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nature

The View From Here…..

Hub and I are currently on holiday. We are staying in a cottage on the glorious Hebridean Isle of Skye in a very rural location.  This is exactly our kind of thing – total immersion in nature (with the luxury of a flushing loo!).  You can see part of our view from the above photo, complete with enigmatic barn, where swallows are currently nesting (though not for much longer, I would have thought).

Our bird watching tally yesterday was as follows:

  • Four sightings of golden eagles
  • a white tailed eagle
  • two ravens
  • three kestrels
  • a handful of swallows (probably just about enough to qualify for ‘a flight’)
  • three mistel thrushes
  • assorted small birds, most likely to be rock pipits

Not at all bad, considering we did not leave the property!

Perhaps not surprisingly, we have very limited wifi access. This blog will therefore be pretty quiet for the next few weeks, and I will not be able to respond to comments and engage with your blogs as quickly as I would normally like. Fear not though – I’ll be back in touch in due course. 🙂

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The Joy and Beauty of Paper Sculptures: Celebrating the work of Diana Beltrán Herrera

In an addition to my occasional series highlighting the wonder of paper artistry, and in the interests of promulgating some seriously beautiful creations to savour, let me share with you the incredible work of Diana Beltrán Herrera, a Columbian designer currently living in Bristol, UK.

I adore her ‘bird postage stamps’ series:

© Diana Beltrán Herrera

You can see the rest of this series, including some detailed close-ups here.

Continue reading “The Joy and Beauty of Paper Sculptures: Celebrating the work of Diana Beltrán Herrera”

More Paper, More Birds

Isn’t it funny how, when you start to engage with a topic, related pieces of interest flood in all around.

Following my recent post about paper aviarys, an e-mail newsletter from Creative Boom landed in my in-box.  The first item in its list?  This article about the work of designer and paper-crafter, Lisa Lloyd, featuring this wonderful paper blue tit, which she created for the Waitrose Magazine:

Copyright Lisa Lloyd (Lisa Lloyd.net)

Continue reading “More Paper, More Birds”

A Brace of Paper Aviarys

Birds are among my very favourite things in life.  I love to watch them going about their business, totally focused on what they need to do.  I adore hearing their various songs, picking out specific species from the throng.

Birds are a classic model for mindfulness.  One of my favourite lines by Eckhart Tolle is:

“look how the bird doesn’t think….should I jump from this branch to the next?…the bird just jumps..”

Being around birds is good for the soul.  They don’t even have to be real.  I would love to check out the Paper Aviary installation at London’s St James’s Market.  Over 100 paper birds?  Yes please!

Continue reading “A Brace of Paper Aviarys”

Super-moon? Where Are You…?

There has been much talk in recent weeks about Monday night’s major lunar event – the fact of the moon being ‘super’, ie the closest it gets to the earth.

I love this kind of thing.  It reminds us, if we needed a prompt, of the beauty of nature; that the universe is bigger than us and all our problems.  So I was really looking forward to seeing the moon.

A few days beforehand, the view out of our back window looked like this.  Not the best ever photo, but you get the idea:

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Fabulous, I thought – it’s going to be even better with the super-moon.

Continue reading “Super-moon? Where Are You…?”

Right here, right now….

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.  If you are attentive, you will see it.

~ Thich Naht Hanh

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram (see links at the foot of this page if you are interested!) will know that I am slightly obsessed about posting photographs of the beautiful sunsets with which we are blessed here in Scotland.  Hub and I are lucky enough to live in an apartment with a fabulous view – it is an excellent vantage point for weather-watching.

Last night, I shared this photo – a stunning example of the evening skies to which we are treated:

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Continue reading “Right here, right now….”

A Wonderful Time of Year

Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.

~ Albert Camus

August has been a month full of drama, wonder and fabulousness.  It has also marked a complete break from my normal routine.  Hub and I have really enjoyed the last few weeks – it is good to do different things and create new perspectives.

I also find that getting back into one’s daily routine is equally rewarding and, in many ways, comforting.  This time of year always gives me that ‘back to school’ feeling, no matter how old I get.  And it remains perfect for re-booting one’s daily habits as we settle into autumn. I adore the summer-autumn transition, with those slightly woody smells in the air, higher clouds and the arrival of russet leaves.

Continue reading “A Wonderful Time of Year”

A Scottish Journey VI – the final leg of our trip

We found the most wonderful place as the last area to visit on our Scottish tour – the northern headland of Tarbat Peninsular, majestically dominated by the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse.

The lighthouse itself is not open to the public, but there is plenty to see all around.  Here are some highlights for you:

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As you can see, this area is a feast for the eyes: stunning views; interesting geology; beautiful wild flowers.  It is also wonderful for the other senses too:  fresh smelling, clean air; warm, light breezes on one’s skin; and plenty of trilling and warbling bird song.

Of course, I recognise that we were (at last) supremely lucky with the weather for this visit.  There would be no need of a lighthouse if there were never any storms!

How fortunate we are to live within striking distance of such lovely places.  It took us only about  three hours to get home from Tain, back to the busy city of Edinburgh.  It always takes a bit of getting used to other cars on the roads, and people on the pavements.  Edinburgh is a very comfortable size, a very ‘human’ city as one friend puts it.  But it is nevertheless a complete contrast with other parts of Scotland.  It is fabulous to be able to experience both. 🙂

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