While demand for power is relatively low, the turbines at the Corra Linn Fall are turned off so you can see them at their best. So we did. We took our grand-daughter, and we picked wild raspberries and blaeberries, spotted new pine and fir cones, wild flowers, emerging mushrooms and interesting stones – a really good day out.
But it did reveal that there isn’t too much left of summer. On Tuesday, there were swifts, wheeling and screaming over the river as they have been since May – and then they seemed to gather together and shot away westwards. I don’t expect to see them again until next year, though the swallows and housemartins are still with us. We went away when the new rowan berries were still yellow, and we came back to find them red, much to the delight of the blackbirds. Willow warblers and bluetits are back in the garden too, along with what I think is a third brood of sparrows, and this means that so is the sparrowhawk. I got my first glimpse of it crossing the road from a tall hedge on one side to a garden on the other. I heard an owl hooting two nights ago when the moon was bright and full, and this tells me more than anything that autumn is on its way.
On the other hand, there are still bees everywhere, and butterflies – not so many this year, and mostly whites. But yesterday I saw the first small copper I’ve seen in the territory, in a sunny south-facing front garden. And today the Countryside Rangers are going to release a thousand peacock butterflies, in the hope of building up the local population. It’s a good day for it, warm and mostly sunny, and I hope they’ll thrive.