2 Oct 2014
We're just a few hours away from the start of this year's Haddo Arts Festival, 10 days of music, art, food and comedy in and around Haddo House
The Festival kicks off at 8pm tonight with a performance by Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society, followed by Scottish Opera's performance of Macbeth on Saturday. Throughout the week there are performances from Hebrides Ensemble, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, RSNO and pianist Cristina Ortiz.
If classical music's not your thing, then comedian Lee Hurst takes the stage on Thursday night, followed by a superb cabaret jazz evening on Friday. There's also a foodie tasting evening in the house on Wednesday where you can sample the best of the North East's local food and drink producers.
Art In The Park
In the Peatyards there's an exhibition of Scottish landscape painting by Paul Ritche and sculpture by Arthur Watson (open weekends and before and after performances) and photographs by Sally Macpherson on show in the hall during performances. Out in the park, the Pheasantry is being transformed into a sound and light installation, created by Ross Whyte, and will be open 10.30am-4pm throughout the Festival (except Monday).
You can fnd all the festival details on their website at www.haddoartsfestival.org.uk or pick up a programme from the Visitor Centre.
All this culture is a bit of change from last weekend, when we were out in the park for most of the day, rummaging through the grass and looking under logs and trying to ID the huge number of mushrooms and other fungi which crop up in the park in the autumn. Liz Holden and the rest of the Grampian Fungus Group were there to give expert identification tips for everything from the waxcaps on the lawn to this bizarre Stinkhorn ‘egg’.
As it gets colder and darker, we're seeing lots more Red Squirrels scampering about the park. After ignoring them for most of the summer, they're now regularly emptying out red squirrel feeders, and the best place to try and spot them is either around the feeders or in the woods behind the adventure playground.
We've also had a brief sighting of a Kingfisher in the park this week. Kingfishers breed locally but it's pretty rare to get even a glimpse of them within the park. Keep your eyes open around the duck pond and the Kelly Burn, and if you see one (or better yet get a photo!) then we'd love to hear from you!