Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A mixed bag (Days 31 - 40)

Day 36 - My Valentine Days Picture of Jim
I now seem to be getting into the swing of this and must admit to finding it a little easier with the odd day of sunshine - ok that may be an exaggeration, but it hasn't rained every day and it could be described as positively bright on occasion!
Day 31 - Snowdrops: The flower of hope
Spring is definitely on the way and my snowdrops (a topic I have previously covered) have put on a good show over the last few weeks, the daffodils are starting to poke their heads up and so are the croci.
Day 32 - Heather showing some early colour
Strangely enough my heather has also started to bloom, which I was not expecting until May or June! However these are probably confused plants as I rescued them from a B & Q store last year for 50p as they were essentially dead!
Day 33 - Clouds lift to show the snow capped mountains of Arran
For most of the last few weeks we have had snow on the mountains and when the clouds clear this looks awesome. Inviting and scary all at the same time; Arrans mountains are definitely not to be underestimated in full winter conditions.
Day 34 - A visit to the Business Gateway office
The bad days have seen me catching up with paperwork - a worthwhile exercise as the tax man has now paid me back some money - and I'm starting to get ready for the coming season.  I always find it interesting to see how other people work and am amazed at the different styles of office (good and bad).  Not everyone has a tuba sat in the corner.  But that's what you can find in Derek Shand's office.
Day 35 - Surreal steam
Thursday afternoon was another cold one, and I was running a catch up session for a couple of students where we needed to be outside, so I took the opportunity to grab a shot of the stream before returning home.
Day 37 - North Glen Sannox bridge
Friday the 14th was memorable, and not just for being Valentines day. It started bitterly cold and yet again my students turned up for their outside lesson the last one of a short course where all their skills are put into practice - hard when fingers are frozen to the core! In the final exercise I found some warmth in the Holy Isle Ferry cabin on Lamlash pier where Jim (see above) was good enough to let me photograph him.  Men with beards are very photogenic and this is my favourite picture from the last 10 days. The afternoon brought the island to a standstill with vicious snow storms and howling gales.
Day 38 - Remains of Kildonan castle 
A free weekend loomed and I was frustrated at not being able to get into the mountains due to a leg injury but shorter low level walks, just to the snow line kept me out of trouble and meant that I could take both dogs (Bowser isn't fit enough to do full mountain days).  A saunter up North Glen Sannox followed by a day on the beach at Kildonan ensured I had sufficient exercise and fresh air.
Day 39 - Watson
Monday came round quickly, and with it more of the wet stuff - it's hard to believe we were all screaming drought two years ago. Tuesday and day 40 was fine again in the afternoon, so I decided to take a walk somewhere a bit different to usual and explored a little of the coast around Imachar.  The sea was calm so it was great for bird spotting - albeit the majority were too far away for a photo.  The Eider duck seem to have survived the storms well and large flocks floated off the shore, along with smaller groups of razorbills.  Other divers were there (photo's still being looked at for id purposes) including the Great Northern Diver, Black and Red Throated divers.
Day 40 - Shags at Imachar 

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