Sunday, 27 November 2011

Take a walk on the wild side

A nice day for getting the wellies out and heading up to the woods behind the old hill fort where the king's grave is. Beautiful sunny afternoon with a touch of winter in the air, but the wellies were definitely a necessity thanks to the mountain bike vandals who've churned all the paths into a muddy swamp.

This is a great time of the year for seeing things that are a little different. A flock of bullfinches feasting on the seeds among the dead nettles; long-tailed tits hanging upside down from the branches of a silver birch; woodcock and snipe exploding out of the flattened bracken and whipping away low and fast like mini-Meschersmitts. And of course, there are the old favourites; the pheasants hiding away from the guns on the estate over the other side of the river; an enormous buzzard that flapped majestically away accompanied by an escort of shrieking crows; the big roe deer that I caught sight of bounding down the hill through the trees that naturally didn't linger long enough to get a decent picture of.

At least the fungus stayed still long enough for a picture

The Allan was in full spate, but no salmon to be seen

Dunblane Cathedral in the distance from the hilltop

Look close enough and you might see the roe deer
 The walk reminded me that I haven't been getting out enough lately. Hopefully that will change this week when I reach the end of the first draft of The Isis Covenant, but the editor's rewrite of Avenger of Rome is just around the corner, so we'll see.

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