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.
The 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.
I got too close and scared them, so they moved their party to the tree.
Aren’t they marvelous?
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
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
bright 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.
New 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.
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.
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.
Business trip serendipity. Memories. Good times. Edinburgh rocks.
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.
More on “Fittie” later – it rocks! (It’s a tiny town worthy of Scruffy.)
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