Monday 20 May 2024

Holiday time!

So it's time to say goodbye to this year's glorious rhododendron blooms in Duthie Park.

I'm excited to tell you that, later today, I'm off to my holiday home. I'll be staying with my lovely relatives, the Craigmancie Foxies, while Gail heads to Slovenia, where she'll meet her American friend Marse and they'll spend a couple of weeks exploring that country together. 

The rhoddie flowers will likely have wilted by the time I'm back in the park. Rest assured friends, this WFT is not for wilting!

But while I am rampaging around the fields and farmyard with my extended fox terrier family, my blog will be 'on paws'.

Normal service will resume in early June.

Friday 17 May 2024

Meditations from a walk along the cliffs


Sea fog blurs boundaries.
What should be distinct, dissolves.
No clear dividing line separates
Water and sky.
In the distance, only uncertainty. 
No stable reference frame.

But focus close beside the path,
On gentle pink splashes of sea thrift, 
Red campions, bluebells, bird's foot trefoil,
The pure delight of stitchwort white.
Fret not about what’s vague, far off, disturbing.
Treasure the near and dear and lovely.

Happy Nature Friday to all our dear and lovely friends, near and far! 

Wednesday 15 May 2024

A misunderstanding about the seesaw

So Gail tells me the time has come on my "agility journey" for me to master the seesaw.

Well I've seen the little humans in the park playground, so I know how it goes. Gail sits at one end and I sit at the other and we have fun bouncing up and down. 

Given that we don't have a photo, I asked Gail to sketch the scenario, and she duly obliged -  see image below. She says she would have done better, but couldn't find a rubber (that's an eraser to our American friends) and had the cheek to blame me for stealing the one she keeps on her desk.

The problem, as clearly illustrated in the otherwise mediocre drawing, is that I weigh 9 kg versus Gail's 57 kg, so I'll be needing some of my bigger agility pals to balance things out. 

I know, I'll recruit my training partners Harrison and Ripple. They won't mind me asking their weight, will they? 


It seems I've "misunderstood" the whole point of the seesaw exercise.

Apparently I'm supposed to run all the way along the plank, while Gail shouts: "Seesaw! Seesaw!" And I'm not supposed jump off in a panic when it tips and makes a loud clattering noise.

Hmmm. I'll think about co-operating, on the usual condition that there'll be a treat at the end...

Sunday 12 May 2024

An auroral escapade

So I was all safely tucked up in my kitchen crate on Friday night when I heard Gail coming down the stairs and slipping quietly (so she thought) out of the front door. 

Most unusual behaviour. My owner is definitely not a night owl and, to be frank, neither am I. There was a moment of high alert, then I rested my head back on my comfy cushion and, after briefly wondering what on earth she could be up to, I went back to sleep. 

In the morning Gail showed me these photos on her phone, and told me how she, along with seemingly half the population of Aberdeen, had been enjoying the natural light show at the mouth of the harbour around midnight.

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? Or maybe heard this old favourite Aberdeen song? 

Friday 10 May 2024

Roaming free (eventually) on Morven

The weather was set fair on Wednesday for a roam up and around Morven, our favourite Aberdeenshire Hill.

See how I am on a lead at the start of the walk. 

This unsatisfactory situation persisted while we ascended the first, rather steep, section of the hill.

Gail claimed I was restrained because of the sheep grazing on the lower slopes. But we passed a group of hikers who offered an alternative explanation. They had paused to 'admire the view' (i.e. catch their breath) and commented on how lucky Gail was to have a dog helping to pull her up the stiff gradient.

Do you think they were right?

What's certainly true is that when we reached the gentler slopes of the broad summit plateau I was at last allowed to roam free. So I raced on ahead, stopping only occasionally to remind Gail to hurry up and ensure we reached the small summit shelter ahead of the group we'd passed.

I'm pleased to say we made it! As usual on top of a hill in Scotland, even the least protection from the wind was welcome.

I was a good boy and did not chase the solitary mountain hare we saw near the highest point, or the brace of ptarmigan on stony ground a bit lower down. Gail failed to catch these on her camera, but she did take some photos of the wild, expansive landscapes which we both love.

Near the end of the walk, and entirely of my own volition, I took preemptive action to avoid the need for a bath in the kitchen sink.

Wild swimming (or at least wading) is so much more fun than a home shampoo, don't you think?

Happy Nature Friday friends! Once again we are delighted to take part in the LLB Gang's always wonderful blog hop.