stories and illustration

A Walk Round a Lake Plus Swan

hirsel swan 3

Hirsel Swan

After days of snow, hail, wind and grey skies, at last there was a fine day, and people appeared to celebrate, walking in the Hirsel. This swan had come right up to the bank near the benches, where a family was gathered, the swan probably sensing a titbit from them.  When it saw me it hissed, maybe it was the camera it didn’t like, or maybe it was just me looming up at it, and it not liking the cut of my jib.

I walked on past riverside trees:

t willow


And flourishing reeds lit up by the sun. On the other side of the lake I had looked in vain for the dash of red that shines out against the fawn and greyish browns. But when I got to the other side, I saw why the red had gone (it will be back).  The pollarded willows stand out of the ground, like fists of giants, or cudgels with their hasps buried in the ground:

hirsel lake pollard willows

Pollarded Willows


Pollarded Willows 2

I walked on along the wooded path, stepping carefully round the deep rutted pockets of mud where the water-levels are still high, and came out into the lane that runs back down to the Hirsel:


The Lane

t big cloud

The Big Cloud

t catkins


t glimpses of water

Glimpses of Water

And came to the bird hide, which one approaches down a little path:

t entrace to the hide

Entrance to the Hide

Usually the hide is empty, but on this bright Spring day I was soon joined by others.  Don’t know the etiquette for hides, so beat a retreat, but not before I had taken a few notes of the view:

t looking out from the hide

Looking out from the Hide

t like from the hide 2

Still a Splash of Red

t lake from the hide

Light on the Water

t two decoys and a real duck

Two Decoy Ducks and Real Duck

Then back home along the Hirsel road where, just before coming out on to the Coldstream road, I saw this glove giving the V-sign to the wintery weather:

t hirsel glove


hirsel lake swan

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows in Old Houses

old windows 1

The Oval Window

The oval window looks out right along the garden, which is only just beginning to flourish, in this cold Spring that has lasted deep into April.  Snow is forecast for June.  In the meantime, from the outside the oval window shines blue with reflected sky.

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The Oval Window from the Terrace

New windows in an old place hold many memories:

old windows 11

Looking out on the Wall

old windows 15

The Picture

TThe dog does like to bark fiercely at passing (safely faraway) dogs, so a barrier is put up:

old windows 14

The Bark-Preventer

This is taken away when company arrives:

old windows 24

Nothing to Bark At

The morning is bright behind the nets:

old windows 9 (2)

Morning Window

Later the windows look out over the setting sun:

old windows 10


old windows 4

Evening 2

Meanwhile the little wren still sits tucked into the window square:

old windows 16

The Wren

And the gnu still rests its head, beside the metal violin:

old windows 8

The Gnu

And just occasionally, even during this cold Spring, the sun does shine through the old windows:

old windows 20


April 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


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