Sunday, 31 May 2009
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Friday, 29 May 2009
Recently, Bolts of Silk has featured poetry about rivers and gravity, you can read these and more here.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Mr Barrington is one of the newest bunny bloggers and he is truly a beautiful bunny
Marina is a very talented artist and has a lovely blog at La Scatola dei Colori
Weaver of Grass shares a lot of beautiful things in her blog, not least lovely photos of British wildflowers
I'm not a dog person really, but Edward has totally won me over in From the House of Edward. Pamela also shares beautiful pictures and writing.
Elizabeth share beautiful photos and poetry at Luchair
Annie shares beautiful writing at Ink Haven
Na shares very beautiful photos at her new blog Between each Blink
More gorgeous photos from Delwyn at Hazy Moon
Mary at Art Spirit sews amazing dolls and other things, including mushrooms
Carol shares her birdsightings and nature notes from the Fieldbook
Purest Green shares lovely photos of the landscapes and historic buildings of Scotland in Scotland for the Senses
More beautiful words and photos at Lassie and Timmie
Kelly Shepherd shares the beauty of Korea
and finally, because Springwatch has just started on the BBC, the Springwatch blogs
Monday, 25 May 2009
I also had a chat with Lorna, the Library's Education Officer - we discussed how best to prepare for performing poetry, to avoid being hijacked by nerves. Some of her ideas and advice can be found here. I haven't actually taken to the stage for a while, and with Kin (which was always my favourite place to read poetry) re-emerging, I felt it was time to start preparing to perform again!
Sunday, 24 May 2009
Friday, 22 May 2009
Also magnificent this year is the wild garlic, which fills the wooded riverside with the smell of, well, garlic.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
...everyone who was born there was aquainted with the treacherousness of the swamps, and a lot of that treacherousness was with them, in their own veins. In spring and in summer, the air was filled with the incessant fat chirruping of frogs. Under the canopy of sky there was an equally fat trilling of skylarks. It was like a never-ending dialogue between sky and swamp.
Michael Hoffman must also be congratulated for this wonderful translation, one of the best translations I've read, it flows beautifully.
Radetzky March by Joseph Roth 1932, translated by Michael Hoffman, 2002, published by Granta
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
I saw swifts for the first time this year just before we went to Skye. They've arrived back from their wintereing grounds in Africa. As many readers of this blog will know, swifts are my favourite birds! They are the ultimate bird, as they spend almost all their lives in the sky, even sleeping on the wing! Swifts feature in several of my poems, including these:
Endless Skies (ghazal)
Swifts are struggling in Scotland, to find out more, please visit the Concern for Swifts website.
Monday, 18 May 2009
This evening there was a meeting for all the volunteers who patrol the river, to keep us all up to date with what's happening on and around the river. It was nice to meet the other volunteers!
I'll be patrolling the river every week from now on, and will blog about the highlights.
The Water of Leith Conservation Trust plant sale was very successful, raising lots of money for the trust's work in conserving the river.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Skye itself is quite a sizeable island, with a mountain range all of its own (the Cuillins) and stunning seascapes, with views that look over to other islands in the Inner Hebrides and also to the mountains of the Scottish mainland. The Cuillins are visible from every point on the island, it seems - below is the view from our B&B.....
Skye is a great place to go walking and also birdwatching. We walked through the woodlands and along the coast around Armadale, visited Rubha Phoil (more on that later in the week), walked from Orbost down the coast towards the Macleods Maidens, though we didn't manage to get close enough to get the best view of the seastacks. We also walked along the river Lealt into some very dramatic mountains.
We also spent time in Portree, the main town on Skye, which itself has some very nice walks and a small and lovely wild nature park.
We saw lots of birds, including white tailed sea eagles, a golden eagle, mergansers, buzzards, a peregrine, a raven, wheatears, stonechats and a group of gannets fishing plus getting good views of a number of birds normally only heard - willow warblers, whitethroats and cuckoos. The whole island seemed to be full of the songs of the willow warbler and cuckoo. The swallows seem to have settled in well for the summer in Skye! To find out more about birds on Skye, you can visit the Skye Birds website. Wonderful flowers too, woodlands full of bluebells (see the new banner image!), river banks thick with marsh marigolds, fields covered in lesser celandines, plus a few orchids and butterwort in the marshy places. We also saw lots of tadpoles in ponds and large puddles. Deer and rabbits too in the fields. No otters, whales or dolphins....
(All species that appear in lighter green are hyperlinked to pages describing them)
(I'm featured on A Handful of Stones today, here, nothing to do with Skye....)
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
the other rabbits meanwhile were sitting quietly in the shed. Fudge the Jersey calf seems to have made friends with the cow sculpture, donated from the 2006 Edinburgh Cow Parade:
while the doves pecked small stones for their crops, to help their digestion:We spent a while searching for Dexter, the Farm Cat but couldn't find him.
Friday, 8 May 2009
In a couple of weeks I will officially start to 'patrol' a section of the river, making notes on the wildlife, invasive plants and problems such as litter, vandalism etc.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
the silver undersides
previously published in Blithe Spirit, the members' journal of the British Haiku Society, but very appropriate to today's weather here in Edinburgh!
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
We also had a trip to Pennington Flash, a small lake near where my parents live. There were plenty of birds on the water, including a female mallard with nine chicks, coots, Canada geese, moorhens and a great crested grebe. From the woodland hide we saw 6 bullfinches, a cheering sight, not just because they're so bright but they're also in decline and its good to see several of them together. We also saw a great spotted woodpecker, the best view I've ever had of one, as it spent about five minutes on a birdfeeder just in front of the hide.