Sunday 30 October 2022

Autumn along the River

 We had a lovely walk yesterday along the Water of Leith between Roseburn and Stockbridge. The autumn colours are lovely just now. 


There are a lot of fungi about too, including this patch of Turkey Tail.

We also saw these toadstools, which I think are Glistening Inkcaps 

We were very lucky with our bird sightings, seeing Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Mallards and Kingfisher, but only the Dipper allowed photography. Thanks Crafty Green Boyfriend for this photo.

Soon after we finished our walk, the rain started!

For Nature Notes.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Autumn haiku


Autumn mist -
not knowing which fungi
are edible

 previously published on Lothlorien Poetry Journal.  

Copies of the latest issue of Lothlorien (including my haiku!) are now available here.


Tuesday 25 October 2022

In the Dells

 I'm spending more time than usual in the Dells alongside the Water of Leith. On Mondays, I'm leading guided walks in the area and on Tuesdays I'm doing my regular volunteer session along the river.

The river was very high yesterday after recent heavy rain (it's subsided a wee bit today) 

Everyone commented how beautiful the autumnal colours are at the moment, specially the beech trees. 

Today I took some photos of this large toadstool that we had seen yesterday, I'm hoping to identify it before the next class

This stand of Ash trees looks beautiful in the sunshine, but sadly many of them will have succumbed to Ash Die Back Disease and will need to be removed

 After finishing my patrol today, I went home via North Merchiston Cemetery to take photos of the cherry tree there for Tree Following (my next Tree Following post will be in early November) and photos for the North Merchiston Cemetery Friends Group on Twitter and Facebook. The cemetery looks beautiful at this time of year 

Sunday 23 October 2022

Autumn Mists and Fungi on Corstorphine Hill

It was raining for most of the day yesterday, with a mist hanging around, but we enjoyed a damp walk round Corstorphine Hill in the morning morning. The autumn colours look particularly beautiful in the mist

The rosehips and spiders webs are particularly lovely hung with raindrops 

and there were lots of fungi, particularly a variety of puff balls, some of which are shown in the photos below 

Friday 21 October 2022

Apple Day

It's National Apple Day today! This is an opportunity to celebrate apples, particularly the local varieties of apples that once grew across the UK. but now are often overlooked as most supermarkets sell only a few apple varieties. 

Here are some photos of the many apples growing on the cooking apple tree in Crafty Green Boyfriend's Mum's garden. (She also has an eating apple tree, two plum trees and a pear tree). 

You can find out what's happening for Apple Day in your area of the UK, here.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

A river and a cemetery

 Most weeks I spend a morning patrolling the Water of Leith, collecting litter, recording wildlife and chatting to people. So that's what I did today. The weather was beautiful and the early autumn colours looked lovely.

There are lots of spiders webs around at the moment, which are normally very difficult to capture on camera, so I was quite pleased with how this photo turned out

I then got a bus home, but got off at North Merchiston Cemetery to take some photos of the cherry tree that I'm studying for this year's Tree Following. My next Tree Following post will be up in early November, so you'll need to wait until them to see the photos of that tree! The cemetery was looking lovely in the sunshine.

Monday 17 October 2022

Figgate Park

 We had a long weekend this weekend, so today we had a lovely, sunny walk round Figgate Park. The Figgate Burn runs through the park, though it doesn't actually join up with the Figgate Pond, which is an artificial pond in the middle of the park. Figgate Pond is a good place to look out for relatively unusual ducks and we were lucky today to see these three Wigeon, the male with the yellow / orange stripe on his head and the two females.

This is the first time either of us have seen Wigeon here!

Another unusual bird we saw today was this Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow hybrid. in Scotland, Hooded Crows are more or less confined to the West Coast (though they're common across mainland Europe) but these hybrids can increasingly often be seen in Edinburgh. 

The Autumn colours are showing beautifully around the park.

The ivy is in bloom.

These flowers offer a great late season snack for hoverflies such as this Banded Hoverfly (Syrphus sp)

Some late flowering daisies are also in bloom 


 and a garden flower that must be related to daisies, but I'm not sure exactly what it is.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

 We had a sunny walk yesterday round Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens. There was plenty of birdlife at the pond. We were very pleased to see this family of Moorhens (this species often has more than one brood in a year, so it isn't unusual to see youngsters around so late in the season). The family emerged from the vegetation around the pond, which is to the left.

The juveniles in this family are almost fully grown but still have the dull plumage of young birds

Whereas the adults are much more brightly coloured, especially when the sun comes out!

Looking onto the pond we saw a juvenile Grey Heron, trying to hide in the vegetation

I also saw a Kingfisher fly rapidly across the pond, but it was too quick to capture on film. 

We admired the lovely reflections in the small pond near the cafĂ© in the centre of the Botanics. 

On the way home, we stopped to talk to 'Dusty', who looks after our local free library. At busy times, he has a queueing system in place, so we didn't have much time to chat as people were waiting behind us! .