An atmospheric day for the third Wildlife Writing Workshop at RSPB Loch Leven with mist and bursts of sunshine in abundance. There were nine of us in total, each trying to capture the sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and feel of Loch Leven. Some sighted, for the very first time, the white-tailed eagle – even if the bird only hunkered in the top of a tree on St. Serf’s Island for much of the afternoon – just the dark brown wedge of a shape, but an enormous shape at that!
We were treated to Pintail ducks dipping for food – their tails poking high out of the water; to heron flying close past the hide; to goldfinch alighting on the feeders in a glory of colour. But the biggest treat of all was the skein of pink-footed geese which came in. We heard them first – both their honking call and the beating of their wings before the sky burst open with light and they descended to the shimmering water.
As Thoreau says in his book “Walden,” (see here) “We need the tonic of wildness, – to wade sometimes in the marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. … We can never have enough of Nature.”
We certainly followed Thoreau’s example, searching out sensory experiences of nature, including smells! Which led me to these beautiful mushrooms:
If anyone knows their names please let me know. I wonder if the first is a variant of the Golden Oyster mushroom?
The next Wildlife Writing Workshop is scheduled for March 2017. Drop me a line if you would like to come along!