A Natural Ballet?

Before I say anymore if you are sitting there imagining a statuesque middle aged woman in a tutu and walking boots – stop!  Not a literal ballet and I was not dancing.  You will however note the word I have used to describe myself? I am getting less chunky by the week … but that will only continue if I manage to keep healthy and fit, which you will be aware I have been struggling with recently!

I had an adventure today – alas no bus involved but there was mud and water and snow and ice … and fresh air.

First though what about the dog walk? well I tried a new tactic today – I provided all commands using the whistle and my hand signals only – lo and behold Pup did every “hup” he was asked to and a couple of small “stays” for passing traffic.  The only time he let himself down was as we got nearly home and there were people – he just could not stop himself wanting to go say hello.  However we had a good walk which I think we all enjoyed much more than when Pup doesn’t listen to me.

After they were settled back home I set off with a picnic (apple, oatcakes and water) and my camera and thank goodness I took a walking pole.  There is an estate on the edge of Kirriemuir called Kinnordy and I have never followed the path on the estate that leads to the Loch which is full of wildlife.  I started off looking at the trees – no hawthorn leaves here yet – they just have the teeniest little red buds but I did find some fungi and haws still clinging to their twigs:

FungiHaw, buds and lichens

Ash

Plenty of healthy Ash

Catkins

Not a great photo – but definitely catkins!

It was shortly after this the path got really muddy – but I had my walking pole and there was a family walking behind me so I just kept going with my fingers crossed I did not slip!

Kinnordy

The Big House

Stone culvert

And then I reached the reserve managed by the RSPB.  I startled a Dipper from under the footbridge – no photo I am afraid but now I know it is there I will be looking to get pictures later in the year.  After the bridge the ground at the right is reed beds and currently flooded – and then iced over

Frozen flooded reedbeds

On the left  are farm fields and under one of the trees I heard a rustle.  I stopped to look and did not see the rustler but did see this ‘tussock’ of grass going up and down so obviously someone was wriggling around under here:

Just after that the path became quite badly flooded and the ground to either side was boggy where folk had avoided the flood – I decided paddling was the better option, the water was clear and I could see no more than an inch deep.

Wobbly contrail

Loch of Kinnordy

First glimpse across the Loch of Kinnordy

Swans

Swan’s bottoms!

Tit

A Great Tit

And then a challenge – to reach the Swamp Hide I had to use two boardwalks, the water wasn’t deep but you know what I am like with gaps over water!  Apparently a few weeks ago they were completely submerged so today I was lucky!

It is not deep!

Board Walk

I am pleased to report there was no panic attack, no dizziness – not even a dry mouth and it was so worth it when I got to the hide!

Swans

Swans

Crow taking skating lessons!

Konic Ponies

In the background you can see one of the Konic ponies which have been introduced to graze and create/support the right habitat for waders such as Snipe

Loch of Kinnordy

And in the last one you can see the geese in the background resting on the ice – shortly after this as I walked back they took off and made the most wonderful noise as they flew overhead.  I walked back on the same path and then through The Den to come homeward, seeing crows collecting twigs for the nests at the Den entrance and arriving home to two quiet and sleepy pooches.

I have more photos but I will save those for a gallery post or link them on here when I have put them up on one of my creative sites.  It was a great adventure and although it was wet and muddy I arrived home with dry, although tired, feet.  That was close to 8 miles of walking today … feeling god about that!

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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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