Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

From where shall come forth sweetness

August 28th, 2010

LONG SPIKES of sweet scented buddleia blossom are a major attraction for butterflies and bees – provided you have butterflies and bees in the first place, of course.

There are a number of bushes in neighbouring gardens and a year ago I wrote about the varieties of butterflies that I saw feeding on the nectar-rich flowers   Things are much changed this year. All I've seen are a few Small White butterflies on the fringes of the woods but no sign of the more colourful Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Peacocks.

An occasional bumble bee gets trapped in the porch and I make a point of rescuing them   Honey bees have all but disappeared where the dogs and I walk   If things get much worse will we end up with breeding farms being set up to release bees into the wild and repopulate the countryside?

The dogs get a final walk before we all settle in for the night   The midsummer nights are short and it hardly gets truly dark, more of a surreal twilight – what the Shetlanders call the  €œsimmer dim €   I don't need a torch to light the way and Macbeth, even at his grubbiest, still shows up a dirty white.

But already the night sky is darker and I automatically reach for the torch   A week or so ago Inka got very excited, tearing up and down a fence side   I shone the torch on him and saw he was chasing a roe deer calf on the other side of the fence, which appeared to be disorientated with fright.

It wasn't always so, but now he pretty well instantly obeys an order to stop chasing, be it rabbit, hare or roe deer   Relieved of the apparent imminent danger the calfie bolted off in the opposite direction, doubtless a bit wiser about black things that appear unexpectedly out of the mirk.

If they don't feel threatened, roe deer adapt readily to human neighbours   I've heard stories of Dundee and Broughty Ferry householders waking up in the morning to find their gardens devastated by night-time visiting roe deer which fancied their flower beds for supper   We have a fluctuating community of deer in the woods round the house, but so far we've escaped their attention.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've heard Inka bark. That is apart from the times I hear high pitched yelps of frustration from somewhere out in the dark, when I know he's found a hedgehog curled up in its protective spiny ball and he can't figure out how to retrieve it.

We must have an invasion of hedge pigs because Inka has rootled one out for the past three nights   But he comes back to heel when he's told   Macbeth's response is much more dismissive – he cocks his leg against them!

Written on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 10:02 am for Weekly.