Here’s one of my favourite trees – the weeping willow in the river in a nearby park. It’s bare and brownish all winter, then in March its leaves start to appear as if by magic. Easy peasy.
Dear blackbird, It is so nice to hear you singing in the evenings. It makes me feel that winter is over and Spring is just around the corner.
Dear lighter mornings and evenings, I much prefer you over the dark mornings and evenings so I am very glad to see you.
Dear weather, Thank you for such a lovely sunny day yesterday – it really helped with drying the laundry. It’s always good to be able to dry things outside – another sign that the season is changing.
Dear daffodils/narcissi, You are looking lovely, as always. This morning I counted thirty three flower heads in this blue pot.
What are the odds that you are sitting at your laptop, on a Wednesday morning, looking through your photos for something to illustrate this week’s challenge of ‘against the odds’, when a pheasant lands in a tree in your garden? A pheasant which I’ve never seen in the garden before – normally they are associated with open countryside, woodland edges and hedgerows. What are the odds that you have your camera right there beside you and can take a picture?
Dear Mr Kipling mini battenburg cakes, You are so dainty and perfectly formed that you are almost enough to make me want to eat you even though I dislike marzipan.
Dear big toe, It’s a month now since I stubbed you, very hard, on a step I had forgotten was there when I was negotiating my way through a door in subdued light, and you are still hurting, although not nearly as much as before. I’m looking forward to you feeling normal again.
Dear Twinings, Why have you changed the colour of the packaging of your peppermint tea? What on earth was wrong with the previous colour of the box? It was green, and green is easily associated with peppermint I feel. Now it is yellow, and so I keep thinking that I am picking up a packet of lemon and ginger tea (which I don’t like). It’s not good for my mind to be tricked like this!
Dear snowdrops, I see you are starting to appear – it won’t be long now until we see your flowers I imagine.
Dear garden birds, As always I enjoyed your visits this week. Please visit again tomorrow, because I will be taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and it would be nice if I could have some visitors to count – unlike a few years ago when not one single bird landed in my garden, or even flew across my airspace!
We might not be impressed by having our grass full of dandelion seed heads but, if you look at them closely, they are very graceful, and amazingly detailed and delicate.
During the festive break in Scotland, we had one sunny morning when the rain stayed away and the gale force winds had finally subsided, so we grabbed the opportunity for a quick outing.
Despite having visited the area on many, many occasions over the years this was the first time I had walked to Glen Finglas to look at the dam and the reservoir. Glen Finglas is in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and in the mid 1960s a dam was built at one end, the valley was flooded, and a reservoir created to serve the city of Glasgow. There is parking near the small tea room in Brig o’ Turk (sadly closed over the winter, so there was no opportunity for a warming hot chocolate after our exertions) and from there the walk to the dam is an easy stroll.
We have a view of snow covered Ben Venue in the distance as we set off along the road.
We pass an information board which tells us about the poet, author, social thinker and artist John Ruskin and a group known as The Glasgow Boys. Click on the picture to read all about it.
In 1853 Glen Finglas was the setting for a scandal surrounding Ruskin and the artist John Everett Millais – a scandal which rocked the British art establishment and Victorian society and which involved a painting and an affair… You can read all about it here. Our walk takes us past the red-porched house in Brig o’ Turk in which Ruskin and his wife probably stayed during that summer.
As we approach the dam, our surroundings change from rugged woodland on either side of the road and the tumbling waters of the river to manicured grass – it is quite a contrast.
Following the path round to the left we make our way up onto the dam itself and are afforded beautiful views of the reservoir and surrounding hills.
If you enjoyed this walk and have some energy left, you might like to join Jo’s Monday Walks.
Dear 2017, You’ve crept up on us all of a sudden – how did that happen? However, now that you are here, let’s hope you are a happy and healthy one.
Dear London New Year firework display, I only saw you on the tv, but you were amazing.
Dear new potato peeler, You are a marvel, a wonder, a life-changer, a fantastic thing, a superbly crafted item, a … Ok, I will stop there, but you get the picture. I had no idea that peeling a potato or vegetable could be quite such an easy process. I had been struggling along with a couple of peelers which I thought were the best that I could get, but clearly not. You, the Lakeland Potato Peeler, have revolutionised my vegetable preparations and I’d like to thank you. I wish I had been given one sooner.
Dear garden birds, After a very quiet spell it was great to see you out in force again yesterday, even though the food supplies were looking a little low.
Dear camera, I seem to have lost the knack of using the zoom to good effect. Either that or you were just having an off day yesterday when I tried to take photos of the birds in the garden. I hope normal service can be resumed soon.