Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Too Warm for February

I'm not complaining.  How nice to be able to get out to walk in short sleeves in February.  But February is not supposed to be like this.

Nevertheless I did enjoy a nice walk around the lake in downtown Columbia.

Looking back as I start out at the building complex where my home is.  There is a tinge of color starting in the trees.


Here's the beginning of the lake.


Notice the long shadows? You'd think I was walking at sunrise or sunset but with it being February the sun is still low in the sky.  This was at 10:30 am.


Across the lake from the east side. That white building is where Whole Foods is.  I'll make a stop there.



Looking back.



I spied this nest in a tree.  Hard to gauge the size from the photos but no bigger than a child's tea set cup.


There's such an assortment of grasses planted along this side of the lake.


As I came to the end of the lake I realized there was no dam.  I hadn't realized that before.


Here is a look at the outflow point from the bridge crossing it.  Maybe its like a spillway that only lets some water out.  There are no natural lakes in Maryland.  This is definitely man-made.


I stopped in Whole Foods for an elevenses snack and sat by the lake to eat it.


I recently discovered the coconut water and it takes me back to when I was a child living with my missionary parents in the Philippine Islands.

I also snacked on two stuffed grape leaves and two popcorn chicken pieces.


Then continued on home, warm from the sun.

Scotland: Stirling & William Wallace

To get to the Stirling Castle is quite a hike uphill if you've parked in one of the parking garages in town.


Don't you love that golden lion?


It was a wet day to start but soon cleared off.  Typical Scotland weather.






Outside the castle is Robert the Bruce looking to the William Wallace monument and site of Wallace's victory over the English at Stirling Bridge.



His monument is across the valley.


We swung by there after spending a good part of the day at the castle.  I was beat, the monument and visitor center were closed so I napped in the car while Dan hiked up the trail to see the monument close up.










He took photos of these interesting signs along the pathway on his way back down.





Last stop was the famous site of the Stirling Bridge where in 1297 William Wallace scored a victory over approaching English soldiers.










One more post on Stirling and the last on Scotland!



Monday, February 19, 2018

Scotland: More on Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is quite a complex of buildings.  Something was first constructed on this crag before 1110.
























William Wallace Monument across the valley.







The land surrounding this crag is very flat.











More views of the surrounding lands.


One can watch the enemies come from afar.  There were at least nine sieges of this castle.  The last one was Bonnie Prince Charlie - unsuccessful.






It was quite a fascinating place to explore for a day.


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