Cover photo for Elosa

#1 A Look Back at February 2023

Yeesh, what a month! Only half of it spent at home, one way or another. Euan spent a week in South Africa, in the Kruger National Park, so I and the two two-legged girls decamped to Stempster, while Scapa was dispatched to Cumbria, her home from home, to enjoy a week as the only dog in the household. We all then joined her from across the globe for a week enjoying the delights of Northern England.
Of course, naturally, we all came down with a cough-cold-flu thing, which wasn’t too fun. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: children are worse than rats and pigeons for spreading diseases. I swear the Bubonic Plague (as I wrote to a friend recently) was not spread by innocent little rats at all, it was probably a bunch of grinning toddler marauders trundling through the streets of London.
An elephant in the Kruger National Park
Nevertheless, illness aside, a marvellous time was had by all over the fortnight (at least, by our all - I can’t vouch for our Stempster and Cumbria hosts).
And here we are, March already. This is the first update on our collated recent goings-on. The intention is that they will be monthly-ish and act as a recap of recent events and posts, but I make no promises. You know what life is like sometimes.
We only shared two posts in February, and one of those was a snippet from one of my notebooks dating back to January. The other was sharing the splendid news that it is now public knowledge that Euan has been awarded one of the fellowships attached to the Future of UK Treescapes programme. Euan’s project will focus on the wych elm and Dutch Elm Disease. He is The Elm Guy, after all. He’ll be working with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and, as well as the science bit (sampling and genetically analysing surviving and infected elm trees), he will be producing a children’s book to promote awareness and encourage citizen scientists to get involved in the elm hunt. So, if you are based in the UK and you’re aware of any healthy mature elm trees in your neck of the woods, do get in touch. Euan would love to hear from you.
In these postcards, we’ll also share updates from our wider ecosystem of family and friends. So, on that note…

A Murder of Crows

Coming on for two years ago now, the Caithness Crows moved from Wick to Stempster House, west of Thurso. Since then, they have been dedicated to making the house and gardens feel loved again. During February, they battled storms and a power outage, but they also saw Jupiter, Venus and The Merry Dancers. And, after a resurgence of winter (more still to come, I suspect), skylarks were heard and lambs were spotted. The decorator has been in a couple of times and new windows have been fitted throughout the house and conservatory; and we Crow girls had much fun putting up a swing in the garden. You can read more about recent (and previous) events of the natural world in Mum’s February post, “February-Fill-Dyke, wet, windy, cold.”
From Scotland to France, and Alexander’s latest Not A Travel Writer update, “Sudden, Rimed, Ridgelines,” included details of winter woods and woodpeckers, as well as exciting plans for the year ahead.

And so to March!

Well, we’ve got the ball rolling on these updates now, even if this one is a little sparse. Let’s see what the next month brings.
Until next time, friends,
Lydia and all at Elosa xxx