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Posts tagged ‘Nairn’

Point the way, beach sentinel

On lightening blue days it kicks and dances or reclines to soak up scarce northern rays. When the storms come I watch it shiver; exposed to the blast from the sea. And once the sun fades low, it turns mellow in the glow of our soft winter light. Bare beach tree, I love your moods.

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The knots that make magic

P1020204Oh it’s grey, grey, colourless bleak on the beach in these dying hours of the year. The waves, the sky, the land – even the little birds feeding down at the tide’s edge disappear in the dirty half-light. Monochrome. Cheerless.

And then they rise up and you’re mesmerized and smiling. They flash quicksilver white, swarming sky-high in a throng of thousands, diving and twisting, catching light you didn’t know was there. There’s a rush of wings and they’re bearing down, funneling a wind as they flock over and around, and suddenly silence. And then another synchronized spiral of wings and they disappear to lifeless cloud.

Happy, mercurial little knots, you have made magic in a grey day.

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The geese are back; anything might happen

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The autumn migration is under way; the geese are back and filling the skies above me, wave after wave of dark wavering skeins, honking and hooting as they search out and settle in to their winter quarters around the Cromarty and Moray Firths

I’ve been on Nairn beach every morning and evening this week, powering along the sand as my new dogsitting customer, Harley-the-Golden-Retriever pounds through the waves; crazy-happy, beautiful dogIMG_1596

And I’m not alone in stopping to admire the synchronized flight.

“Save your energy for flying!” One woman called out as the sky grew dark and the decibel level intensified above our heads.

They sound excited to have arrived after their journeys from the Arctic Circle, Scandinavia, Greenland and Canada and use their vantage point to scope out the  roosts and fields – where they’re not always welcome.

They pass over, still bickering and swerving, swapping places to avoid fatigue among the flock. Here it’s mainly Greylags but there are  Pink-Foot, White-Fronted Geese and Barnacles – over 700,000 of them migrating to Scotland every autumn. Last year at this time I was wandering among flocks of Canada Geese on the shores of Lake Ontario, the water sparkling in the  autumn sunshine. Great memories.

Whatever the species, they represent the most exciting time of year. October has always been the month of new beginnings; leaving home, starting university, beginning new jobs, embarking on big travel and adventures.

It’s the month when anything might happen.

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Sparkling Lake Ontario