Thursday, 31 January 2008
I never got into reading Lynda La Plante's Trial and Retribution, although I did watch the series on television, however, this is the 3rd book that I've read in the series featuring DCI Ann Travis and DCI James Langton. Excellent, if somewhat gruesome at times. Fast moving but complicated plot, and complicated relationship between the two DCIs. There's a cunning twist at the end.
Score 8 out of 10
Previously read in this series
The Red Dahlia
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Monday, 28 January 2008
Limpets on barnacle encrusted rocks.
Young mussels, limpet and barnacles.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Looking down onto the bay, could see that on this exposed rock apart from the gulls there was a large flock of very tiny birds. I'm not very good at identifying small waders, but I suspect these were dunlin.
Carried on to Lower Largo Harbour. Gulls often stand on the tops of the mooring posts. This one is a black-headed gull. In winter they lose the black head. all that remains is a dark spot near the eye.
The beach was out, because of the high tide, so walked along Main Street in Lower Largo to the Temple carpark. At the back of the carpark there are some steps up to the old disused railway track, now part of the Fife Coastal path. There is a track uphill to the left which leads to the Serpentine Walk. This is a snake like path that leads to Upper Largo. This walkway and the surrounding trees are now in the care of the Woodland Trust.
Just at the beginning of the path there were some patches of snowdrops, the first that I have seen in bloom.
The long narrow Sepentine Walk with trees on either side.
We have a Breathing Places Nature of Britain calender produced by the BBC and the Open University, which suggests things to look out for each month. One of the things for January was Ear Fungus on elder trees. There are some dead elder trees on the Serpentine Walk and we found the ear fungus on a broken off branch.
At the end of the walk we crossed the Main Road and turned back towards Lundin Links.
Sheep may safely graze. Sheep in the field, in the shadow of the ruins of Largo House, seeminly unperturbed by the traffic rushing by on the main road.
At the War Memorial we turned right towards the entrance to Keils Den. This is a lovely wooded area which surrounds both sides of the Keil Burn. Again it is in the care of the Wodland Trust.
Another fungus. Not sure of this ones identity though. Ash seed was another thing we were looking out for, and we saw this on the far bank.
From the entrance to the Den we walked above the steep sides of the Den till a path drops down to a bridge. We crossed the bridge walked back along the other side of the burn, to a public footpath along the edge of a field which leads back into Lundin Links
Saturday, 26 January 2008
My results for this year were
Blue tit: 2
The house sparrows, chaffinches, and starlings that I normally see on a daily basis had mysteriously disappeared. For comparison, results from the last two years
Big Garden Birdwatch 2007.
Blackbird : 1
Blue tit : 2
Chaffinch : 2
Dunnock : 3
House sparrow : 4
Robin : 1
Big Garden Birdwatch 2006.
Blackbird : 2
Blue tit : 2
Coal tit : 1
Great tit : 1
Chaffinch : 2
Dunnock : 3
House sparrow : 3
Robin : 1
Woodpigeon : 1
Friday, 25 January 2008
The above was reported in The Courier today. The Courier is a local daily newspaper, published in Dundee and distributed in Dundee and Angus, Perth and Fife. It is extremely good at reporting unusual nature sightings and I think it is worth noting these in the blog, as can keep a look out and might just poossibly see the same thing, and also as time goes by could perhaps tell whether it was just a rare occurence, or whether it has become commonplace.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
As I approached the end of the pier, the birds all flopped into the sea.
I have read several of this series by Peter Lovesey featuring his detective Peter Diamond. I found them rather mixed but thought this was one of the better ones and enjoyed it very much. They are usually set in Bath, but this one was partly set on the South Coast, and involved not only another force but special branch as well. I think it benefited from these other elements.
Score 7 out of 10
Monday, 21 January 2008
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Saturday, 19 January 2008
A group of golden eye, the males are striking, black and white with a bright white spot near the eye. The females are duller.
