stories and illustration

Catkins 3

Catkins 3

February 24, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catkins 2


February 24, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catkins 1


February 24, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking the Norham Path

January Sky 1

Finished the commission I have been working on, so since there were flashes of sun between the clouds, I decided to take the camera out, and to walk along the English side of the Tweed, on what I think of as the Norham Path, though Norham is several miles away and I have no intention of walking there.

I was told by a fellow blogger, when I posted pictures of a lone swan sailing round and round in a pool at the edge of the Leet, caused by the flooding, that single swans like this were usually in some kind of trouble, as swans mate for life and are not usually alone – I hoped that this swan had gone upstream, where other swans are hanging out, but sadly no, it is swimming up and down the same stretch of The Tweed, keeping near the bank:


Climbing up Nuns Walk I see this great tit in the branches of a tree that leans over the water:

Great Tit

I cross over the bridge between Scotland and England:

A Border Bridge

Down below, on the other side,  the water races over the weir, and the heron is back at his staging post (saw another further down, but this is the one that I look out for. If Scotland becomes a separate country from England, maybe this heron should be employed as a border guard, or at least a passport officer.

It is still quite early, but already the light is drawing in, as I take the path down into the wooded path on the other side of Tweed River. Now I am in England. The trees are still grey and bare, but some hazel catkins are out:

Grey Scene


I worked out how to take close-ups with the new camera, but now I’ve forgotten: however, nice to see the pretty catkins, so early in the year.

When I get to the stile I climb over and try to capture the varying light, as the sun comes and goes. It shines on Cornhill on Tweed, away over the fields:


Cornhill 2

Shines on the ploughed hill:

Ploughed Hill

And flickers over the hills, making them look like 19th Century landscapes:

Light over Hills 1

Fields and Hills1

Then I  point the camera towards the sun:

Winter Sky

I climb back over the stile, and decide to go back, but not before taking a picture of what may be called A New Broom:


The first yellow of Spring.

The sun has almost set, even though it is only four o’clock, as I know because the bus that travels between Berwick on Tweed and Galashiels passes me as I cross over the bridge:

Sun over Tweed

It has been invigorating to be out and about with the camera once again, and to see the first signs of the Spring, though storms are forecast over the next few days.  My last portrait is of this crow sitting in a tree beside the Tweed, which makes a nice endpiece; then I turn upwards towards the house:


January 22, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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


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