Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunshine in November (at last!)

Finally a spell of bright weather has lifted Autumn and indeed my mood.   I'm trying to do more planned photography now to add to the more haphazard work i've done thus far (mainly recording wildlife and landscapes while exploring them).

My first planned shoot was picked for a still evening with some cloud in the sky, ideal for photographing the Kelpies.

First in the late afternoon, a reflection:

The skies darkened as the sun set:

And the lights came on:

We keep going back to visit the Kelpies they truly are magnificent.  I wonder what the Artist is up to at the moment?   Hopefully something as dramatic and landscape oriented as these.    Kudos too to the council for funding the work and installation, they are a real sight to behold either close up or from the nearby motorway.

Living in Falkirk is ideal really in terms of exploring Scotland and balancing that with the need for Helen to keep working.  We're north of the axis between Glasgow and Edinburgh yet still proximate to the motorway network so it's easy to head North, West, East or indeed South.

We watch the weather and given free time pick a destination to suit.   One weekend the forecast was good but patchy, location specific.  So on the Saturday we picked St Andrews to visit, starting at the Castle and then walking to the nearby Abbey.   If you pay to visit the site or are a member of historic Scotland then you can get a wee token that allows you access to climb the tower, to enjoy the rather splendid views of the town and surrounds:

From St Andrews we headed up the coast to Tentsmuir, which was bathed in Autumnal sunshine:

As was the beach:

The locals didn't mind me taking random snaps of the dogs.   This chap kept losing the ball as it was washed past him by the incoming tide:

We followed the Tay towards Perth stopping at the various Abbey ruins along the river, visiting a distillery, Lindores Abbey named after the ruins it overlooks, that has a cafe and a visitor centre indded it is fully open despite the fact it's never distilled a drop (of Whisky).   These distilleries are popping-up all over the place, there has to be some kind of overcapacity coming, which will be good for prices and collectors a few years hence no doubt.

Heading closer to Perth we passed through an unforecast heavy rain shower, and saw a cyclist stopped with his camera phone out.   We turned around and hey presto a magnificent rainbow in the town of Newburgh:

The next day the forecast looked better South so we headed to Dryburgh Abbey, one of the cluster located in the area but we'd not yet had a chance to visit.   We stopped first at Smailhome Tower, a building that dominates the local landscape:

Close by we saw a field full of Pink-footed Geese with ever more descending to join them:

Then Dryburgh Abbey, which is a very impressive building and well worth exploring:

Having seen the building and read the history we then started a 4-5 mile circular walk to and indeed along the River Tweed.   The sunlight and autumn colours combined specatacularly:

The river hosts a number of Dippers and we were lucky enough to hear and see our first Dipper display, a real treat.  The walk was very pleasant apart from the golf course bit, and being a Sunday there was no gunfire or other unpleasant distractions so we could really soak up the sense of time and place this area offers.

Roll forward to another weekend and after seeing Scotland vs Samoa at Murrayfield, and enjoying the rousing rendition of Flower of Scotland followed by a Scotland victory, we spent Sunday morning walking our local River Carron:

There's still leaves and colour but it's dissipating quite quickly now as Autumn turns to Winter.  We are finding Scotland to be a wonderful place to explore and indeed live.  Roll on Winter and hopefully some frost and snow to photograph!


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