Finally, I am putting last Saturday’s pictures up.  My excuse is an ongoing migraine – mostly low-grade and bearable but still, quite literally, a pain.  But here are the pictures from Saturday’s outing.

This is the kind of day it was… Sunny, bright, beautiful.

Okay, well, sort of.  When I first got up, it was sunny.  By the time I got dressed and was committing myself to an adventure, it was raining – raining enough for umbrellas to be necessary to the masses of pedestrians I could see from my kitchen window.

By the time I was completely my composition of a truly awful invective against the weather, it had cleared back up again.

So out I went.  As usual, my attention was often caught by the bright little shop fronts that protrude from the grey buildings along the roads.

I was off to the Botanic Gardens and this time, I actually looked up which street to take, so I had a decent chance of finding it again.

I love the view from the top of the street looking down toward the Firth of Forth.

What I do not love is seeing heavy clouds right where I want to be.

What I distinctly not love is knowing the weather is toying with me…

Unicorns prevail in this city.  They sell everything from food to antiques…

and they blatantly show off for the tourists.

Beautiful sky on a lovely afternoon.  Things look promising!

I still get overly excited when I see buildings with round, pointy towers.  I love round, pointy towers and I am not ashamed!

I also take a strange delight in seeing these old buildings that look like they were transplanted from a different time surrounding something as mundane and modern as a gas (petrol!) station.

I was almost to the gardens and knew I was on the right path when I happened to cast my glance down a long, winding street and see an interesting old church-looking building.

It was my walk, so there was no reason not to detour and inspect.

Gates… towers… mysterious old building….

See why detours are most excellent?

I love Celtic crosses!

This church – and the surrounding houses – have an amazing prospect out the back of the entire city.

I loved this lantern.

And it reminds me of the Lantern Hollow Press logo!

Long, empty roads made me feel like I was discovering beautiful things that no one else had ever seen.

Yes, I know, stupid, since the beautiful things I was admiring were built by people… lived in by people…

But you know what I mean, right?

A fence and then a wall covered in brambles… hmm… what are they hiding?

So I had just crossed the street and turned back toward the garden when it started to rain.  But when I looked up in annoyance, this is what I saw.

The sky behind me was grey and sprinkly, but in front of me was brilliant blue and a gorgeous rainbow.

I stopped, gaped, and then just began to laugh.

Because it felt like someone (…Someone!) had arranged it just for me and my love of magic journeys.

I arrived by the East Gate. That just sounds awesome, somehow…

You are getting the fact that I am easily pleased, right?

It was still raining mistily, but it was also still sunny.

I do love confused weather.

Despite the rain and cold, families were gathering to celebrate the end of the freezing temperatures.  It still felt freezing to me, but oh well.

I was caught by this lovely little girl and a squirrel.

I love these gardens!  They are huge, have tons of paths with a multitude of themed gardens, and the trees are just spectacular.

The trees seemed to lurk in the mist.

Rain, dark skies…

And yet… sunshine!

Oh, weather, you need medication.

A statue off on a secret path through the gardens.

I couldn’t quite figure that statue out…

The garden feels so quiet, distant, and lonely – away from the city.

But I would be continually surprised by the sight of cityscapes over the treeline and spires watching me from afar.

You can’t ever really escape Arthur’s Seat if you are anywhere near Edinburgh.

It sort of… looms.

And, of course, castle.

I will give credit where credit is due:

These flowers are brave!

It was cold, windy, and damp and the flowers still managed to take over an entire field and dominate it.

Feisty little things.

A quick detour through the Chinese gardens seemed in order.

All I had, of course, was my little point and shoot camera, but I have become accustomed enough to it that I feel like I can still be creative as a photographer if I just work at it.

So now I will take artsy shots.

Because that is the thing to do.

The bridges have these great carvings in the railings that I felt needed to be appreciated.

A happy little dragon frolicking in the park.

Also….. squirrel!

More trees.  Because I am excessively fond of trees.

Along the winding path, I went.

I can’t wait to come back here again when it is warm and the flowers come out in force.  This place will be stunning.

As opposed to, well, dark and cold and whatnot.

It wasn’t really that bad, though.  I was surprised at how beautiful a garden can be in the winter.

This tree has seen some action.

The garden apparently holds walking tours to see all the different kinds of snowdrops they have.

All I can think when I see them is… Stardust!

The movie…

There’s a snowdrop in it…

Yeah, anyway…

I find it slightly ironic that I got to see such a profusion of snowdrop flowers on the ground, but no actual snow this winter.

Everyone keeps saying that this is such a strange winter for Edinburgh and the weather has been so odd, etc, etc.

I think it’s all a hoax and they never get proper snow here.  Just the snowdrops.

All in all, it turned out to be a beautiful day, despite the spots of rain.

Hey, look! I found more flowers!

Also, Celtic cross.  It makes me happy.

A final turn through the gardens before I head back to my flat to actually get some work done…

Really, there was a surprising amount of color for a February walk.

I must give my final props to the brave little crocuses that refuse to give up in the face of bitter weather.

Walking back home again, I feel good about life.  The warmer the weather gets, the more of these walks I plan to take.  They get me out and away from the tense, difficult world of paper writing and classes and chaos and I get to be by myself for a bit.

I wondered what this was.  It looks like a city hall or something.

No, it’ actually a church!  And quite a large one, too.

Thank you, crazy sky, for holding up as long as you did so I could take a walk and see a rainbow.

A lovely lamp post in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

Another place I need to visit sometime…

It’s not that dark, but they already turned the lights on in anticipation of the early night.  Another thing I can’t wait for: longer days!

I passed by St Andrew’s Square and noticed a display on the lawn.  Pictures of beautiful closeups or distant shots of galaxies delayed my return for a few more minutes.

It’s only five!  Why the dark? Why?

There’s no more delaying the inevitable.  I must return home.

Walk to the gigantic monument, take a right, meander along the street, a left at the museum, up the stairs to New College, through the impressive little tunnel into Mylne’s Court.