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Dookin with Loki

I remember how timid I was first time I ventured into the cold waters of the River Eden in the Borders as a kid – my skinny white knees knocking as I felt for sharp stones cutting into my tender feet while the freezing waters crept up my thighs – so I can well imagine what Loki must have been going through yesterday as he braved the River Earn’s snow melt.

He’s a blue-blooded Flat Coat Retriever with a pedigree as long as your arm for goodness sake – so get in there!

Bred from Newfoundland river dogs and our own Labradors —

he even has webs between his toes and I’m sure he will swim like a fish at some point in the future —

 

Come on in Dad – it’s your turn now – the water’s lovely!

 

Loki get’s wet!

Or does he?

 

We must size it up first —

Nope – that pool looks too deep.

Loki! You look like a beached whale – but at least you got your knees wet.

 

Walking with Loki

Loki has turned into a lovely house dog since he moved into town – not something I could have imagined myself saying even six months ago.

But take him outdoors and he is as daring as ever.

Thankfully he is still quite careful around deep running water —

Which is just as well as some of it can be treacherous —

But he did find a natural bridge for me to cross —

In fact I had a choice of two —

But I preferred the third choice and took the easy way out —

even if my camera hand did appear to be shaking in that last shot.

But it’s all in a day’s work for our boy.

 

A Lap of Loch Earn on the X-ADV750

It’s been a pretty full on day but I did manage to swing the leg over the Big Scoot in the late afternoon. With light fading pictures weren’t going to be that great but I did think that top of a snow-covered Ben Vorlich glistening in the setting sun would have come out better than it did.

Ben Vorlich – at over 3000ft qualifies as a Monroe and I have been to the top quite a few times in all weathers in the past – little wonder my knees are worn out. The walk in starts more or less from where the Scoot is parked and gets steeper by the time you hit the snowline but it is still regarded as one of the easier Monroes to climb.

Out of shot to the west is Stuc a Croin another Monroe and I’ve bagged them both in a day with my daughter and my elder brother along for company. In the patchy snow near the summit of Stuc a Croin is where I saw my first ptarmigan. Slightly bigger than a grouse the ptarmigan changes the colour of it’s plumage to merge with snow or vegetation as the seasons progress and must be one of the hardiest birds in the country to survive on the mountain tops in winter. I had a photograph of it somewhere but that was a long time ago and there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

Still on the subject of wildlife I keep bumping into wild goats on the south side of the River Earn and Loch Earn. I had never heard of them being there and can only imagine they are part of an Estate herd that have been allowed to run feral. There is a big Billy Goat with enormous horns and the sight of him makes me wish I still carried a decent camera. M-mmm — just a thought — I have a birthday coming up this month – who knows – I might be lucky.

 

‘Is a Shepherd’s Delight!’

Particularly when the weather forecaster’s have plumped for high winds and wet weather blowing in from the east —

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Thankfully they would appear to have it wrong. Right from ‘early doors’ when Loki came bounding out of his kennel – it has been brilliant sunshine all the way —

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with even a touch of frost first thing.

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It didn’t linger long and Loki’s tongue was soon hanging out even more than mine as we made our way across the fields above the village —

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with long shadows cast from the sun on my back —

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Hasn’t he got a lovely sheen on his coat as he prepares for the winter. He probably benefits from sleeping outdoors in his purpose-built kennel through any weather.

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Our favourite walk takes us across the bull’s field. Just as well they will soon be taken indoors for the winter because by the look of that shattered gate they could be arriving at our door without an invitation any time soon.bulls-1

This fella is probably the smallest of the nine bulls we have billeted around us at the moment but what he lacks in size he makes up for in tricky temperament – typical ‘little man’ syndrome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2019 in Gardening, Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks, Wildlife

 

Loki in the eye of the storm

Does he look bothered?

Not a bit of it – he’s fast asleep with his eyes open as usual. C’mon Loki – I know it’s blowing a hoolie but let’s nip down to the coast between showers and check out the surf.

Not bad – from up here anyway.

Let’s get a bit closer —

Considering the wind is gusting to 50mph the sea doesn’t look bad at all. Time for a wee ramble before those wild showers come back.

LOKI! – WAKE UP!

OK – I’m sorry – you were just guarding my walking stick.

‘C’mon Dad – try to keep up!’

‘There’s a storm blowing in from Colonsay and that guy over on Easdale told us before we moved here that the gales howl non-stop all the way from Brazil!’

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2019 in Isle of Luing, out and about, Walks