A flurry of blogposts and then nothing for a week. What is that all about?
Yep, last week's blogathon, with six posts in as many days, was all about the muse generated by the previous weekend's wildlifey activities, plus a free day to write and schedule the posts.
The fallow period thereafter was a result of a busy old time, with an anniversary (ours), a trip to England (ours), a wedding (a nephew), visitors (Dr Jelly and his girlfriend), man flu (me) and knee surgery (Our Lass).
Remarkably, none of the above resulted in many photographs (though there are a few x-rays) and even less nature-watching, which presents something of a problem for a putative nature blog.
So, without the aid of an electron microscope, how do I extract the tiniest sliver of natural history from that lot?
Well, as I scan back through the meagre pickings in my Pictures folder, I see that the first thing that happened was the arrival of our visitors. Dr Jelly is a good friend of Second Born and a marine biologist specialising in Cnidaria (jellyfish to you and me). His girlfriend is currently on a work placement within Orkney, so he took the opportunity to journey north and here they are in our kitchen...
Several days later, it was our wedding anniversary, and for weeks I had been struggling with ideas as to what would make a suitable gift for Our Lass. Then, as happens from time to time, Fate intervened. Through my work, I met a lady, Carrie Paxton, who had recently moved to Orkney and who is an interior glass designer. Whilst busying around her home, it was impossible not to notice, and be very impressed by, the curved glass panels on display.
Light bulb moment!
Once home that evening and with the earlier idea burning away on a slow fuse, I fired up my computer and hit research mode. Now, whilst we have very few birds that frequent our garden all year round, one of these species is the Wren. As luck would have it, on Carrie's website, there were a couple of curved panels featuring some wee Wrens. Yay!
And very nice they are too.
A few days later, Our Lass and I journeyed south to attend a family wedding. We stayed overnight with Second Born in Milton Keynes (my first trip back to the city since leaving in December 2013). Walking back to her flat from the pub, in the twilight, we spotted an urban Fox slinking along a redway, keeping to the shadows and ever watchful for food! The wedding the next day was near London and I was on a very tight leash as regards nature watching (no bins, no camera, no free time), but it was great to catch up with folk, some of whom we had not seen for many a year. Despite the constraints of formality, I managed to hear a Nuthatch and some Ring-necked parakeets, as well as see four (sadly unidentified) dragonflies. Obviously, the fairest damsel was the lovely bride. The ceremony and reception went well, with dancing and carousing late into the evening, although I wimped out long before midnight.
Returning to Orkney, after hanging around in several thronging airports, it was good to be greeted, on our arrival, by a spectacular sunset, a gentle breeze and the call of a lone Curlew.
Since then, I've succumbed to the dreaded lurgy and Our Lass has headed off to Aberdeen for a knee operation. One of the compromises to be made when living in Orkney is that some medical care is not available at the local hospital in Kirkwall. Consultants from mainland Scotland visit on a regular basis, but the actual surgery is carried out in either Aberdeen, Inverness or Glasgow. Our Lass's new ambulatory augmentation has been christened Betaknee (Betony?) by First and Second Born. Where do they get their quirky thoughts from?