Sunday.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Autumn Changes Edinburgh - Calton Hill and Princes Street Gardens

Today is such a wet day we decided not to venture far! We started out walking up Calton Hill, where the iconic follies, memorials and other buildings looks wonderfully atmospheric in the Autumnal mist and drizzle.

and there are wonderful views over Edinburgh too

We then had a coffee break and continued our walk in Princes Street Gardens with it's views of the Scott Monument

and Edinburgh Castle 

Lovely to see the fallen cherry leaves carpeting the ground in places

Just a reminder that the Living Edinburgh Autumn Changes Edinburgh photo competition is open until the end of the month. You can find out more here!