One of the joys of Balintore's location is being able to observe the change in fauna and flora with the seasons. The foxgloves this year are not quite as spectacular as last year, but I always take delight in the "sports" which are not the standard purple. Below is a hasty arrangement of a white spike, a pink spike and a standard purple one.
|tri-coloured foxglove display|
This year I have been suffering from marauding sheep more than ever before. These are sheep that come from neighbouring fields and munch on Balintore's grass. Who can blame them? I don't do any lawn mowing myself, so their attentions are almost welcome except when they rip up my few plants.
Today, I had my first ever marauding cows: two calves who thought the grass was greener at Balintore and just went for it. Calves can clearly slip through fences much more easily than adult cows, and I would be very surprised indeed to see a full-sized cow at Balintore.
Greg and Gregor spotted a brood of wildcats in a hidey-hole within the castle grounds: a mother and three tiny kittens. At one stage, apparently, the mother was carrying one of the kittens. I was called over, and despite crawling on my hands and knees in the locale, did not spot them. Anyhow, we were all totally delighted. I am not a (domestic) cat lover, but a brood of wildcats in your garden is pretty special.
I was just about to do my food shopping, when I spotted some vegetation on top of one of my vehicle's tyres. My previous food shop has been over 3 weeks ago due to covid. "Typical," I thought, "trust me to pick up some grunge on my tyres.". I pulled out the vegetation, and to my surprise I found myself with a bird's nest in my clutches with a very annoyed blackbird sitting in it. She looked at me, emitted a loud cheep, and flew off. Underneath was a clutch of 4 beautiful blue eggs:
|4 blackbird eggs in a nest|
I was bowled over by the perfection of the round form of the nest. This was the first time in my life I had held an occupied one. At Balintore, nature comes to you.