Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back to the future? (31.3.2010).

With no electricity the void of time available for reflection makes one arrive at the conclusion that we're pretty vulnerable in many respects nowadays , whether we think otherwise or not! With more snow outside (the Rinns seemed to have got the worst of it) I was thankful to have the facility of an open fire , however much that temporarily increased my carbon footprint. Combined with the trusty camping stove , things were quite tolerable! In fact, I was moved to remember having seen meals for anything from six to ten people cooked on two stoves like this in Africa and Asia, and of several dishes too. Who says we've not evolved beyond the limits of our previous abilities!

Not surprisingly few passerines appeared in evidence , but more activity was noted in larger species. Two Hooded Crows in the garden and a male Hen Harrier sweeping along the outer wall, doubtless hoping to surprise some hapless bird sheltering below its protection.

Quite a marked passage of G.B.B.Gulls sailed northwards up the glen using the benefit of the northerly wind. Eventually around 30 had passed with a few Herring Gull and a single LBBG too. The latter employ precisely the same technique in autumn when migrating south, although usually they're more confined to the coastal "rim", with very few moving directly over the sea. The updraft of air where the sea meets the coast must be sufficient to give them continuing lift, until they reach a more open area where flight is necessary but demanding a greater output of energy.

Finally, virtually twelve hours after its loss the electricity supply returned, a tribute to the Scottish Hydro team who had had to work in such poor conditions. Many thanks guys! Across its whole area reportage suggested 15,000 people had lost power, providing a real challenge to the Company and its engineers.

As the day moved on the snow gradually receded and revealed the vegetation below. Let's hope this " winter aberration" was little more than the April Fool playing a joke and that we now actually move forward to normality! I, for one, will be pleased to set the first three months aside after the various problems which have arisen, but that's life!!!

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