On the Trail of the Black Swan

07 Feb

I heard a rumour that there are non-native Black Swans in one of our hill lochs and that was where I set out for yesterday. I encountered thick fog and went to Ross Bay instead as recorded in my previous post titled Fog on the Solway.

Today was different – crisp and sunny all round so off I went in pursuit of the Black Swans. First surprise was to come across this fella in the village of Kirkpatrick Durham on my route —

He seemed familiar and sure enough there was a card in the window saying he was the work of Colin Park who has opened a studio in Kirkcudbright and who I did a feature on late last year. See ‘Aren’t People Amazing’.

A few miles up the road I almost ran over a red squirrel who crossed my path so I crept back to see what had made her dice with death. I peaked over the wall and there she was digging up some nuts she had buried last autumn —

The red squirrel is one of our favourite native species and almost became extinct after someone imported non-native grey squirrels from the USA.

The grey squirrel carries a virus that almost did for our native reds but in recent years there has been a cull of the greys and thankfully our reds are making a come-back —

She’s a lil beauty 🙂

There wasn’t much snow around but it was quite wintry on the hills —

also lovely and crisp in the sunshine —

There are six pieces of art by the French sculptor Rodin scattered about the hills here and it’s easy to tell what was on his mind when he produced this piece —

I think he was having a laugh because it’s not one of his best by any means —

I can’t say his lady friend would turn me on either. I’m not sure what John the Baptist will make of it all when he comes striding over the hill —

I have met him before but still think he’s an impressive looking fellow.

Darby and Joan were there on the hillside too —

But what of my mission to find the elusive Black Swans? Well there were a few geese —

and lovely views —

even a mighty black scorpion —

or two —

So if rare birds are your thing you will just have to settle for this nice piece of Topiary from the side of the road –

That was another lovely day out – great scenery – a nice walk and a perfect picnic spot at the base of that tree by the old stone bridge —

The Hills are Alive

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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in out and about


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