Wednesday, 20 November 2019

fab friday

Friday 8th Nov.
Mary had celebrated her birthday week by taking time off work. On Friday the weather looked good for a bit of a run over the Pentlands. Around midday we had coffee and cake in the excellent Pentlands Cafe at Flotterstone. Unusually we sat in, rather than carried out, and while there, bumped into a couple who asked us about routes over the Pentlands. Although walkers they seemed very fit and talked about cycling trips through Europe (Finland to Thailand?!!!) and were not only up for adventures but doing it in an admirably eco fashion. They had arrived in Edinburgh off a train, rather than out a car. (And it wasn't a budget thing as they were also talking about an interest in Shand cycles.)

our pals from the cafe

The forecast was mixed - sunny to start, then cloudy, then sunny again. The forecast has been a bit all over the place recently and not terribly reliable. However that was exactly the outcome and just about exactly to schedule. 

The hills behind South Black Hill (possibly the Lammermuirs) getting a bit of a downpour. We had braced ourselves for worse weather but happily it didn't arrive.

We headed off the main ridge before the kips and down to the Howe

then up Black Hill

thin ice on the mini (dragonfly) pond up Black Hill

cloud clearing away

never an easy climb up Bells

down Maiden's Cleugh to Glencorse Res.


sun shining and still water made for great photos

sun going down behind Turnhouse

10+ miles and 3.5hrs fun

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

geese are getting fat

We have changed dealers. We now get our Gullane coffee and scone from Goose on the Green. I just hope we aren't spotted by the Village Coffee House family along the road who would feel we were cheating on them. I have terrible guilt pangs. GotG is nearer where we park at the toilets and the scones are quite a bit bigger. Yes the serving teenagers aren't really paying attention and seem to regard the customers as an inconvenience. But those scones...

Anyway it was November the 5th, remember remember, and the geese were getting fat. Me too. Possibly the pendulum of work/running was swinging towards work. My body senses the cold weather and goes into hibernation mode and I eat like bear. And if I drop running to once or twice only a week I'm in trouble. Oh well. Best to make a little money for a December holiday we have booked. Second flight abroad this year, poor Greta T will be sending me hate mail. How dare I?

Mary, berries

I didn't see this sign till I got home with these photos.

The light, from Archerfields onwards, just got better and better.

The only other puffin I've seen along East Lothian coast line was here as well 
and also dead.

I think that was the last of the sun. We had been hoping for a spectacular sunset but it disappeared behind a thick bank of low cloud and things returned to more normal lighting.

a late fox moth caterpillar

Aberlady beach

Although we didn't get much of a sunset we were treated to the impressive spectacle of thousands of geese coming along the coast and landing just the other side of the estuary at Kilspindie golf course. At first it was just a hundred or 2 in their v formations. And then we would hear more honking, look up and the sky would be full of geese flying in skeins, all heading West as if to a predetermined time and place just beyond the bay. Some were flying erratically and almost looked to be tumbling out the sky, perhaps tired after a long migration, perhaps buffeted by turbulence. We watched one straggler being coaxed in by another 2, who flew either side and seemed to be helping it make the last few hundred yards. We could see them all descend to land in what must have been a huge festival of gooseness on the other side of the golf course. And all the honking as they flew overhead was delightful.

descending to Kilspindie

this amount of geese flew past for 5 minutes

by the time we crossed the bridge at Aberlady it was lighting up time

I was surprised that we extended the run beyond the usual circuit. The plan had been to head East from Gullane, through Dirleton to Yellowcraigs. Then back along the coast to Gullane, and if we had the energy to do the usual route in reverse. I was surprised when Mary opted to run past Gullane beach and do the extra 5 or 6 miles taking the total over 13miles. It was a decent afternoon, there were very few other folk around, and what with the sun and the geese and it not being too cold yet, it was all very pleasant. If a bit dark towards the finish. Lovely day out!

13.3 miles