ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

THE YOUNG PRETENDER. (29/04/14)

Today we drove the forty miles or so from Onich to Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness. It was a murky evening yesterday but I met a proper birder from Chesterfield. We had a good chat. I gave him the benefit of my ignorance and he put me right. Nice bloke but even with a camouflaged hat he couldn’t tempt the Loon within range. He did see a lifer or killer. It was a Hooded Crow. He says there is no such thing, I said Keith says there is and his hat isn’t as daft as yours. Who the bloody hell is this Keith. I explained that between them the three birders I know within striking distance of Milton Keynes have taught me all I know. He went to get his book and said well fuck me it is a Hooded Crow. I didn’t he wasn’t my shape. Chesterfield folk are not noted for their couthicity; despite Chesterfield being a town.

He was still sitting out there in the gloom when I went to make supper but was now sporting a camo poncho. He is on his way to Skye to get some snaps of White Tailed Eagles. I’ll get some as well next month. I’m going to Skye so it will be easy. _MG_5768           I’m daft but not daft enough to attempt bird shots in this light. I’ll get a new hat.

This morning I ventured into Morrisons in Fort William for some fresh meat, fruit and veg. I selected a 500gm or 1lb in old measure cardboard box of strawberries, they were only £3.00p and they let me taste one, It tasted like strawberry so in the trolley they went. I was at the checkout when I realised that every time I eat strawberries the rheumatism (that’s a hard word) in my fingers and toes gets worse. The check out girl says It's Gout you have. I was impressed, I have just Googled Gout and sure enough strawberries don’t help. I ask you. Doctors having to moonlight on supermarket checkouts? Glad they are doing, it saves making an appointment for days away at their proper place of work; excellent  system. I forgot to ask her to have a look at my little toe which has a corn on. I know corns and had she diagnosed that as Gout I’d have put her on par with my GP. I suspect they just guess when baffled.

_V0G8694

_V0G8695    The Commando war memorial just north of Spean Bridge. I usually stop here. It’s both sad and uplifting. They have built a Garden Of Remembrance; I have some pictures but find it tacky. This is a grand memorial. It makes me sad and peaceful at the same time. A bit like the song ‘Old Shep.’ I feel better for having been here and indulged in a bit of a weep.

I arrived at my destination, got in a row for being ten minutes early.

I lent them my card reader, as a visiting Muppet couldn’t get his snaps off his camera and mistakenly thought he was in Jessops. I sorted the site computer. I eventually got the van set up with mains water, electricity and plumbed in drainage. I have to get it cleaned for the summer.

Donald the owner had sent me some pictures of Otters and I have seen them here though I suspect his Otter was a bit of tree. He also mentioned that the Wild Goats were back after a two year absence. I also like the folk here.

I took the dogs a walk.

_MG_5771     Moll is better, what is thems……………………………….

_MG_5772     Alf didn’t know. I’ve never seen owt like thems Moll. I said they is Wild Goats dogs and they are carnivorous and close relatives of Koreans. They were good while I adopted a recumbent posture. Okay I fell over.

_MG_5777     For once the dogs sat and stayed. I couldn’t get close but will have another go. We sat down and they resumed grazing and playing. Tomorrow Otters…..The pigs are fed and promise to fly!

_MG_5776     The Young Pretender.

Have fun.

40 comments:

  1. The Three Billy Goats Gruff? :) (if you don't know the story, look it up)

    I know hooded crows. They're common enough in Sweden that one usually does not bother taking photos of them...

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    1. Monica, I vaguely recall them crossing a bridge and getting eaten by a wolf. I grew out of wolf phobia when I was little. These goats pose more of a threat than a wolf ever would. Two years ago the alpha male tipped a cement mixer over and chased a gang of hairy builders. A magical animal who can scratch his arse with his horns. They are generally alright. I hope.
      I saw my first hooded crow last year. They are beautiful but behave like black crows.
      I can recommend Morrisons Fort William for medical advice. I need plenty so will divert via Fort William on my way to Skye.
      Hope spring and summer are treating you okay.

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  2. They do cross a bridge, with a troll living under it. No wolf involved, and the troll does not get to eat the goats either, because the two younger ones are too smart and the biggest one (who comes last) is big and strong enough to push the troll into the river :) Happy end (for all but the troll).

    We've had summer-like weather ever since Easter but They are now threatening us that it will be getting chillier again from tomorrow. In some places it already is - up in Kiruna in the very north they had 20 cm snow last night. I don't think it will come to that down here though!

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    1. Monica, silly me. I assumed that all continental stories had wolves in.
      It is getting cool again. If I get frostbite I'll go to the supermarket.

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  3. Wonderful photos, Adrian, from sun rays to wild goats ~ I've never seen such creatures, and they do look like they're right out of a trolly tale. Glad to see the dogs looking cheery. Interesting about the strawberries. Grapefruit isn't all that good for anyone either.

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    1. Glo, the check out lady let me buy a litre of pink grapefruit juice. I'm going to be ruined if they can't advise on proper purchases. They have wild goats on Skye. Beautiful little or not so little beasts.

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  4. What more could I ask from your Blog - pictures of the cutest Westies in Scotland and my most favourite memorial ever. The Commando memorial always makes me feel very emotional but I do so wish they had not "done" all the bits and pieces around it. It would have been better just to have left it on its own in that wild landscape - don't you think?

