…It’s amazing the difference it makes. We’ve had blue skies and warm sunshine for the last few days and despite overnight frosts as a result it really does feel as though spring is just around the corner. On Sunday I was tempted out on expedition that combined birdwatching and cycling – how could I say no? – and even though it meant cycling more in one day than I’d managed to ride in the whole preceeding week, it was amazing. And the other half was tempted out on one of his quarterly bike rides the next day, into Bigtown to meet me after my hospital appointment, followed by some pottering round the shops, coffee, and a gloriously sunny ride home. The bench has been sat on extensively, the garden is looking a bit more gardened, and I’ve barely been able to drag myself indoors to make sure nobody’s been being wrong on the internet during the hours of daylight.
The highlight of Sunday’s trip was a sighting of Bigtown’s resident otter. Now your average otter sighting (assuming it isn’t dead on the road) is a bit of a ripple on the river at dusk followed by a lot of waiting to see if it’s going to come back before it gets completely dark, but this otter is far less elusive. Not only was it out and about at 10 am, and on a stretch of river that runs right through the centre of Bigtown, but it treated us to a brilliant view: catching a fish (‘that’s bigger than any I’ve seen any of the fishermen pull out of there’, someone remarked) and dragging it up onto the bank to despatch it. Apparently it’s well known in the area and is becoming something of a regular in the town, even showing up for the traditional ceremony for the opening of the fishing season. Given that this involves pouring a libation of whisky into the river to ensure a good catch, clearly it’s very much a Scottish otter and as fond of a dram as everyone else in the town.