Monday, 10 April 2017


Recovery Sunday run at Gullane. With bees.

More glorious weather. Well to start with. I was tired from the AJMW the day before but the legs felt remarkably ok as long as I didn't run flat out. We did the usual route although due to the weather window started earlier in the day - about 11.30am - as remarked upon by the staff at Falko's.

Lots of butterflies on the golf course part of the JMW and we stopped a couple of times to take photos enjoying having no agenda. I had a feeling there might have been Fritillaries yesterday but didn't get any definite sightings. Today it was just those that hibernate here, Tortoiseshells and Peacocks. The butterfly bible I have, says Red Admirals do NOT hibernate, that is a myth. Loads of website say otherwise. I think the climate change and milder winters may be making the myth a reality. Also the Peacock (above) is one of the least successfully illustrated by the very talented Richard Lewington. All those browns get a bit soggy. Might give it a go. I've been meaning to get out the paints but I always seem to be out running.

Mary says with such pretty pyjamas it's a surprise they wear such woolly undies.

We often stop, out of habit, at Marl Loch. Mary had been googling recently and come across a definitive list of critters who occupy the premises or nearby-abouts which makes fascinating reading. If that link doesn't work google Marl Loch Aberlady and look for an East Lothian Council pdf. I am familiar with most of the fauna mentioned from dragonflies and butterflies (haven't seen a Small Heath that I am aware of,) and interesting to see just how many other non regulars there are. Knew about the tawny owls didn't suspect otters although they are over-rated. Mary and I once saw a gaggle of otters really close up in the zoo and they were stinking of fish and lost all of their mystique. Just rat-like wee runts. And big fishy stink. You wouldn't want one in your back garden. But hey they're scarce so everyone goes look at the lovely fish-rats. And mink. Now there's something you defo don't want. Imported for coats and scarfs set free by do-gooders and scourge of all wildlife above and below the waterline. Except otters. Which there aren't enough of to keep the mink at bay. Happily the one at Aberlady didn't return. You get the feeling the birders might have employed a hit man. 

And the sentence (re some pit traps set for spiders) "Sadly, on 29th May, into one of these traps fell what was identified as a common lizard. This represents the first ever record of this species here." Oops. We had a lizard but in noticing it, killed it.

Anyway, what with all this info, we had a notion to stop by and look at the ghost toad corpses and see what else was about. I'll tell you what, and it wasn't mentioned in the list of vertebrates. A couple canoodling right on the loch side. Disgraceful! And when I say canoodling I mean dry humping right there 20 yards off the main path. We had to walk over to the bit behind the bushes pretending to look for otter tracks. But really we were both like, eugh get a room you 2. I mean you expect that at yellowcraigs.


that means  b i g  s k y  says Mary

There was a warm mistiness that was pleasing and yet not very photographable. I wished, like Mary, I had worn a vest rather than t-shirt and even had my shirt off - taps aff - for a bit along the beach. But being aware of other folk's sensitivities had the decency to redress shortly afterwards.

Mary came up with the idea of having a bee-off. Competition to see who could snap the best bee photo as there were many buzzing around the flowering bushes. We didn't even need to get home and view the results to know that Mary had won. (see Mary's blog here to see her photos.) My photos didn't even have bees in them. I'm not a huge fan of bees the way I am of butterflies and can't really find the required effort to put in. Then Mary noticed a tic on her arm. We had been wandering a bit off the main path and through deep grasses. We looked at our legs and I had maybe 7 or 8 on my lower legs! Mary flicked them off before they started drilling for the good stuff and later we checked more carefully. I managed to bring one home anyway. So do be careful if you are wandering about the paths and grasses along that coast as there are plenty of deer and it is the deer tics that will give you Lime Disease which can be deeply unpleasant.

no bees


Then home via Kinnaird Pk (sodom and gomorrah) to buy a tv. Have replaced the old telly with one 40% larger and 75% lighter and it includes a dvd player and the internet and what used to be a set top box. Hope to be watching it as little as possible.

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