Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy day and lots of fresh outdoor air

First day of the school holiday weekend for us today. Glorious sunshine at the start, the children were up early but delayed breakfast to play outside, collect the eggs, pick rhubarb, chalk on the paving, hit some tennis balls, do a bit of skateboarding. By 9am they were keen to have brekky and move onto other activities. So this morning I made a batch of rhubarb chutney which is looking very dark and lucious. The children weren't keen on the overriding vinegar smell while cooking took place but were intrigued by the bubbling steaming hot mass in the pan. We've been overloading on rhubarb crumble, tart, torte, cake, fool, and custard recently but not yet at the stage we're tired of the stuff.
The outing for the day was over to Balmaha on the east side of Loch Lomond, a small village with a boatyard, good pub, National Park visitor centre and huge car park. We had a lovely walk through the woodland on the lower slopes of Conic Hill and did lots of exploring. The weather had changed from the early morning and was a mix of showers and weak sunshine so the midgies were out, although not toooo bad. Lots of bluebells to see still and lots of 'nature walk' interest for the children.
I love seeing the new growth on pine trees like this, the contrasting greens make a good sight.

The growth of lichens, some of which are quite some size, are also a great indicator of the clarity of the air.

A glorious sunny end to the day was just perfect.

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