Spring Fling

The Spring Fling arts and crafts festival took place as usual on the late May bank holiday weekend. This year we had one of the exhibits just along the coast at Carrick. It was called “The Edge” and consisted of an artificial tide line along the top of the beach made up of all sorts of objects.
The Edge installation at Carrick
Some of the objects contained pieces of information or stories connected with the area and its history. At the end of the exhibit there was a working harmonium and people were encouraged to play on it. We enjoyed the warm spring evening and the view across to Ardwall Island while listening to these two playing a few tunes.
Harmonium and Ardwall Island

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Ravens at Corseyard

The ravens nested successfully in the tower at the Coo Palace again this year. These are the two chicks almost ready to make their first journey away from the nest.
Ravens at the Coo Palace

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Swimming Fox

We were kayaking round the back of Barlocco Island when Gabrielle saw a fox. It ran off across the island and we continued to paddle across towards the mainland and the beach hut. As we got closer to the beach we saw some people looking at something in the rocks by the water’s edge. They had seen the fox swim across from the island to the mainland and it was hiding down in a crevice in the rocks.
Fox on the beach

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A misty walk from the Queen’s Road up to Black Loch. A steep trail leads up from the Queen’s Road, past Murray’s Monument to reach a forest track that follows the line of the Old Edinburgh Road. Just off the track is an old sheep fold containing some carved heads. These are part of a sculpture installation called “Quorum”. It was created as part of Matt Baker’s residency in Galloway Forest in 1997. There were originally six heads but there only seem to be two remaining nowadays.
Quorum sculpture installation by Matt Baker
A little further along the track is the Black Loch. It features another sculpture, a slender cone of terra cotta called “The Eye”, by Colin Rose.
The Eye, by Colin Rose
Down on the other side of the Queen’s Road, there is a forest track that leads over to an area of exposed granite ridges known as “McMoab”. This is part of the Kirroughtree 7 Stanes mountain biking trail system and gives some challenging riding in a magnificent setting at the head of the valley.
McMoab mountain bike trail

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It was our 40th wedding anniversary on 3rd January. We spent a couple of days up in Ayr with relatives and friends and attended the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s New Year concert. The picture is from a walk at Culzean Castle with Ailsa Craig in the background.
40th Wedding Anniversary
On the way back from Culzean to Ayr we called in at Rozelle Park for a walk around the grounds. Unfortunately the Maclaurin Gallery was closed on 3rd January but we enjoyed a tour round the park grounds and a new sculpture park themed on the First World War. Most of the sculptures are chainsaw carvings in wood but there are other too, including these doves made from wire mounted on woven willow columns.
Willow and wire dove sculpture

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Kirkandrews Kirk Carol Service

The Kirkandrews Kirk candlelit carol service takes place on the last Sunday before Christmas. This year’s service was very well attended with over 50 people packed into the wee kirk. Here’s Rev. Val Ott leading the service and the singing.
Carol Service

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Trimming the raspberries

The raspberries grew fairly well in 2016. Here are the new stems tied up to protect them from thrashing around in the winter winds. The pile in front is this year’s fruiting stems that have been cut out. At the left side there is a wind break of willow that we hope will provide some protection to the currant bushed behind.
Raspberry Plants

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We had a few frosty days in late November. Not enough to do any serious damage to the garden plants but hopefully enough to kill off some of the bugs ready for next year. We used this picture of a fallen sycamore leaf for our Christmas card.
Frosty Sycamore
The crow sculpture is looking a bit chilly on top of the Wining Wall. Maybe mulled wine would be more appropriate?
Frosty Wining Wall

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Super Moon

We were lucky to have some clear weather for the “super-moon” in mid November. It was cloudy in the evening but cleared overnight and we saw the moon in the morning just before the sun came up. Here’s the moon setting next to the Coo Palace.
Super moon and the Coo Palace

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Calm November

November has been remarkably calm this year. We awoke on Sunday morning to find the sea flat calm and we could see a fairly large object floating off the end of Kirkandrews Bay. The tide was high so we got out the kayaks to take a look and go for a quick trip around Barlocco Island. The mystery object turned out to be a big floating log.
Kayak and Log
Cruising through calm water with the Isle of Whithorn in the background.
Kayak Reflections
There was low cloud down over the hills but no wind as we went round the far side of Barlocco Island and past Ardwall Island.
Kayaking past Ardwall Island

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