Just like home?!

Today has been a scorcher! Too hot to be too strenuous but lovely for a walk around an open garden at Torosay Castle, not far from where we are staying. Not sure how many castles you can stand in and look down on a different castle but you certainly can at Torosay.IMG_5216Walking around the gardens made me slightly homesick as they are so similar to our gardens!!! Oh well while I am away I can pretend can’t I? The colours are beautiful as are the scents as you pass different plants.

It was too much to resist trying to recreate some of the statues, even Sprocket joined in. Although he did look rather quizzical! No one tried to copy the last one but I include her just because I wanted to.

The walks around were lovely, sometimes in the sun then among the trees in the shade again, lovely. I hope Ian has picked u a few tips fro our return home! There were ponds and streams too.

We took time to stop and smell the flowers.IMG_5282The views out from the garden are pretty impressive as is the house  if the outside is anything to go by.

Time to pause for a photo stop then on again.

I am sure that if you have ever seen my house you will understand how this trip out today has made me a little homesick as our garden is so similar!!! Well a girl can dream can’t she?

It was reassuring to see that even a beautifully kept castle garden was in need of a few jobs doing. I wonder how long this bench and gate have been waiting for tomorrow to come when they might reach the top of the ‘to do’ list!

We popped into Craignure for provisions and a much appreciated ice cream. A couple of quick views, of and from the pier.

We were all happy to stay in for a while to cool off, especially Sprocket I imagine, with his built in fur coat! One thing we didn’t know when we booked the house was that just a few doors down from us they hired out kayaks and that rather appealed to Roo and Stu. Arrangements were made and they were off on the loch.

We stayed in watching them, when they were in view, and of course still watching out for bird life. When I thought they would soon be back I stood outside the house, camera at the ready. I was intrigued by a bird calling and flying back and forth and soon decided it was a sandpiper. I had hoped it might be a different type but no it was a common one, very nice all the same!

 

They returned having enjoyed themselves and certainly nit ruling out a repeat performance. I must admit it looked lovely out there in the middle of the loch, if only they hired out boats they took a little less energy I might be tempted myself!IMG_2849 roo and stu

IMG_2850 roo and stu

It.10.15 and the sun has just set but it is still very light in fact I am not long returned from a stroll to get a picture of our house from across the water to get the reflection. Back a few minutes and a Hen harrier has just flown over as it did last night.

I can officially state, being retired is pretty good!!!

 

 

Mull here we come!

 

Our five days in Nethy bridge were enjoyable if not very productive! As we were getting ready to leave we learnt in conversation that the tower of the hotel, where our room was, used to be suites and they ‘belonged’ to old celebrities. The ground floor was Cary Grant’s, the first floor was Mae West’s and the second was Lauren Bacall’s. We had been staying in Mae Wests and I did wonder if looking down from the tower was where the “Come up and see me” was first thought up!IMG_4843 hotelTravel can be boring but with views like these yesterday it certainly kept us interested. We had allowed ourselves plenty of time so were able to stop and stretch our legs and look around.

Ian managed to sniff out a golf club to stop for coffee, he liked the look of the last hole but suspected the others maybe a tad more challenging!

On to Oban to meet up with Roo, Stu and Sprocket and then after lunch and shopping for provisions,off on the ferry to Mull. We got a tick on the journey over with Black Guillemot in the harbour, not as many as we had seen on previous trips but enough for a year tick and bird 226. What a beautiful day to be doing the ferry, lovely views all the way across.

Our house was just a short drive from Craignure where the ferry docks and having arrived I don’t mind if stay put for the next week, although of course we will be adventuring further afield. In fact it wasn’t long before we were out walking exploring the locality and beautiful it is. We spotted some new friends on the way.

We had walked just a very short way when Stu spotted an enormous bird in a wooded area but by the time the rest of us saw it, off it flew through the tree and we couldn’t identify it, hopefully it will be back.IMG_4946 sign

Also spotted by Stu was this stunning, dragonfly which unless anyone knows differently is a Golden ringed dragonfly, brilliant. By far the largest one I have ever seen.

We walked for a couple of hours and when we got ‘home’ it looked as though someone had pulled the plug out, of course the tide had simply gone out which gave it all a very different look. Second tick of the day was the hooded crow, better picture to follow I reckon.

The swan with her cygnets was of course taken before the tide receded but later she got herself slightly stranded in the mud. She was so funny, she was pushing herself through the mud using one of her feet while the cygnets walked happily behind. We weren’t really sure why she didn’t just walk too!

I think we can safely say this looks a good place to spend time so we will see what the week brings. So far this morning two of our group (naming no names) have been out for a run whilst the other two just watched the tide go out again and birds fly in, its a hard life!