Another group of golden eye, male and female.There are nearly always three swans at this point and here they are swimming up-stream.
Two of the swans
A close-up of one of the swans. The orange beak shows that it's a mute swan.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
This is the fourth novel in this series featuring Sam Falconer, private eye and former judo champion. Set in Oxford and London, I've enjoyed them all. Quite unusual. Sam is an interesting heroine, who has her own demons, but manages to work through them and solve the crime as well.
Score 8 out of 10
Previously read in this series.
Skin and Blister
Sunday, 13 January 2008
Friday was a night out for the team that I work with. After at an Italian pre-theatre supper at the excellent Pane e Vino in Hunter Street Kirkcaldy, we adjourned to the Adam Smith Theatre for the pantomime. This particular night was for adults only and it was a full house. As a child I was not keen on pantos. I always wished they'd get on with the story, instead of all that mucking about. However, I quite enjoyed this. The local jokes. The lapses into the vernacular. The excellent young dance troupe. It was a moral tale. Money and beauty do not make for happiness. In the end good triumphs over evil.
Very frosty night so drove home through Coaltown and East Wemyss, rather than the dreaded Standing Stanes Road. A fox crossed in front of the car in East Wemyss.
The Officer's Daghter by Zina Rohan
I thought I should start writing short reviews of the books that I've enjoyed. If I've read a book that I've enjoyed I look for more by the same author. Trouble is I can't always remember which one I've read. If I've reviewed them in the blog I'll be able to look back to the ones I've already read.
This is not the kind of book I usually read, but it was recommended to me at the Library in Lundin Links. I thoroughly enjoyed The Officer's Daghter, particularly the early part of the book, when the heroine Marta is transported to a logging camp, then cotton fields in Russia (one of Stalin's great ideas!), and then on to a British field hospital in Iran. I thought the strength of the book was the way it conveyed the fact that in wartime, people are taken over by the tide of events and have no choice in the matter. I didn't think that the love-triangle which develops between Marta, a Polish soldier and an Iranian doctor worked so well (but perhaps I'm just not into romantic fiction) and in the end I thought the book rather petered out.
Score 8 out of 10
Flowers in Bloom - Mid-January
The middle of each month would seem to be a good time to look round the garden to take stock of what is in flower.
Other Flowers in Bloom
All these were rather poor specimens and hanging on from last year.
Hebes (3 different)
Wallflower - perrenial
Hellebores (2 different)
Primulas - various
Friday, 11 January 2008
Monday, 7 January 2008
This photo shows the pier at Lower Largo, the bridge across the Keil burn and the old railway viaduct in the background. (The railway line was closed in the 1960s)
This bronze statue of Robinson Crusoe is in the Main Street in the village. Alexander Selkirk was born in Lower Largo. It was his real life adventures that inpired Daniel Defoe to write his famous book.
View looking back along the beach towards the Temple area of Lower Largo, so called because it was thought to be linked to the Knight's Templars.Another view looking back to the village.
View looking down on to the harbour and the Crusoe hotel
Lower Largo has a thriving sailing club, and there are often small yachts in the bay. The faint outline of Berwick Law can be seen through the mist on the opposite side of the Forth.
Not a great photo, but the scarlet legs of the redshank can be clearly seen. It tends to be the first bird to react as one approaches, with it's warning cry, it's said to be the sentinel of the beach.Turnstones along the shoreline, searching for food.
Oystercatchers can be seen not only on the beach, but in the fields above.
Not many flowers in bloom in January, but the gorse adds a bit of brightness.
Ivy covers some of the fences along the old railway track. Its yellow-green flowers bloom late and are a good source of nectar for wildlife, and its dense foliage provides shelter.
Again along the old railway track, teasel heads blow in the breeze. Birds particularly goldfinches feed on the seeds.
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Wood pigeon 1
Blue tit 1
House sparrow 6
Chaffinch - male 1
Chaffinch - female 1
Blackbird - male 1
Blackbird - female 1