The Little Brown Social Birds of Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland

I’m in a birdy mood! Yesterday’s post had a haiku and a variety of our feathered friends. Today, I’m sharing the social networking of just one flock of birds who fascinated me on a recent trip to Scotland’s Aberdeenshire region.

fullsizeoutput_2a92The ruins of Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven are surrounded by nature’s beauty: the sea, fields of heather dancing in the wind, gorgeous grain meadows and huge open skies. I’ve got a lot more to show you from the castle, but today, it’s just about that flock of fun little birds.

They swooped in en masse and settled on tall grasses, chirping and squawking. It seemed like they were talking.

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Birds in the field
Hanging Out
Hanging out
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Wait for me!
The Castle
The castle backdrop
Bird, Watching, Waiting
Sentry
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Togetherness
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Fluffy little thing

I got too close and scared them, so they moved their party to the tree.

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Watching, waiting
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Going the same direction

Aren’t they marvelous?

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Like Christmas tree ornaments

I’ve done my homework trying to identify the species who gave me so much pleasure that afternoon, and I’m not quite sure…I think they are twites, but I look to my Scottish readers to correct me.

And now I see an easy haiku in this:

a treasure trove of
twites in a tree near the sea
in Aberdeenshire

© Glover Gardens

Birdsong Haiku and Bird Appreciation 101

First the haiku:

hoot, screech, squawk, chirp, cheep,
caw-caw, honk, quack, trill and peep –
backyard birdsong bliss

I really, really like birds.  Looking at and listening to them makes me feel calm and contented, as though I’m on the front row observing a fluttering and dynamic ecosystem in fluid motion.

I’m not a good bird-watcher yet – I don’t even think I rise to the level of amateur – but I think it is in my future.

Likewise, I’m not great at bird photography, either, but I like trying and learning from my efforts.

So here are some happy bird pictures, just because.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Haiku: Something about the Light in Paris

“only in Paris” ~
or at least, that’s how it feels
when you’re in its glow

There’s something about the light in Paris.

Even on a gray day, there’s a champagne tint as daylight turns to dusk.

Check it out with me in the photos below, a simple view down a typical street in the City of Light.  A weak evening sun shines pale gold like bubbly on the buildings. fullsizeoutput_2a63

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I could’ve stood there for hours, watching the light slowly change, and the Parisians pass by.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Haiku: Bees on a Mission

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You have to look closely for the industrious bee on the middle flower, getting every last fragment of pollen

bees on a mission
devouring the last pollen
before winter comes

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These bees blend in, too, as they scour the flower of its potent pollen richness

There are lots of bees in Scotland, and they’re feasting.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Gulls of Aberdeen Harbor (including haiku)

I’m a gull watcher.

I like them. They remind me of where I grew up, in Gilchrist, Texas on the Bolivar Peninsula. Where nothing ever happened, and yet every day was interesting and different. We had lots of gulls.

Join me in gull-watching, in Aberdeen, mostly in the harbor. Just for a few minutes. Hear them squawking and cawing, and smell the sea air. Feel the peace seeping through your soul as the staccato screech of the gulls is accompanied by the soothing sounds of the waves. A gull haiku:

gulls soaring, screeching
pulling me home to the sea
you should come with me

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I’m a gull watcher.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Haiku: Unexpected Fireworks in Edinburgh and Memories

First the haiku, then the backstory.

fullsizeoutput_293fbright lights pop and fly
sparkly designs light the sky
memories float by

In Edinburgh for business this week, my colleagues and I were delighted to learn that fireworks were on the Monday night menu for the closing ceremony of the Edinburgh International Festival. This month-long celebration has been a thing since 1948.

After dinner in a traditional Scottish restaurant, we stood in the street and watched the fireworks, awestruck. For me, many memories floated by as I stood transfixed. Memories of fireworks and family in times past:

  • A cousin’s birthday party on the beach, when July 4th parent-sponsored fireworks started a brush fire, and all the able-bodied men in a 20-mile radius showed up, the eager, macho and beer-fueled volunteer fire departments of three tiny unincorporated towns. It was all rather exciting to us kids, and anticlimactic for the adults. It was blamed on a teenaged girl who pointed a bottle rocket the wrong way, but I had my doubts even then. Girls usually weren’t allowed anywhere near the bottle rockets…I’m just sayin’.
  • About 25 years later, another July 4th, this time with my 8 year-old son, just the two of us in our pajamas in the car, having decided at the last minute to catch the city’s show. We parked on the side of the road and watched from the car windows, singing The Rainbow Connection (from the Muppet Movie), changing to words to include family members and pets. Good times.
  • 1483864_10205441792634961_2157268836031657562_oNew Year’s Eve of 2014, in Breckenridge, Colorado, in a brutally cold -19F / -28C. There was a parade of skiers with red torches on their poles down the mountain in the early evening, and then fireworks later. Yes, I said -19 degrees – you can see it there on the car thermometer! It was bitter-bitter-bitterly cold, but also breathtaking and spectacular. And memorable.

Good times.

Back to the present, last night in Edinburgh. The fireworks were launched just behind Edinburgh Castle, on the far side from our hotel. Here’s the view of the castle from the hotel, in the daylight.

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When we thought the fireworks were over, we said our good nights and retired to our rooms, but lo and behold, the booms and sparkles started up again. I was lucky to catch the rest of it from my window.

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Business trip serendipity. Memories. Good times. Edinburgh rocks.

Do you have fireworks-fueled memories?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Haiku: Stray Cat Strut

sometimes you just know
that the other creature knows
you’re from the same tribe

This scruffy little tough guy is a Scottish charmer who knows a cat person when he sees one. An old Aberdonian tomcat who roams the streets of tiny (and also charming) Footdee, he has a whole Facebook group talking about him and worrying over his welfare. He patrols Footdee pretending to be a stray to collect treats and attention, but is very much loved and cared for by his owner-person. Completely ignoring my non-cat-loving colleagues, Scruffy sauntered up to me tonight in Footdee (pronounced “Fittie” by the locals) and circled my legs, doing the “doncha love me” figure 8 cat-dance. Of course he got a chin-scratching, head-stroking, scruff-ruffling petting session. He had me pegged as a cat person from the moment he sniffed me.

We’re from the same tribe, Scruffy and me, and we know it.

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I named this photo Stray Cat Strut, even though Scruffy (my name for him) isn’t a stray. He does rock his walk, a strutter indeed.

More on “Fittie” later – it rocks! (It’s a tiny town worthy of Scruffy.)

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Haiku: Summer Reminiscence

Unable to sleep last night in advance of an international trip starting today – I still get excited – I found myself reminiscing about summers past. Warm breezes, long and lazy days, fireflies at night sparking their way into my dreams.

midsummer evenings
wind softly kissing my face
firefly dreams glowing

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Wishing you happy dreams and fireflies…

© 2018 Glover Gardens