Green and brown

The things that strike me most about Ayrshire are how green everything is, with even pavements and walls colonised by green moss, how brown the river is, and how much the water looks like beer.

I absorb the damp greenness when I'm there. When I see it I feel ravenous for it, it fills me up, it hits a spot. But I don't miss it when I'm away. I love the bright dryness of where I live.

The first picture shows the driechness of concrete bars on a bridge, browbeaten by the weather to a dull, dirty grey, expressing a capture attempt, me trying to capture the river, the river and the countryside having captured me, owning me through a bond that can never be broken, a birth bond. That I ignore most of the time but that grabs me when I come close...

Green and brown. So green, so brown.

The salmon ladder which was built to make it easier for the fish to swim upstream to their spawning grounds, back to where they came from, and which actually makes it easier for the locals to poach the fish, by covering the end with wire, the salmon are like sitting ducks, and can be wheeched oot the watter using a big hook called a gaffe.

Pictures 16 and 17 show what looks like a precision-cut leaf line, 16 from under the branches, seventeen from across the field. Why do the branches of all these trees stop in such a straight line? Did the farmer shave them?

Sorn bridge, from whence my mother's ashes were strewn.

Rowan berries for a touch of orange. Green and brown are rich and lush and ok but after a while a bit, err, boring.

Not mushroom for these celtic chanterelles... I have never seen such crowds of fungi.

Talking about sitting ducks, I took some stale toast along to feed the little quackers, but along came this nasty big white bird and chased the ducks away. Try as I might, I couldn't get crumbs to the ducks, the swans commandeered all the food. I used to think of the phrase "I AM a swan" (from the ugly duckling) as a marvellous realisation of being beautiful, but in fact these creatures are very aggressive and being one is nothing to boast about.