Tuesday’s goooooone with the wiiiiind, but it was a great one while it lasted!
I woke up semi-early and was greeted with a gorgeous day. I mean, wow. It may only just be tripping into March, but the mild, sunny day that greeted me felt like… well, honestly it felt a bit like witchcraft. This is Scotland, and Scotland doesn’t have pretty, sunny, mild days in late February for cryin’ out loud!
Needless to say I carpe-diem’ed the hell out of the day. First off I hopped on the ol’ bike and pedaled all the way out to the Craigmillar area. I should explain: Edinburgh is a city, but it’s a pretty sprawling affair. Having lived here for going on three years now, I can now say I’ve only just begun to grasp all the distinct areas within Edinburgh. I dunno if all big cities have this sort of thing–I guess they do, just look at New York City and its different components–but I feel like Edi has a lot, and I’m not even sure why. A lot of times when you ask where people stay here and they reply “Oh, ________” you then look like a total numpty when you haven’t heard of it.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
Surprisingly it was quite difficult to even rustle up this here map. It seems a bit like a well-known but still very shady secret. But they’re there! (For those wondering, I live in the Dalry side of town!)
Anyway so Craigmillar is the area where my new befriend-ee lives! I met with her and my volunteer coordinator within the RNIB so we all sat down and had a wee chat. I suppose it makes sense, just in case the people the volunteer coordinators are setting up together don’t click or insult each other’s families or something. Luckily for me, my wee lady was a total delight, and I’m looking forward to going on outings with her again. She seemed particularly keen on going for a ride in the Panda Express. Can’t say I blame her. Who wouldn’t?! As I was leaving though she said, “What color is your Panda?” and I said, “Red, of course!!” and she had a mighty chortle, probably imagining it like the majestic steed it is rather than the tiny wee go-kart it pretends to be. Anyway, I think we’ll get along just fine!
Following that I seized the day some more! I hopped on the bike again and cycled on down–follow along with me here–to the Inverleith side of town, which I adore, because it’s fuckin’ fancy. This is where all the posh folk live in Edinburgh in their fancy stone flats and amazing views. It also happens to be where one of my favorite bits of Edi is, The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. It’s a large, gorgeous, and best of all, free botanic garden that I’ve been to countless times. Today was no exception. Despite hardly any of the trees yet budding out, there’s always something to captivate.
Did I mention it was a gorgeous day already?
Although the plants are always captivating, it still being very early spring most things are still asleep. We’ll blame that on why a good chunk of my time was spent feeding all the wildlife. What can I say? My birding habits are turning me into some kind of hippie Snow White. I started off with a wee cheeky robin, moved up to a gargantuanly fluffy gray squirrel, eventually gave a big ol’ wood pigeon a few scraps, and finally gave two handsome crows (and another jealous squirrel) some. All crumbled walnuts–it’s handy that as a vegetarian I often travel with snacks, as my wee friends seemed to totally dig it. Much to my amusement lots of other photographers were out during the day taking advantage of the glorious light, and as I chucked walnut bits to my squirrely friend a guy crouched down a few feet away, snapping photos like it was going out of style. Can’t say I blame him–I got some too!
Look at that wee wastrel. A lot of people here half-heartedly badmouth the invasive American gray squirrels because they’ve given the more timid, but native, red squirrel the boot. But can you really stay mad at this guy when they’re so damn fluffy?
I also spotted this feller for the first time. He’s what’s called a redwing here–imaginative, that–and is mainly seen as a winter bird. They don’t hang out in gardens much, but prefer open, grassy fields. Handsome chap!
I really like birds from the crow family as well. While at first I thought this guy and his pal were ravens, I’m now tempted to say they were carrion crows. Still the same family, just a mite smaller. Either way they were pretty keen on my walnut bits, and their shiny blue-black feathers were spiffy. I think I’ve liked them ever since I learned how smart they are, and how they’ll leave you gifts if they like you like they did this girl. How cool! (But I bet they kick up quite a racket, too!)
Then I saw this guy. I’m not sure what type of bird he is. But he was kicking up quite the stink. Upon making lots of racket, he was permitted a drink from his parental unit. Upon finishing that, he immediately chucked it at the ground. When he was chastised by the unit, he promptly hurled himself down on the ground, thrashing and emitting some frightful noises.
I’m ashamed to admit I took a photo. I’m sorry hard-working papa, wherever you are!
I’m sure I had my moments growing up. In fact, I think I still do. They’re usually fixed by chocolate, or ice cream. What does that say about me? So I’m allowed to have thought how hilarious it was to witness this, right?
I’ll finish off with this one, taken on my way home.