Thursday, 24 April 2014

Grey wagtail

Today we walked along the Water of Leith from Roseburn via the Gallery of Modern Art (where we enjoyed some delicious cakes and coffee in the cafe garden) to Dean Village. Lots of birds along just a very short stretch of the river and Crafty Green Boyfriend caught this handsome grey wagtail on camera.

If you click on the image you'll get a better view.

The grey wagtail always seems too colourful for its name!

Much More than a Wall

great tits and bullfinches
and other small birds
gather the moss that grows in the wall

to line the nests they've secretly built
in the spaces between the stones
or in the ivy overhanging the wall.

Soon if you look closely
you'll see them carrying food
into the holes in the wall

and one day in late spring
the chicks will emerge
after a childhood spent living inside a wall.


today's prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a poem about a wall.


I'm taking a short break from all things online over the next few days and shortly after I return I'll be doing a wee giveaway on this blog.  I'll still write a poem a day and will try to share them here when I get back!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Jewellery display board

I got this lovely, but slightly worn piece of macrame work from a friend who was clearing out her Mum's house. I immediately thought of using it as an earring display board so I went searching in second hand shops and eventually found this frame that was going cheap as it had no back and no glass, ideal for my purposes. I soaked the macrame in a warm solution of salt and baking soda to remove the slight yellowness. I then cut a piece of contrasting red cardboard to fit behind the macrame and here you are, an eye-catching earring display board! The earrings themselves are notable too, as they're made from recycled plastic and they look very nice, but are too lightweight to wear on a windy day! The only problem with this type of earring display board is the earrings are liable to get more dusty than if they're kept in a jewellery box, which is where they've been so far. So I'm not sure whether to use this for earrings or find an alternative use for it.... (Suggestions for alternative uses welcome.....).

A season of change

buds bursting into bloom
birds coming out of hiding to sing
and lay eggs that hatch into chicks

Mixing and matching
things that are discarded
to make something new

a cycle continues.

for NaPoWriMo

Meanwhile I've added another digital photo download to the new nature photography section of the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tree watching - larch update

The garlic mustard is coming into bloom under the larch tree, which I'm studying for Tree Following.

If you look carefully in the photo below you can see the long tailed tits' nest, a lovely hanging basket woven from lichen, spiders webs and other such delicate materials. We didn't see the birds yesterday, hopefully they're hiding in the nest, sitting on eggs.

Further upstream, it was lovely to see several harts-tongue ferns just starting to uncurl.

while some are slightly further out.

and the orange ladybirds (Halyzia 16-guttata) are still hibernating in the iron railings!

Today's poem for NaPoWriMo is over on my Shapeshifting Green blog.


And a reminder that the pdf of an updated version of my chapbook Bougainvillea Dancing is now available to buy in the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop. 10% of proceeds from the sale of this book go to VSO for their work in Malawi and other parts of southern Africa.

I've also set up a photography section of the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop where you can buy downloads of some of my nature photos. The first photo available is the larch flowers.

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

Monday, 21 April 2014

In an Edinburgh Garden

Under sun speckled pond weed
water writhes with tadpoles.

Suddenly a frog emerges, 
head draped in weed 


in Crafty Green Boyfriend's Mum's garden, yesterday

Sunday, 20 April 2014

By the River Almond

Walking to Edinburgh Airport may not sound like the most appealing of Easter walks, but if you choose the River Almond Walkway to get there, it really is a wonderful walk. Specially at this time of year.

The river is beautiful and surrounded by lots of trees, opening out to fields further upstream. 

 The spring flowers are blooming everywhere, lots of wood anemone as in the photo below.
 The photo below shows bluebells, wild leeks and a celandine.
The birds were singing everywhere too, including blackcaps, chiffchaffs, robins and wrens in the woodland and skylarks above the fields. The sand martins were flying about above the river near their colony of  holes in a sandbank and we had a wonderful view of a kingfisher as it flew past us downstream. We were delighted to see two brown hares, distant views of just their ears sticking out above the grass, but still, lovely to see them at Easter! Plus there were a lot of butterflies about. Crafty Green Boyfriend took this photo of two peacocks

and this of a small tortoiseshell

though we didn't manage to get any photos of the orange tip butterflies, which weren't as numerous as they normally are on this walk.

heat haze -
a swallow dips down
to the river.

for NaPoWriMo

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Ivy Shadows

Ivy has a shadowy side, although birds love it as a place to build their nests in spring and to roost in the winter, it can damage trees, though I recently read that the effect isn't as bad as we had been lead to believe in the past. These cherry blossom trees look slightly uncomfortable though.

for Shadow Shot Sunday.

choked by ivy -
the cherry trees

for NaPoWriMo.

Friday, 18 April 2014


I was captivated by this moss which I noticed earlier this week growing on a fallen tree trunk in Colinton Dell by the Water of Leith. Look at the delicate white fruiting bodies. If you know what species it is, please leave a comment!

and I love the contrast betweeh the two species of moss in the photo below. 

Moss growing on the trunk of a fallen tree -
it must seem like a forest to this passing bee
or the beetle clambering its way
through the green, entirely unaware of me.

today's prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a ruba'i  - a Persian form, of four lines with the rhyme sequence AABA.