Monthly Archives: December 2013

Walking the Wetlands

Walking the Wetlands is a bit of a mis-nomer as it was mostly dry underfoot thanks to the Scottish National Trust wallahs and their path-building expertise on Threave Estates.

Just a few miles from my door – it’s a nice place to go with flask and sannies even at this time of year when the ospreys are back in Africa on their winter migration.

Threave Castle at Xmas 001

I miss my binoculars on days like this but I sent my Bushnell Elite binos back to the importer for repairs to the spring loaded strap fixings after they gave way and almost dropped overboard in a hairy moment. Would you believe – the importers have gone bust and my binos have been posted missing. That’s a lot of cash to lose but I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. No worries – it’s something less to carry and I seem fated to lose my binos anyway as I left my Leica’s behind in a bird hide a few years ago and never saw them again either.

At least I had my wee Canon Powershot SX210 camera – slips in the pocket and so easy to use – even by a duffer like me —

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There was a whole host of swans enjoying the recently created wetlands just outside the bend in the river —

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I love it here —

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It’s seldom busy at this time of year and the osprey viewing platform makes for a useful dry-standing to stop for a cuppa – even if I’ve taken my life in my hands by showing this photo. Yes I forgot to use the quirky thermos cup I got as a Christmas present!

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The all-important osprey nest is way over there behind me —

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After my nettle tee I swam across the river here – invigorating stuff nettle tea —

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and climbed up the tree to photograph the nest —

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But that would get me into trouble with the Trust Rangers so I will let you work it out for yourself.

I could have rang the bell all day to no avail as the boatman is on his seasonal break —

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Changed days – back in the 14th century when the castle was the home of Black Douglas the Grim it was a case of ring the bell once then run like hell! But today – not even a castle raven to be seen —

So I settled for a flaky shot of the geese as they honked overhead in formation —

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and an equally hazy shot of a skittish wee roe deer looking for a way over the fence to catch up with mum and dad —

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I just caught a glimpse of movement from three white bobtails on the far side of the field in the gathering gloom – put the Powershot on full zoom (56x) – pointed and clicked. The computer did the rest when I got home. Bet Sir David Attenborough does it that way too  🙂

Oh-oh! I’ve been spotted! Here comes trouble!

‘Hey! I’m the Daddy! What you doin messin with my kid’s nest?’ —

American eagle

‘If I catch you up that tree with your camera again I will feed you to the fishes!’

Walking the Wetlands

Happy New Year Everyone – may 2014 be a good one for you – Don 🙂

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Posted by on December 29, 2013 in out and about


The Rhinns of Galloway by Tenere

The Rinns of Galloway – the most southerly part of Scotland and right at the bottom standing at the tip on the Mull of Galloway with views to The Isle of Man is the lighthouse —

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That’s where I went today leaving Christmas behind. Not just Christmas but cars and people – a beautiful day like today after the storms and I had it all to myself —

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From my flat to the lighthouse is about sixty five miles and with traffic free roads I was there in jig-time. But it wasn’t a day for hanging around the point. It might only have been about six degrees centigrade but there was a wind coming off the sea that could skin a softie like me so after a short walk and a photo or two —

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I headed off across the narrow undulating roads to Port Logan —

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Port Logan was closed – but the beautiful bay —

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and the picturesque wee harbour were meat and drink to a guy with a camera —

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Next port of call was to be Portpatrick but I spotted my first wild geese of the year on the edge of a flooded field by the roadside along the way and they were decent enough to hang around while I took a pic – lovely —

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Portpatrick has it all.

An imposing hotel sited above the bay and harbour —

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An equally imposing Parish church on the road into town for the masses —

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and what must be the smallest church in the country just down the street for the Episcopaleans —

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With a well established palm tree across the road all I need as a couple of stiff rum and cokes and I could well imagine I’m in Malaga —

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The gravestones in the old church yard would make for interesting reading on a dull day —

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and I’m sure there’s also a fair bit of history attached to the tower and ruined church.

I asked this old boy if he knew anything about the ruins but he just ignored me and kept his unblinking gaze out to sea —

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No worries – I wandered round the harbour to what must be the smallest toilet in the world – there’s barely room to shake your thing. It must have been built by the wee episcopaleans that worship in the tiny church up the road —

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I needn’t have worried because next I got caught in the spray coming over the rocks as I tried to take a pic of the memorial for lost lifeboat men up on the right —

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Time to go on the hill road towards Stranraer hoping to get a shot across Loch Ryan to the Ferry port at Cairnryan but stopped on the way when a host of Alec Salmond’s wind turbines caught my eye —

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These things are everywhere and the jury is still out on whether they will be the answer to keeping the lights on.

Ahhh – the ferries – with Stenna Line in pole position in the race across the sea to Ireland —

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It was a pleasure to be out there in the sunshine at this time of year and I even took time to catch the sunset over The Machars on my way home —

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But – I was so knackered I couldn’t find the energy to cook my Christmas dinner. No worries – It can wait till Boxing day as no doubt I have just experienced the lull before the storm 🙂

The Rinns of Galloway

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Posted by on December 25, 2013 in Uncategorized



Yamaha FZ750 from 1985

Yamaha FZ750 from 1985  – yep – that’s where I’ve been today. Did a Doctor Who – jumped into my Tardis and turned the clock back almost thirty years to put a tidy road going Dalek back together again.

She didn’t need much work and doesn’t look bad at all. It would be a shame to pull her to bits to build a race bike out of her. With 25600 miles on the clock that works out at under 1000 miles per year and I’m sure there must be someone out there who would love to put a few more miles on her —

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She is very tidy complete with an early version of a double bubble screen and after market end can but apart from that is fairly standard —

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Yep – I like her —

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But – no doubt she will be wrapped up in cotton wool and tucked away somewhere for a few more years. Good – clean older bikes will appreciate in value way above the numbers that savings banks are paying out in interest these days —

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I mentioned Dr Who earlier in this post. A coincidence really cos I was supposed to be under the knife again in Glasgow Royal Infirmary tonight but I cancelled the op so that I can sit in reasonable comfort over Christmas. The medics have got their revenge and are to have me back in for 2nd Jan instead so it won’t be a ‘heavy duty’ Hogmanay for this sober chappie 🙂

Yamaha FZ750

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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Uncategorized



Recycling the Suzuki GSX Thou

Classic bike recycling Buffalo style starts here with this old Suzuki GSX1000 from the late seventies —

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Four hours later she is stripped down to the bare frame —

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Next stage will be to ‘de-lug’ her where all the brackets needed on a road bike are cut off because this is going to be a racer just like her sister bike – the Wes Cooley Special seen here ‘hustling’ around Cadwell Park racing circuit —

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After de-lugging and strengthening, the old frame will be sent off to be powder-coated just like this one we did earlier from 1985 Yamaha FZ750 —

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Next stage is to turn the FZ750 into a replica of the Superbike that Eddie Lawson rode to first place at Daytona in 1986 —

Eddie Lawson Rep

and if we turn the clock back thirty five years or so we get Wes Cooley himself on the original Suzuki GSX1000 in AMA Superbike trim —

Wes Cooley


Recycling is the Buzzword

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Uncategorized