We were there to look for adders, but rainy days don't suit them. We did see a few toads, handled feather-light fistling cast snake skin, and examined the preserved corpse of a young adder that had tried to bite the head off a lizard. The lizard, rightly affronted, chewed its way out the back of the adder's head before dying of the adder's poison - the adder, naturally, did not survive the escape attempt.
Well, it was a good walk but damp, while next day was rather fine and found us in the David Welch Winter Gardens in Aberdeen, a small but perfectly formed set of glass houses where my companion went a bit mad with the camera. The adders would have preferred the arid house.
Despite my aversion to warm, wet weather, I love the tropical house even as my hair frizzes sky high.
I'm not sure the camera will recover, though! In the temperate house everyone can relax,
and count the terrapins - always more than the last time.
The houses are connected by splendid Victorian style floral corridors,
while outside, there is a Japanese garden with haikus cut into the granite paviours.
There's also a slightly exposed bird's nest!
You can tell there's not much writing being done this week, though I daresay my brain needs a break. No.3 Cat didn't help by bringing in a lively blackbird with a broken beak - it died after we finally got it out of the house and was sprawled on the front path for us in the morning - and Sunday lunchtime found me kneeling by the side of the road wrist deep in black mud between parked cars, rescuing a bundle of ill-judged frogspawn from a shallow puddle. Irritatingly the same thing had to be done again today - persistent but dim hen frog!
No.3 Cat was given a collar with a bell. His response was to return with a magpie.