It's Thursday, or at least it will be when I post this, and the last day of my trip at work (all being well - we have some very disruptive variables when it comes to going home by helicopter from a boat anchored in the North Atlantic). It seems a good time to post the odds and ends from my May/June time off before I go and gather up some more stuff.
June has seen some of the country get some awful rain and I've heard somebody say it may be one of the wettest on record. I seem to have avoided the worst of it and still had a few good weather days right up to coming back to work.
But we start of at the end of May when it was still Summer with a trip round the botanics and these two ducks which became the first subjects of my camera for a couple of weeks.
A Heron on one of the Botanic's ponds.
A couple of shots from the winding path through their Japanese hillside
These blue poppies are the national flower of Bhutan
While out for a walk along the Water of Leith we spotted this heron looking for fish.
We often emerge from the Water of Leith at the Modern Art Gallery. That day on their lawn they had two old aeroplane engines. It's Roger Hiorns, Untitled. If this isn't grabbing you as art then you can go for the technical side they're two EC-135c aircraft engines from a decomissioned military surveillance plane that was used in Afganistan. I think they look quite good sitting out on the grass.
Last year in this blog we went for an evening wander out by Ratho village to look at the cup and ring markings that were in the woods there. It was a very pleasant stroll indeed and we returned again a few weeks ago. They've placed a few benches at particularly picturesque points.
Zooming out a bit you get the distinctive panorama of Edinburgh - The hill you see is Arthur's Seat which is right in the middle of the city. It looks a lot further away than it feels to drive.
Just above the Harbour in Kirkcudbright is a wee grassy mound with some good leafy trees and a couple of cannon. It's accessed through this gateway (amongst other routes)
I must have walked through it hundreds of time but only a couple of weeks ago did I notice that there wa a face on it - suits a bunch of flowers doesn't it.
The boats were leaving for a few days fishing as I was sitting there - the river is tidal here and they can only get in and out of the harbour at certain times. I reckon that this is about as low in the tide as it could be to let a boat out.
I spotted a helicopter - a Lynx I think - while I was out for a stroll.
Glasgow has a Gallery of Modern Art too. This statue of the Duke of Wellington stands (or in the Duke's case, sits) outside it. The Duke usually wears a cone on his head but when we passed it the horse was wearing it. Quite dapper!
On the day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee we were walking through Princes Street Garden where there was a concert in the ampitheatre by Bengali singer Momtaz Begum. The ampitheatre is known as the Ross Bandstand which is perhaps playing it down a little. Back to the point, there's a tune from Momtaz here.
Also in the gardens, a feathered friend.
I just caught the end of the medieval fair when I was in Kirkcudbright. Maybe it was the weather but it seemed a bit pared down from last years. This lot look more English civil war period - they are actually a division of the Sealed Knot, probably the country's biggest civil war reenactment group.
This mob are slightly more the right period.
Finishing off with a bang.
Back on the Water of Leith we spotted this little chap. That's him right in the middle of the picture.
He's a dipper. Lovely wee birds who inhabit our waterways.
And here he is living up to his name and having a dip.
This wern was spotted on a seat in the gardens at Kellie Castle
In one of the shelters that run along the edge of Princes Street Gardens, somebody had hung a black rectangle.
I think it's intended to be a frame.
Now there's a picture!