Wednesday 31 August 2022

Water of Leith and a new Second Hand Bookshop for Edinburgh

With many second hand shops in Edinburgh currently unable to accept donations (due to a build up of stock in the immediate months after lockdown) it's nice to find a shop that is in desperate need of donations! The Edinburgh Community Bookshop will open in Great Junction Street in Leith in October, supporting a number of local charities through the sale of books. The shop is currently looking for donations of good quality books. So today we donated a couple of bags of books there! It's a big shop and looks like it will be a great addition to Edinburgh's range of bookshops. 

After leaving our books, we went for a nice walk along the Water of Leith from Leith to Canonmills. 


We were very happy to see this beautiful Red Admiral butterfly, which will go into hibernation soon

and this young Herring Gull 

There were several mallards around, but they proved quite tricky to capture on camera, due to the light

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Blackford Pond and the Hermitage of Braid

 We're continuing our staycation! Today we wandered round Blackford Pond and the Hermitage of Braid. 

 The pond is home to a family of Mute Swans, whose seven cygnets are now well grown. Here are some photos that Crafty Green Boyfriend took 


 and a photo of mine 


The swans aren't the only birds with youngsters on the pond. There's also a family of Dabchicks (Little Grebes)

and a Moorhen with young

We then walked past Midmar Paddock (sadly threatened with a housing development) 


though the Hermitage of Braid, along the Braid Burn

Sunday 28 August 2022

Scenes from a Garden

 We had a lovely time in Crafty Green Boyfriend's mother's garden today. We were eating plums from the plum tree and enjoying the wildlife that lives in the garden. There are two ponds in the garden, both of which contain frogs, though they often stay hidden. This frog popped up in the small pond 

A couple of Speckled Wood butterflies were flying around 

Atticus the neighbour's cat joined us at one point, he's a very friendly cat

who likes to hide in the shrubbery around the garden 

I don't think he has a detrimental effect on the wildlife, and he's kept indoors overnight, which would limit any predatory behaviour.

Saturday 27 August 2022

Walking from Liberton through the Braid Hills

 We had a lovely walk today starting at Liberton and wandering through the Braid Hills. Starting at Liberton with lovely views across to the Observatory on Blackford Hill 

and to Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags beyond Edinburgh University's Kings Buildings 

There were a few Seven Spot Ladybirds in the thistle heads

We continued our walk past Liberton Tower 

and into the Braid Hills. Here there are more lovely views, across to a now more distant Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags 

and in the opposite direction, over to the Pentland Hills 

Near this part of the walk, we found this small pet cemetery

There are a number of routes to walk in this area, I don't think we've ever walked exactly the same route twice! So it's always a nice place for a wander!

Saughton Park - a real wildlife haven!

 We're still enjoying a staycation here in Edinburgh. Today we popped down to Saughton Park. We entered at the bridge over the Water of Leith and within five minutes we had seen a Grey Wagtail, a Dipper, a Kingfisher  (look carefully in the photo below!)

and a Grey Heron

We wandered round the park, including the lovely demonstration garden managed by the Caley (the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society). Some of the flower beds here are looking very vibrant at the moment 


though there weren't as many pollinating insects as you would really hope to see, this Banded Hoverfly (Syrphus sp) was one of the few we saw here

and this Bumblebee (either a White or Buff Tailed Bumblebee, with her tail covered in yellow pollen)


Near the sports fields we saw a wonderful patch of Wild Carrot

where we saw a few Batman Hoverflies (Myathropa florea)

Elsewhere in the park, we saw this Epistrophe grossulariae (one of the many hoverfly species that doesn't have a common name)

 We returned to the bridge at the entrance and found this Pine Ladybird

then we looked over the bridge and an Otter raised its head from the water then disappeared again, before we had chance to get a photo! Lovely to get even such a fleeting glimpse of this lovely animal.

Wednesday 24 August 2022

Handmade Needle Case - new in the Crafty Green Poet Etsy Shop

 I recently made this needle case and it's now in my Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop - you can see it here

I made the cover of the case from blue grey velvet lined with a blue fabric patterned with a geometric design. The front of the case is embellished with a pale blue fabric flower. The case has 4 pages of pale orange felt and has a press-stud fastener for closure with a small pale blue pom-pom as embellishment. 

All fabric and embellishments come from my stash of scrap fabrics or from second hand shops.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

A Trip to Aberlady

We're continuing our staycation! Today we joined Crafty Green Boyfriend's brother and mother and went to East Lothian for a wee walk round the Aberlady Bay nature reserve


The weather was lovely, and we enjoyed seeing large numbers of Greylag Geese

and various flowers including Harebells 

Vipers Bugloss 

and Ragged Robin 

We were interested to see these Robin's Pincushion Galls on a rose bush 

Lots of flies were attracted to the strong smell of this stinkhorn toadstool

while we were happy to see several butterflies, most of which didn't want to stop for photos, apart from this Small Heath