Friday, 16 September 2016

misty eyed

I've been feeling run down since we got back - flu-like symptoms, a bit achey and defo not like going running. (Even missed club on Weds and Intervals yesterday, shock horror!) Post traumatic whatsit no doubt. Beginning to feel better each day and yesterday's run was just so good I feel mentally restored, if physically still below par. Mary drove us to Gullane and we did the usual Saturday story (on a Thursday) in rather misty surroundings that added to the experience rather than detracting. I reckoned the spiders thought it was bad news as their handiwork was revealed to their prey, but M assured me they would be sitting back going, 'see that - I made that; work of genius!'

new shoes - Claytons

For those who find the usual Hokas a bit narrow across the forefoot you might want to try the Clayton: superlight road shoe with broader forefoot than usual. Those nice folk at Run and Become don't stock it in their Edinburgh branch but they had some in London and were kind enough to send them North for me to try on. First thoughts are they are really light and you don't notice them on your feet. Best for parkrun to 20milers I imagine, and nice to see a relatively quiet colourway. Also coming soon from Hoka is an eagerly anticipated trail shoe the Speed Instinct; doesn't even look like a Hoka - low to the ground and again superlight. I had an order with this Spanish website but although they took my money and held it for 2 weeks they then reneged on the deal and didn't send the shoes. Got my money back. I see they are again saying you can buy them again from them. I would be tempted to get them from THIS website but they only stock the vomit and acid colourway designed for young people with colourblindness. Great price at £80, but that Hoka colour design team should be sacked. If anyone spots the blue ones on sale at a decent price let me know. Meanwhile I may buy a pair of Mafate Speed 2 for the Jedburgh Ultra. Trying them on at R&B shortly.

After coffee and a bun at Falko's we set off but not before madame was distracted by the empty playpark. I took the G3 again - I've really been enjoying the slightly classier photos it produces (esp in low light) even though it doesn't do panoramas or zoom higher than x3. 

The mist and high humidity left everything covered in water droplets. My eye was caught by the drip on the end of this dried plant (below) and it was only when I saw the pic on the computer I realised there was a tiny empty larva shell and some threads of silk between the stems of the plant. Reading about butterflies recently I realised the outdoors is chock full of eggs and larva and caterpillars and bugs and the closer you look, especially if you know where to look, the more you find. I haven't started to bring stuff home in jars yet but I can see that happening. Sometimes the best way to see a butterfly is to grow one from an egg or caterpillar. I bet they sell them on the internet. Wow quick google and hell yes you can. From caterpillars for kids to more exotic specimens and not even on the dark web! Probably moths on the dark web. Mary says I am not allowed.

Just over the bridge to enchantment and the pond (Marl Loch) was buzzing with life. The lack of breeze and warm sun breaking through the misty skies had the Common Darters out and about. Orange males were easier to spot than yellowy brown females and I was delighted to catch this pair in flagrante, although it didn't stop them flying off, looking remarkably like a (twin rotored) chinook helicopter.

I love these 2 shots. No wildlife, I was pretty much just shoving the camera into the undergrowth and clicking. The plants and light and dewy beads of water are filled with burgeoning promise.

Mary had left me to it and was miles away by now so I was going to run back to the path when this Darter (they are not THAT common let me tell you, at least not in Scotland,) flew out above the grass directly in front of me, anxious to star in the blog. I swiftly took about 30 photos of it, looking like a big red chilli pepper flying and landing nearby. Most, like the one above were pretty vague, but it landed and I rushed forward at a creep shooting from the hip not seeing if I caught the chap or not - the G3 only has x3 zoom so you need to pretty much be up next to whatever you are snapping and low to the ground. Most were partially or totally out of focus but this one below I was very pleased with.

By the time I caught Mary I was sweating with the exertion. The beach was strangely desolate. Sounds were keener but you couldn't see much beyond a hundred yards. It was eerily pleasing, especially with the sun threatening to appear.

These wee dudes went the whole length of the beach 30 yards ahead of us, flying if we got close then settling down to walking for a bit then flying again, all abreast, like a line of policemen crossing the moors.

crab pie!

Normally I scoff at the nudists but this guy seemed keen to avoid confrontation and turned as soon as he saw us (not much warning in reduced visibility) and looked a bit flustered, eventually walking out into the sea as we went past. I waved hello at his mate over in the dunes to suggest we were not (entirely) disapproving prudes.

I have seen puffball fungi before around here but never this big.
This fist-sized specimen had a large scar on top filled with greenish water rendering it even more lovely!

The misty weather seemed to encourage you to notice the details and colours more.

Mr. Crabby, hopping mad to have lost a couple of legs.

Tis the season of the Sea Buckthorn. The orange berries have appeared and hang around for most of the Autumn through Winter. And yes those are 2 spiders in the centre of the pic.

spot the spider

another fox moth caterpillar

I wondered if this one was going to pupate. You know, become a pupa. Embryo, larva, pupa, imago. I'll be asking questions later. Anyway I think it was about to turn into something like the dog coughed up and it landed in the bushes. And after a bit, out pops a Donnie Darko moth. Should've taken it home in a jar.

'see that - I made that; work of genius!'

Sea Buckthorn

thanks to Mary for photo

Proving you don't need to go hundreds of miles to exotic beaches when there are massive treasure troves right on your doorstep. 

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