Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Light on the Water

One of the compensations of the short winter days is the quality of the light in the afternoon as the sun goes down over the Forth.

 The view from Lower Largo Pier.

Looking westward across Largo Bay.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Fungi on Tree Stumps

Rotting tree stumps make a good habitat for fungi. I think this is jelly ear fungus on an old tree stump near the path at the top of the Massney Braes in Lundin Links.

More fungi surrounding an old tree stump again at the top of the Massney Braes.
Fungi growing on the top of a stump at the side of the old railway track in Lower Largo.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

A Fife Milestone

There are many of these historic black and white milestones in Fife. This one is at the crossroads on Largo Road opposite the War Memorial. The first two destinations are obviously Leven and Kirkcaldy but it took me a little while to realise that the final destination must be Burntisland.
Symbol carved into the side above.

Update I am grateful to the comment from Gerald (Hyde DP) for the information that the symbol is a benchmark. These were marks cut into milestones, buildings and other permanent structures to give the height above sea level at that particular spot. They were formerly used by Ordnance Survey in surveying.
The destinations on this face Largo, Colinsburgh and St Andrews.

During World War II, all road signs and milestones in the country were ordered to be removed or otherwise hidden from view in case of enemy invasion. Many milestones were lost at that time. However, in Fife they were placed in safe storage and then re-erected at the end of the war.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Break in the Clouds

Cloudy and wet weather over the last two days but this afternoon the clouds began to break up producing some spectacular skies over Largo Bay.
The view from the pier at Lower Largo.
Looking towards the Pentland Hills.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Ash Tree in the Serpentine Walk

The lacy pattern of the leaves of an ash tree  in the Serpentine Walk. The leaves are still green and haven't dropped yet. The tree looks very healthy at present.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

At the Crossroads

The Largo Parish War Memorial stands at the crossroads that links Upper Largo to the east, Lower Largo to the south and Lundin Links to the west, thus representing all parts of the Parish. It is in the form of a Celtic cross and was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer who was also the architect of the mightily impressive Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle. There are 53 names inscribed from the First and 16 from the Second World War. Amongst those from the First World War there are four brothers. As with so many at that time one family's future generations lost.

The information about  the memorial was obtained from the book of photographs of the Sea Toun of Largo compiled by Ivy Jardine. It is out of print but I was able to borrow a copy from the library.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Pipit On Lichen Covered Sea Wall

A pipit on the sea wall at the western approach to the harbour at Lower Largo. Because of its proximity to the shore, I think that this is a rock pipit but I don't think I would be able to tell the difference between a rock, meadow or water pipit. The striking yellow lichen is likely to be Xanthoria parietina.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Geese Flying Over Largo Bay

Walking along the old railway track, heard the noise of the geese before I saw them and then they appeared against the clouds in a constantly changing formation. The geese are a common sight in Largo at this time of year but seeing them always gives me a thrill.

Seeing the geese brought to mind a favourite poem written in 1915 (in Scots Angus dialect) 'The Wild Geese' by Violet Jacob which was hauntingly set to music by the Angus folksinger the late Jim Reid and appears on his solo album 'I saw the Wild Geese Flee'.

The Wild Geese

'Oh, tell me what was on yer road, ye roarin' Norland wind
As ye cam' blawin' frae the land that's niver frae my mind?
My feet they trayvel England, but I'm deein' for the north—'
'My man, I heard the siller tides rin up the Firth o' Forth.'

'Aye, Wind, I ken them well eneuch, and fine they fa' and rise,
And fain I'd feel the creepin' mist on yonder shore that lies,
But tell me, ere ye passed them by, what saw ye on the way ?'
'My man, I rocked the rovin' gulls that sail abune the Tay.'

'But saw ye naethin', leein' Wind, afore ye cam' to Fife?
There's muckle lyin' yont the Tay that's mair to me nor life.'
'My man, I swept the Angus braes ye haena trod for years—'
'O Wind, forgie a hameless loon that canna see for tears!—'

'And far abune the Angus straths I saw the wild geese flee,
A lang, lang skein o' beatin' wings wi' their heids towards the sea,
And aye their cryin' voices trailed ahint them on the air—'
'O Wind, hae maircy, haud yer whisht, for I daurna listen mair!'

Violet Jacob (1863-1946)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fallen Leaves

 Autumn leaves are now falling in the Serpentine Walk creating a colourful carpet.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Many More Coal Tits

There have always been plenty blue tits, some great tits and the occasional coal tit visiting the feeders in the garden. In the past few weeks numbers of all three have increased, but especially the coal tit. Nearly every time I look out the window there is a coal tit on the bird feeder. Possibly the increase in numbers in the garden is because of a lack of their natural food in the wild. Insects, beech mast and conifer seeds are amongst the coal tit's natural diet.