Posted on 3rd October, 2016




From our Nature Diarist : Fiona Russell


Welcome to an area of rushing rivers, tumbling burns, rounded hills, wide skies, incredible wildlife,and a woman who walks her dog, and sometimes writes. This is mostly hill farming country. The landscape has been sculpted by the work of generations of hill farmers, and their hard working shepherds to produce a natural meat for the consumer. In the late 1960’s large areas of forestry were planted and this continues be the case, and to feature even after the first cropping of the initial plantations. Alterations in the wildlife have accompanied the change of landuse.


As I walk my dog each day in the area I enjoy my surroundings in a very quiet area of the Scotland. The area; some call it Dumfries and Galloway, many of us locals call it the Scottish Borders, but from a wider perspective one could think of it as the middle bottom of Scotland. The east-west watershed is close by and so we often experience weather conditions for either side of the watershed. The valley where I live has its catchment from the parish   boundary, but this is also the regional boundary, and the watershed running up the spine of the country. I hope you'll enjoy the walks and photos with me through Livewires month.



The landscape of the Scottish Borderlands



A three part discussion Donald Adamson : Part I




A meditation on creativity in the third age has to take into account earlier texts. Tennyson's 'Ulysses' is a poem that everyone knows, if not by heart, at least by the last line. It isn't overtly about creativity, but any poem about continuing to advance in old age, to find new directions, must have notions of creativity at its heart. Here are the last 15 lines of the poem. Rhetorical, bombastic even, but what a sweep! What music! What energy! It so easily makes itself part of you.


... Come, my friends, 

'T is not too late to seek a newer world. 

Push off, and sitting well in order smite 

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 

Of all the western stars, until I die. 

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: 

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, 

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. 

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' 

We are not now that strength which in old days 

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 

One equal temper of heroic hearts, 

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


to be comment or engage with Donald's points.


Donald Adamson






Heron : Tom Langlands



Owl, Himself



across that space

I made movement 

silent. You felt

the air move, not me.


If you were vole

you would be no more,

a single crunch

after the pounce,

a brittle skull shattered.


a fur ball later


my frail body, 

inside its downy cloak,

with blood hungry

beak and claws,

served by marmalade eyes.


You can’t evade

my gaze,

its languid revolution

will take you in,



I will consider

your smell, your size, 

your proximity,

before ensuring

my survival.


The night time

woods are mine,

I sweep the dark,

catch moonlight

on my wings.


Cry to my kind,

startle yours,

you stagger with


eager to capture quicksilver. 


I am legend,

mystic, sage,

hear my silence,

and wonder.


Vivien Jones




Mist & Fog Prompt


Keith Richards at Lumb Bank


‘Hey man’ A husky note floats 

through a Lumb Bank afternoon, 

too baloo to be a Ted Hughes crow,

an earring glint, burnt coal eyelid flint.

Drum of my heart beats to his chortles,

cigarette smoke swirls around birch.

A rock star sticks by me.


 ‘Hey welcome, man’

as we tumble-hurtle from the cliffs. 

His husk-laugh, his gravelly war cry 

‘we’re doomed to live’ smooth my bones,

his striped headband, electric yellow

on earth. Boom 




There are no full stops, 

only splinters of forest floor,

yellow-blue bruise patch patterns

of contact with God’s earth

Think Bach, conjure opium eaters

strum below the heartbeat.


Maggie Mackay





Fog & Mist prompt




for Soraya Copley


The day you died

the sun rose blind behind the sky,

wolves prowled in corners, 

the post box a hooded child.

At dusk I searched the line,

watched a train spool silhouettes,

a faceless film that howled through grey.


The day after you died

I saw an amber room inside the trees,

a secret furred with fog.

I knew what grief was then:

the world a trapped moth,

you somewhere else, 

caught in light.


Catherine Ayres



                  Sarah's Slug :  Hazel Lowther






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