It’s Friday already and just where has this week gone? This morning’s challenge is to write, upload photos and post in 40 mins! Is this possible? Maybe perhaps for many bloggers but well… I do ramble on a bit. Today, I am going to be brief. Yes, I have said this before but I want to ease you into the weekend with some images from this past week. The schools were off and we were out and about….
Dundee Botanical Gardens made our hit list on Monday. I took a number of photos but just loved this image of the cotoneaster berries beside this bench. Don’t you just love the weathered look of the bench with the berries?
Ah… but it is signs of Spring we are looking for at the moment and this garden didn’t disappoint. We’ve had a few sunny and warm days and what a difference this makes to the growth of plants and the volume of bird song. We were serenaded as we walked around this garden. It was a beautiful day.
A corner in the car park saw some signs of the heavy snow fall to this garden but the scent of the plant that I opened my car door to blew that right away! I am guessing it might have been a Daphne but I’m not certain. It was just the most beautiful welcome before we even walked through the garden’s entrance.
Beautiful heather bells caught my eye and the magical branches of Witch hazel which really capture my imagination. What a great name ‘witch hazel’ when it has such weird and wonderful flowers on its twisted branches isn’t it?
Spring flowers really are beautiful having such varied shapes of flowers from the yellow spire clusters on Mahonia to the modest nodding cup flowers of the hellebores. Blossom decorating bare branches is a sight for sore eyes after the dull days we have all had. But looking closer to the ground and here you’ll see the foliage plants are trying to get noticed too. They have rich colours complimenting the delicate ones of the blossom.
Ah… but before we shut the door on Winter and stride into the beauty that is Spring there is still plenty of Winter beauty out there too. Cardoon, Agapanthus and Hydrangea seed heads caught my eye in this garden on our walk. To me they act as both as successes from the year before and show the promise of the season to come. For the moment I still enjoy these images so I’ll just walk at a steady pace into Spring.
The birds… well they are a different matter altogether! Yes, they were signing their little hearts out as we arrived at the favourite Reserve of my daughter and I the next day. However, we weren’t gently serenaded on the short walk from the car park – it was full volume Dolby Surround Sound! So I guess they think Spring is well underway. Another clue to Spring is in the photo below although I wonder if you’d guess what’s going on?
The white arrow on the left points to the Osprey nest on the other side of the Loch. We watched the two men in the boat sail across. They were going to check out the nest ahead of the technician who was due in a few hours. Technician? Well, there is a camera up there to see the action in the nest and it gets checked out before the Ospreys return. It was fascinating to hear the men say that the birds were expected to be leaving Africa now and it would take them until March 18th (Est) to arrive at this nest. What’s more amazing is that the female has been returning here for 30 years!!
It was business as usual at the feeders with Red Squirrels popping by and the smaller birds descending on the feeders with a flurry. Even the Woodpecker joined in. Oh… and I should say I saw a Brambling for the first time. It was spotted near the quieter feeder to the side of the building. I stood ages outside with my camera hoping it would return but I never saw it again. Ah well… maybe another time. Oh… but all this excitement was quite a contrast to the geese wandering in fields along the roadside as we drove home.
We stopped briefly at the side of this very quiet back country road as I took a few snaps. I always suspected they were Greylag Geese but I didn’t know for sure when passing by the fields and driving at the same time! Yes, Greylag they were but who was the chap to their left all alone with a slightly different shape.
Well, hey… a bit of excitement with the geese after all! Looking at my books it appears that this is a Canada Goose and odd ones can join groups of Greylag. I’ll watch out for again now I know what it looks like. Another thing you need to watch out for in these quiet roads is the pheasants walking across them. The one above (taken by my daughter through an open car window) was lucky staying just along the edge but we spotted one less lucky on the road earlier.
Most times I have stopped along the side of the road to take photos of the geese they have instantly taken to the skies. However, this day, they were just wandering about the other side of the field. So now I have these photos how about if I just lift one arm up … yep they took to the sky and I got some photos of that too! ‘Isn’t that enough photos for the day?’ was the gentle request from my daughter. Yep… it was another beautiful day, the sun was shinning and it was time for Lunch!
Okay, it’s time for Lunch today and I didn’t quite make my 40 mins posting. Chatting in the real world on the phone, at my door and on the phone again well… it wasn’t going to happen! Ah… disappointingly the rain has started just as I was about to wish you a great weekend. I’m off out now on a long drive to collect my Uni daughter to bring her home for the weekend – she hasn’t been so well again. However, I am planning to take advantage of this journey looking to catch a snowdrop display at a garden on the way there!
Wishing you a great weekend in and out your garden – hope the weather is kind to you too!
All the photos above were taken between February 16th-17th, 2009.