stories and illustration

Puddle 3


Even during this hot summer, there are puddles at the bottom of slopes. This is all so transient. I appreciate the contrast of the muddy rim, the muddy water and the clarity of the reflection of the leaves. Everything is changing.  If I walk round the puddle, from another angle I see nothing.  In the photograph, when it is enlarged, the puddle water has all kinds of mauve colours in it. The camera picks up more than my eyes. Or has a different interpretation.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

An Encounter



I was standing on the wooded path on the English side of the Tweed, looking over fields towards Cornhill on Tweed, and pondering the use of the Manual setting on my camera, which I have only just attempted to start to use (great improvement in the colour of skies, and also I have a twinkling of an idea now, after some good instruction, of the first rudiments of how an image is created); when I was aware of a rustling sound, and when I looked down there was this small squirrel just standing a few feet away looking at me.  What a pretty tail. What lovely russet legs.  I think it must have been quite young, to be intrigued rather than afraid of me.  I quietly turned the camera on to Auto and took some pictures. There are red squirrels in these parts, if not these woods, so the grey is abhorred; but I don’t abhor it at all. I was happy to be looked at in such a quizzical way at such close quarters, for a few moments, rather than seeing a distant blur. How lovely not be be instantly run away from. In the second picture it looks as if the squirrel is skateboarding.




July 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Reeds and Sun Disc

reeds and sun

The light caught the reeds in the Hirsel Lake  as I pointed the camera towards the sun, and this pretty disc appeared on the lens (as I found out later, at the time all I could see was the light on the reeds); meanwhile all other colour was drained except for variations of sepia, like an old print.

February 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hirsel Lake:Gulls


Went out for a longer walk this afternoon, as had a hiatus in my work.  A fine, cold day. Took the new camera and tried it out on the Hirsel Lake as the sun went down beyond the trees. I haven’t even read a quarter way through the instructions, so don’t know the ins and outs; but am fascinated, especially by the zoom, and by the difference in the way the lens reads colour when the light is dim, and the difference in focus. Was out for over two hours, came home along the back way which was deep in rank mud that I had to wash off my boots and clothes. So many people walking near the lake, and the cafe was full this Saturday afternoon in January. There were dozens of little girls dressed in layers of beige and pink, some with pink crash helmets, riding their scooters,  and one child of indeterminate sex standing under a tree attacking its scooter with a stick and shouting at it. On the back way there was nobody except one brave runner who went splashing through  the mud in her trainers. Not a soul on the golf course. Some day soon when the sun sets a bit later, and the Hirsel is not so crowded, I will go up and crouch in the Hide and peer out over the lake from there.The place is crowded with birds this winter, especially over the far side, and I want to have a closer look.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Single Straying Swan

For Christmas I was given a new camera, all singing all dancing, of course I haven’t mastered the half of it yet.  I have  the correct memory card, a fancy new strap, the instructions on CD (not yet gone through, apart from the opening pages, I am going at this nice and slow) – and nervousness. Technophobe, c’est moi – up to a point –   I do take a delight when something is understood, leaving aside any sense of mastery;  but I am terrified of pushing the wrong button, pushing another button too hard, ruining things.  In the long run, practice, and reading the instructions slowly and with attention, does help.  Anyway, this lovely camera has a good zoom lens (ZOOM ZOOM) so this afternoon, on a damp winter’s day I decided to just stroll round and see what I could see.  An obliging swan had sailed, probably sideways, up the branch off the Tweed which is the River Leet, and this singular swan was just swimming around in what was something between the Leet and overflow sludge.  It seemed quite unruffled and paid no notice of me as I tried out the zoom lens on my swimming target. In the end I continued my walk, right round the open spaces of the Lees, I didn’t mean to go far, but by the time I had gone far enough it was as well to continue as to go  back.  No weather for any more photographs. The rain began to fall, the wind practically pushed me sideways, I noticed that a couple of big branches had come down from my favourite tree on the edge of the big fields. Wind so high I had to take off the possum hat to prevent it blowing into the Tweed. The trees ahead “a chocolate mist” as described by a Victorian poet, either Coleridge or Swinburne (I think) – always think of that in winter, in the countryside. The fishing hut was all locked up, with padlocked shutters.  There was a big red notice  fastened on a nearby tree, instructions to keep dogs on a lead as rat poison had been laid nearby. Coming back past Lees House saw that someone had carved the image of a fish into the stump of a hewn tree.  When I got back home I managed to extract the memory card and put it into the computer.  A small pause, then hello, instructions to put pictures on to the computer.  A good day’s work… what fun I will have….what larks, Pip…..

January 7, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


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