Friday, 29 May 2009

More skies

There's been no time for blogging this week due to our family gathering but the last of them left today so I'd better make a start on catching up.

I'm just in time for Skywatch Friday and, since we've seen quite a bit of the sun this past week, it's a good place to start.

Alex and Lewis, my niece and nephew, leaping off the dunes down at the beach. This was taken earlier today and they were making the most of their last hour or so in Hopeman before they headed off back to England.

Just one of a number of beautiful sunsets that we've enjoyed this week. This was taken last Friday at about 9pm. It was a wonderful night to be out, so calm and still.

To see a whole collection of fabulous skies from all around the world, click here.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Sky high

Jumping off the harbour wall, Adam is momentarily part of the sky

There are hundreds more skies to be seen over on Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Catching up

I'm quite behind with posts as things have been pretty busy here. It's going to get even busier with a family gathering coming up, more of which later.

Our run of blue skies came to an end with heavy showers today, but the following photos were taken when it seemed that summer was upon us. My lighthouse photo of last week featured a mass of gorse bushes and, for those that aren't familiar with it, here are a couple of closer views.

Although it is bright, colourful, long-flowering and smells delicious (rather like coconut), it is very invasive, takes over large areas and can be difficult to keep under control. Many of our favourite pathways along the coastline have disappeared under the gorse and there is no way you can push through it because it defends itself with some very nasty spikes! You can see them in the close up below.


A new cycle path has been built beside us, it's not very long at the moment as it is being done in stages but it can be joined up with a country route to make a nice circular ride. I took Jana out with the bike, planning it so that the strong wind was behind us on the more exposed section! She was off lead for half of the time and trotting next to the bike for the rest. Good exercise for her and me.

The nice new cycle path

I've always liked this tunnel of trees


Last Sunday Jenny and I, plus Jana, Brint and Keira, tackled Bennachie, a well known Aberdeenshire hill. It's very distinctive with its four peaks, the most interesting being Mither Tap, a knobbly granite point which was once part of an Iron Age fort. It can be seen on the far left of the photo below.

Bennachie (photo taken from Wikipedia)

Although not the highest of hills, it was steep enough in places to get me huffing and puffing and wondering what on earth I was doing there! The view from the top was well worth all the effort though. It is actually a broad, heather covered ridge with the peaks well spread out. Mither Tap is the one that seems to be the most popular with walkers but Oxen Craig is the actual summit and we wanted to take them both in.

Mither Tap appears out of the trees on the lower slopes

Jenny poses (reluctantly) with the dogs on Mither Tap

We stopped for lunch at the top and the dogs weren't left out. Jana and Keira wait for their biscuits

PLEASE can I have it?

Looking out over green Aberdeenshire

There was a championship show going on in Edinburgh and we were able to keep up to date with how friends were getting on via the wonders of modern technology! Jenny's daughter Ria was relaying results from the computer at home to Jenny's mobile phone.

Jenny gets the latest news

Looking across to the summit peak, Oxen Craig (L)

Coming down from Mither Tap

Interesting pancake-like rocks on the last climb

Oxen Craig, the very top, looking back at Mither Tap

The view north

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Mono time

The old pack horse bridge at Carrbridge

If you'd like to take part in Monochrome Weekly go and visit Aileni's blog.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Skywatch Friday

Covesea lighthouse surrounded by a sea of gorse

This is how our sky has been all this week, a beautiful clear blue and looking very much like the height of summer. Not quite summer temperatures though, due to strong winds, but here's hoping it's a sign of good months ahead.

Visit Skywatch Friday to see many more skies from all around the world.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Monochrome Weekly

I'm posting another castle for what was Monochrome Monday but is now known as Monochrome Weekly. Head over there if you'd like to join in or just to have a look at more black and white shots.

This is perhaps not the classic shot of Eileen Donan Castle but it's where I was at the time.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Skywatch Friday

Late afternoon calm at Findhorn

To see more wonderful skies from around the world go to Skywatch Friday.

Mission Impossible, Desmond's comeback and sunny Roseisle

Jana is in season at the moment and is quite delighted to suddenly find herself so popular with our boys, normally they want nothing to do with her! Her first season passed with virtually no interest from Louis and Desmond so I assumed that they were sensible enough to realise that she was way out of their league (and reach) and that there was simply no point in giving her the eye (or anything else for that matter).

It appears that this season things have changed. Maybe the last one was just a practice run and, now that she is slightly more mature, it's time for the real thing. All I know is that Louis is quite certain that this union is possible and is more than willing to give his all. Seeing as I'm not about to go down the 'designer dog' route (what would those pups look like?!), Jana will be kept out of the boys' way.

The photos below show that Louis thinks this mission is definitely NOT impossible!

"What do you mean, she's too big?!"

"I'm willing to try!"

We were at a show at the weekend, the first one in ages. It was a toy group open show so only the paps were entered and it was Desmond's first since he broke his leg. He is totally sound on it now and you would never think that there had been a problem.

Pansy was third in her class and Rosa took second in hers, being beaten by a lovely little bitch who went on to best of breed. Desmond was in sparkling form, helped by the fact that he was keen to impress some of the ladies in the ring with him, and he won his class! I almost forgot that I'd entered him in a second class and nearly missed it. I rushed in at the last minute, expecting Des to be beaten by some of the more mature dogs there but no, he won that class too!
He was in the running for best dog after that but his interest had waned by then and he looked decidedly fed up, it might have helped if there had been a nice female pap next to him but it was all dogs.

It was great to see him so perky, I hope he's the same for our next show at the end of the month. We just need a shortish class and lots of female company to keep up his interest.

The prize winners

Below are some photos from our recent Roseisle walk with Jenny, Ria and a bunch of dogs. It was windy but nice and sunny and there was loads of space because the tide was right out.

Jana enjoyed running through the water after the shepherds but, unlike them, she didn't venture deeper than chest level.

Almost the whole beach to ourselves!

Brint, Sadie and Keira waiting for the stick.

Brint has a good shake. (Click to enlarge and see the interesting water effect)

We walked back through the forest and Pansy finds some logs to pose on........ does Jasper (Poser Pug).

Keira looks very pleased with her find.

Jana scales the heights.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Mono Maniacs

My friend Jenny's three shepherds on our recent walk.
More to follow but in colour.
To join in the mono theme, go here