It’s coming into blackberry time in my part of the world, and this morning I went out to see what I could find. I got a decent boxful but many of the berries are not yet ripe. What we need is a warm sunny spell to sweeten them and make them nice and fat.
Heather-clad hills in the distance and rosebay willowherb flowering in the foreground near Broughton in the Scottish Borders.
While out for a walk in sunny Perthshire yesterday, the view below made me think of the Caribbean. My fellow walkers didn’t see what I was getting at, but perhaps a well-placed palm tree or two would have convinced them. The lush green expanse (which I like to imagine being a crop of yams) was a field of potatoes.
The bark of a giant redwood tree is so spongy and robust that you can punch it without damaging either yourself or the tree, and its incredible thickness makes the tree essentially fireproof. Redwoods can live for hundreds, even occasionally thousands, of years, withstanding numerous fires that would burn and shrivel other trees. The tallest known tree in the world is a giant redwood, named Hyperion, located in California. In 2006 its height was accurately measured as 379.1 feet, but it’s still growing. It’s estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old. The redwood in my picture isn’t anything like as tall as Hyperion, but it’s still an impressive specimen. I looked up at it in awe yesterday during a visit to Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders.
Someone recently gave my sister an old piano. It wasn’t in great condition, so she thought she might break it up and use the wood for something. Then she had the idea of turning it into a bench seat for her garden. She lives in a rural area and the local taxi driver has started pointing it out to visitors when he drives them past her house.
The red car in the middle of this photograph is driving north on the A93 road, through Glenshee in Perthshire. After winding round the mountain in the middle of the picture, the road has a long, steep climb up to the Glenshee ski centre. At that point, it is the highest public road in the UK, at 670 metres (2199 feet) above sea level. It often gets blocked by snow in the winter, but at this time of year it makes for a lovely drive.
There are two beaches in the Fife village of Aberdour, separated by a headland. The larger of the two, and very popular in the summer, is called the Silver Sands. A quiet road leads down to the smaller, and much less busy, Black Sands (whose sands are, in fact, white). This year, Black Sands beach won a Keep Scotland Beautiful Beach Award, and last year the nearby toilets were winners in the National Loo of the Year Awards.