By which I mean SPRINGTIME! The toads have appeared from their winter dugouts and are going at it like there IS a tomorrow. The birds are singing. The sea looks almost inviting and the air is warm. Was it just freshly ground beans from Falko's or was it the first day of Spring? The toads certainly thought so. And there was a handful of them heading towards Marl Lochan for their annual festival of debauchery.
Now this chap caused a little stir on facebook. While it is sad he was lying by the road recovering from a pretty nasty incident with a car (I imagine), getting close up reveals the subtle but radiant plumage you don't always appreciate from the other end of the garden. (Some birds at this time of the year will be wearing breeding plumage and it may be that.) In fact folk who know their birds, were having doubts about this even being a commonplace chaffinch just because it was so glorious. Due to this I couldn't put it back on the pavement and (although I wanted to take it home and put it on the mantlepiece) placed it in the hedge off the ground. Where it did not look right either.
After spotting the first toad on the approach to Marl Loch we stopped there for a gander. Couldn't see any more except for these 2 which were both missing their hind legs. I'm thinking a heron, maybe a French heron is the culprit. If you look closely you can see a leech as well, yucko! Meanwhile Mary had spotted this couple (below) who were taking a time out and were very well camouflaged in the grasses.
The warm still air and broken sunshine was very cheering and Mary was putting in a fair bit of sprinting. She has been running much better all of a sudden and enjoying raising the pace out on her weekly runs. She spent far more time ahead of me than usual while I was messing about taking photos. But then we would both stop and get absorbed with sea shells or rock pools. For once the weather was encouraging rather than finding 5 minutes later you had to get going before catching your death.
maximum speed or mental age?
It was all so marvellous that when we got back to Gullane we extended the run over through the woods and back along the shoreline. In the small pond inshore there was a ton of frogspawn.
The photo above was taken just before returning to Gullane Bay, which would be out of shot to the left. The outcrop of rock is Gullane Point and the distant hills the Pentlands with the Kips showing in the dip. From where Mary is to the Kips is 24miles as the crow flies.
Very delightful run, (9miles) not only for all the flora and fauna and milder weather, but the promise of longer days, sunshine and the whole Spring and Summer ahead. FAB!