Posted on 17th October, 2016






Barnacle Geese - Tom Langlands



Counting Geese


I hate getting up early and hate driving in the dark - I did enough of both when I was working. 

Yet here I am, late November, having risen from my bed at 05 45 and driven on unlit roads for more than 20 miles, before parking up at Powfoot.


I must be mad! It's still dark, but won't be for much longer. I have checked the sunrise times; checked the tide times, disappointed to see that the tide would be well out for today's trip.


For the first time in many months, I wear gloves to drive, and unlike my visit here at a similar time a month ago (for the same reason), the weather is poor, with wind blowing noisily and rocking the car. At least yesterday's torrential rains have stopped.


I look around: the lights of Anthorn can be seen in all their glory, across the Solway, their reflection making me lift up my camera. Sadly, it is impossible to keep the camera still enough to take the picture I want, and I soon give up. I doubt even a tripod would keep it still today, the continuous roar of the wind is getting on my nerves a little.


I'm not here to take pretty pictures - not today, anyway; I am here to do a job!


I check my notebook, having had the foresight to bring a torch with me, then glance at my watch. I had noted down the times I saw anything of interest last month, and sigh. Maybe an hour or more to go yet. 


My belly growls, though I have no idea why: I don't normally eat this early.


Watching the sky, looking across to the east, daylight is definitely making its presence felt: looking west, The Criffen slowly emerges.


Birds begin to appear, feeding on the mudflats: oystercatchers, golden plover, shelduck. A large bird flies across my line of sight, its long, downward curving beak identifying it as a curlew well before it gives its haunting cry. Lapwing arrive at a nearby pool, while gulls and rooks land further out: the tide is extremely low.


However, none of these are why I have come this morning, delighted though I am to see and hear them. No: I am participating in an Icelandic Goose Count: specifically counting pinkfoot geese as they leave their night-time roost on the Solway to head inland for their feeding grounds.


In full daylight now, I check my watch and my notes from last month: once again, number of geese seen: nil.


Putting my notebook, camera and binoculars in my bag I decide it is time to go: time for my breakfast at The Lounge in Annan. 


Angela Haigh



Seasons prompt - Summer to Autumn


I believe I have it in me …..


I believe I have it in me to become a breath, a pile of bones, moss on a stone.

I believe I have it in me to be tucked away, stilled in a caul of mould,

folded into dry twig and hazel husk.


But what I was is still here,

a discord, a fissure, a fracture healed.

Still here, a mosquito bite, a scratch, a graze, 

a bruise, a metronome, a heart attack. 

A rippled pond.




Carolyn Yates


With acknowledgement and thanks for the first line inspiration taken from "I believe I have it in me to become a leaf” by Jane Burn



Who's Dancing Prompt



Who’s Dancing, and Why? 



A little remembered event

Before there were Picts

Or Scots

Some 450 million years ago

Canada stuck England with a might blow

The crumple zone marks the place.


When Canada diplomatically retreated 

She left a precious jewel

Clutched by England

Reluctantly she yielded 


And slowly slipped away

Leaving an Ocean behind her.


Scotland now is dancing for itself again

Unable to unpick those scars of the ancient union

Hoping to draw a new border 

Make a new treaty 

And withdraw.


There are places in Canada 

Named for Scotland

Remembered by those who fled before

Or were forced

My ancestor came of his own free will

And the last family connection

Is in Banff...


Bill Wigram




Nude - Watercolour : Liz Waugh


Seasons Prompt




My green-gold waterfalls of happiness,

my wayside wakeners,

treeflames bloodred as the heart’s desire,

oh you who sing

in citron and cinnamon

the beauty of the lord

and flaunt her fires in scarlet and crimson,

you whose orange tongues shout across the valleys,

oh leaves soon to be fallen,

transfigured by your dying, by your soon-to-be

leaf no more,

not your leaving

moves me, not your falling

for ever now into the earth that bore you

fills my heart with tears, but your love-

liness lighting

the whole wild world

in a whirlwind of yellow-red and rivers

of sun-dazzling amber;

not your passing

but your passion;

who could mourn such glory,

such a fare-well of reckless wonder?


Su Palmer Jones


Absence promot


Now that you've gone


Now that you've gone,

you're with me all the time,

walking in my walking,

talking in my talking,

on my mind.

Inside me,

beside me.

Now that you're not there

I see you everywhere.


Su Palmer Jones





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