Sunday, 30 October 2011

John Boyne's Burn


After parking up near the Brig O' Fitch on the A970 we went for a wander and a picnic up the waterfalls on John Boynes Burn and with the heavy rain we've been having they were in full flow, cascading down the hillside and peaty brown.


This is the bottom of the falls. We worked our way around and up the falls and the slippy banks.


And up we went...




So lovely and such a lovely day too...


Looking back down to the A970



There are numerous slowly swirling pools between the cascades.




Sometimes even short heather is too long for little legs.


And as the falls were pretty much petering out to the flatter moor top we decided it was time to head back down and see what we could see.


Across the valley the Burradale Sisters did their thing


As did Clare and Beren. Are the balancing or flying planes?


They spied a little eerie...


And sat to admire the view...


It's funny when you drive past on the road it just looks like a barren bog land with the odd peat stacks, but get down in it and you forget the road is there.


 At the bottom of the bank we headed for a likely looking brige. Time for some poo sticks and rock throwing!


 

And a slow wander back to the car and home for tea. we forgot the clocks had changed and you could tell.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Flying visit...

Well I didn't get up to too much in the school holidays this time, a few trips out with Beren and a couple of little trips out getting used to my kayak, but mainly resting up still.


We did get away for a long weekend back home though. A quick unexpected visit home and our first time flying to Edinburgh and then hiring a car for the rest of the journey. It worked out well, but the return flight was one we won't forget for a while, or at least the night landing in a force 8 cross wind at Sumburgh. Even when the plane was stationary for us to disembark it was bouncing and rattling about!


Despite the need for our visit home we managed to get out a bit though and I got to have a proper introduction to my daughter's new horse 'Tilly' her wedding present from her husband. 


She was having her first hair cut and not too happy about it. Why Robyn decided to get her clipped in winter I don't know, but she looked pretty silly with a twitch on her to try to keep her calm as the job was done!


Looking all posh it was time for a little photo shoot on a gorgeous day. First up is Faith, my grand-daughter, not at all deterred by sitting on a 16 hand horse...


Beren was happy getting led round too...


As was Clare...


And Robyn put her through her paces in the arena while I looked on feeling a bit too rough and stiff for riding.


Another treat for me was a visit to 'The Woods', when we were kids they were such a major feature in our lives that they were just 'The Woods'. I do miss the woodland from time to time when I'm up in Shetland, but there is plenty to make up for it. 


Along with 'The Woods' was 'The Conker Tree'; still there and still producing conkers, although at a less prestigious rate. 'The Fallen Down Tree' sadly disappeared many years ago.



In The Woods is 'The Bridge'...


standing over 'The Beck'


And not far away 'The Second Bridge'. There is also a third, but only the most adventurous got there when we were kids!


'The Easter Field' still looks over our main entrance to  'The Woods' and 'The Moors' beyond


And going in to 'The Woods' from 'The Second Bridge' gives some great views towards the coast and the last remaining 'shaley' from the iron stone mines, Kilton Shale Tip.


I had a great little wander round my some of my childhood haunts. Next visit I think I'll visit some more of our secret places, though many have now gone and others seem pretty insignificant to an adults eye.


Beren and I also had the chance to visit a iconic landmark of Teesside on it's 100th Anniversary, The Transporter Bridge. A rare breed in the world of bridges. In my first job after finishing Poly I worked for the old County Council looking after Public Rights Of Way, a job I loved, and for some reason was based in an office with street lighting engineers. These colleagues first 'lit' the bridge to provide what is a bit of a night-time spectacle now.


 The company my brother now works for are involved in it's maintenance now and were inviting people to go there for a visit and climb up and across it. Most excellent!


The yellow structure is  the 'gondola' which carries foot and vehicular traffic across the Tees. This amused me as one of my brother's friends thought we were going to cross on a little boat, presumably complete with a cornetto!


It's quite a climb to the top...


And quite a view over Teesside...


Beren seems to have got the idea that smile now means pull a funny face! It might not be obvious but through the big gaps in the railing behind him is a direct drop to the Tees, hence my brothers vice like grip on his arm.


Thankfully, it seems now a days the only people taking the plunge are the bungee jumpers. I do worry about Beren as he was a bit put out that we couldn't go down the rope like they did. No idea where he gets it from!


I would have liked to do a bungee jump, something I've never done, but I'm not so sure about getting poked in the head with a stick at the other end.


Anyway that's all folk from the flying visit 'sooth'. Hopefully I'll be back out and about finding new places in Shetland again soon...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ghost Dove

We have a number of collared doves that we see regularly in the garden and about Scalloway. This morning as I was sat on the sofa a loud bang gave me a good gluff and I saw one of them had crashed into the window leaving it's mark...


... a ghostly print of it's body, head and tail along with the graceful curve of the leading edge of it's wing and on the upper wing it's primary feather tips.


Pretty cool and pretty spooky. The dove seemed to fly away unharmed, but I guess we should wash the windows now!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Pumpkin Progress

Beren and I have been working on a Super Scary Pumpkin mask for the Halloween party at nursery and Scalloway Hall. Here's the recipe:


Take one balloon, sellotape it to give it a flatter, pumpkin look...
Guess the size of the head to go in it...
Shred the Shetland Times and dip in watered PVA and apply...
Leave to dry abd POP the balloon...
Cut out teeth and eyes...


So far so good!



Over several days:
Paint on poster paint mixed with PVA...
Paint on poster paint mixed with PVA...
Paint on poster paint mixed with PVA...
Realise that after several coats you'll never cover the print...
Note to self- paint with white emulsion first next time...
Use various old paints and a back marker to make a 

TOTALLY AWESOME SCARY PUMPKIN MASK!!!


Think:


Oh yeh, that's great we're definitely going to win, just need to make the suit now...



 Feel totally deflated when he decides he wants to be Darth 'bloody' Vader instead!


And it won't even fit my head or Clare's. I'll have to stick to my troll mask again this year; Clare erm...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Marshmallows and Mushrooms

This afternoon Beren and I stopped off at Scalloway Meat Company for a few snacks and some marshmallows for a little trip to the Forest Of Kergord.


Beren found a light-sabre to scare off any Gruffalos we might see. Seemed to work as we never saw any!


He was also pretty adventurous clambering over that fallen tree you see in the background, with me waiting to catch him, not that he fell.


Our mission was to go to the old house at the top of the woods for a picnic, a fire and to toast marshmallows. He checked out the bridge before I could cross.


Unfortunately his scouting out the bridge resulted in the loss of his toy car into the raging torrent below...


Actually further up stream the burn was a bit livelier, but I think the ferns give away the scale of the deadly falls.


Anyway we safely survived the gloriously autumnal woodland to arrive at the old house and get a fire going.


We even toasted some marshmallows, but Beren preferred them un-toasted and decided all the pink ones were his!


After a while we did a bit more exploring and came across dozens of these fungi. Rufous Milkcap I think, not that we about to cook and eat them. If you can confirm what they are let me know. They were pretty old so probably not the true colour. Bonny though...



These too, Hypholoma Capnoides, I think. Beren was worried that the animals had been munching at them and might have poorly tummies; he might be right as it's very similar to some poisonous ones. I'll stick to field mushrooms, shaggy ink caps and a few other obvious edibles I know.


But his prize find was a baby tree for the tree guard he had found, some sort of white beam I think. We also found a few small horse chestnut trees, but not matured enough for conkers. We'll have to got to the trees in town at Hayfield house for them I reckon.


After that we had a scenic drive home. Mmm... wonder where we'll get to tomorrow...