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    1. Pat, it's not as easy as folk think writing crap the same day as you shoot and edit pictures but it is easier than remembering what one has done with pictures.
      I agree it is getting a mess. The families are not generally of the brightest and nor are peace time squadies. I don't like the tat. It detracts from the simple list of dead of the 1945 war. They could have similar bronze cast lists of those that died since serving our self serving politicians.
      The remembrance area is awful. They have memorials to folk that died of old age and young ones who died last year.
      The memorial is heart rending it has the same effect on me as the song 'Old Shep.'

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  5. Oh, I do love those wild goats, loads of pictures please Adrian.

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    1. Bob they are a bit skittish and generally don't come this close. I'll try and creep closer. The best pictures for me are when they just start acting normally like the last one.

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  6. I must take notice whether strawberries affect my gout.
    I do like the double sunbeam piccy.

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    1. John, I'm fine this morning and I hate two thirds of them last night.
      It was just chance. I was getting told all about photo competitions and suddenly noticed the rays.

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  7. A wonderful post Adrian... Gout I have suffered from... it feels like this.
    Put your big toe in a vice and tighten it until the pain is unbearable... then twist it once more.
    That's gout.
    Spean Bridge is a wonderful place... have you been up the see the "parallel roads"?

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    1. Andrew, I haven't got gout then.
      I have never stopped in Spean Bridge except for milk at the Spar shop. I'll have a look at the place when I next pass through. I'll go to Inverness on my way to Skye as I'll need a supermarket and if the weather is good I'll stop on the Black Isle for a couple of days Dolphining and Redkiting.

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  8. You should have asked the checkout girl in Morrisons to have a look at your central appendage. Maybe she'd have prescribed some gout lotion or possibly amputation. To ward off gout you need to lay off red wine and port and eat black cherries or drink black cherry juice two or three times a week. Gout isn't funny - I have been there and got the T-shirt as they say.

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    1. YP, this isn't Sheffield, It's the only supermarket for sixty miles. I can't afford to be banned from it.
      I don't drink red wine very often. I do get cherry yoghurt so perhaps they count.

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  9. First up, I like the memorial. My patient is home today. I showed her Molly's photo and she concedes she's in better shape. Leone's ears aren't anywhere near as perky. Shame it's so far away, a visit to that supermarket sounds just like what is needed.

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    1. Pauline, I'm happy you have your sister back. If Moll is sad I give her a dried pigs ear to chew. It works every time.
      The lady at the checkout was an expert.

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  10. As a birder, I tend to be a know it all. I guess you met somebody like me! I think you're right about the memorial. It has both sides of sadness and joy. So it's a good memorial if it can bring out those two emotions.

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    1. Red, I suspect that this chap was in a different league........I was in his company for an hour and never found anything he didn't know with the exception of the Hooded Crow.
      War memorials always affect me but this one more than most.

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  11. Twitters are a funny bunch. Always seem to dress like urban terrorists. The commando memorial looks a sobering place, and somewhere to reflect. I can understand the tears.

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    1. Gary, it is rare to find it deserted. It is usually swarming with coach loads of people.

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  12. Great read Adrian, loved the part about getting treated at the check out.

    peter

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    1. Peter, excellent service, I don't get medical advice in Tesco, Aldi or even Waitrose.

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  13. Wow ~ what a post. Goats, flying pigs, smart checkout chicks,silly hats, statues, birds and pups. I am exhausted :-/

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    1. Carol, you are exhausted, I'm having a day off. It's vile weather today and will get worse . It looks as if we are due more snow over the weekend. I guess last week was summer here.

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  14. Marvelous post, Adrian, both photo-wise and word-wise. I love the Westies and the Goats and the Shafts of Sunlight and the Memorial and your interactions with the Birder and the Checkout Girl.

    If you take medicine for high cholesterol (as I do), grapefruit is a no-no as it neutralizes or counteracts the medicine. Next time I am sad I may try a dried pig's ear myself.

    Carry on, Adrian!

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    1. Bob, some days everything happens and others nothing. I am a bit reclusive or self obsessed. When I am in outgoing mode I chat to everyone. This was such a day. There are few Scots in Scotland the lass offering medicinal advice was from Liverpool. Scousers are noted for openness or being a bit gabby.
      I have little medical training though I do have an out of date Ships Captains Medical Certificate. Chuck the pills and drink Grapefruit juice. I used to have to undergo two medicals a year and have always fought Cholesterol. I used to live on potatoes and Grapefruit for the three days prior. It fools the fools and their kickbacks from the snake doctors that are the pharmaceutical companies. Pigs ears do cheer the dogs up......I may join you.

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  15. It think I'd sit and stay if I saw anything like that. Safest all round.

    Btw I thought you hadn't seen your feet in ages? How do you know about that toe?

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    1. Frances, they are gorgeous. Goats like sheep are not nasty. They bang heads when fighting. The big billy can scratch his bum with his horns. A wonderful beast.
      It was hurting so I asked the lass at the BP filling station to give it the once over.

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  16. Love the light in that first picture and the dogs are looking particularly handsome today. I would keep my distance from those horns to.

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    1. Gillian, the dogs have just had a hair cut. I'll try and get closer to the goats. I never found them yesterday but it was raining so I didn't look too hard.

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  17. I love that light beam, those goats, and those pooches.

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    1. Maria, the goats are magnificent i wish I could find them again.

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  18. The goats make the wild ones in NZ look like pussy cats.

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    1. Graham, and the ones in Texas are bigger than Elephants. These are harmless but not very sociable.

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  19. Strange, the last time I was in Fort William, I had to visit a doctor in the hospital ...my eye test was great. Top shot of the Commando memorial .. in fact I haven't seen a better one. To me the wild goats have a Scottish look about them.

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    1. Jay, that is 'cos they are Scottish but i know what you mean...Hairy.

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