stories and illustration

Coldstream from The Lees

coldstreamfrom the lees

January 6, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

October Fields 2

october fields 2

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

October Fields 1

october fields 1

The fields have changed colour, from the ochre of the stubble to the rich dark chestnut of the Berwickshire ploughed-up earth and the bright green of the new sowings. On the edge of the hills there is that one small silhouette of a tree, that one sees from all angles in Coldstream, as it stands there like a sentinel looking down on the slopes of the hills, the spread of the farmland, the waters of River Tweed. The Tweed is often described as “the silvery Tweed” which suits it.  Like all water it changes with the sky; however, widening out as it approaches the North Sea, it often shines with a silvery sheen, like the many salmon that swim its waters. The river is just beyond the ploughed field, with the pale green field beyond on the opposite bank.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harvested Field

august field

Last year this field was set with barley, this year with wheat.  Before it was harvested, round the edge of the wheat were a few stalks of barley, left over from last year’s crop. After a long hot summer the days now are cooler, with flashes of heavy rain.  Almost all the fields have now been cropped, except for some of the barley. Along the edge of a barley field I came across a man gathering blackberries, he eulogised apple and blackberry pie (d’accord, monsieur). The year is on the wane. If I wasn’t out taking photographs, maybe  would probably be lost in my own thoughts, instead of looking outwards at the fields of the Borders. The fireweed is beginning to fray. The skies are banked with clouds. There are red berries in the hedges. The Scottish children are back at school.



August 23, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Irrigation: Ghost Water 1


June 4, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lees in April



Walking by the Leet I could see above me the big expanse of farmland known as the Lees was edged with a crowd of vehicles, first of all I thought it might be travellers, or some local event, but it was an army of farm vehicles rented to turn over the soil and seed the field. I went walking past today but refrained from photographing them as I thought it would be invasive.  As I left the field the machines themselves were leaving, preceded by a van, which parked right in the middle of the access road to block it, so that the big machine could come up it impeded.  I had to run, looking over my shoulder, to make sure I was out of the way.  It made a great noise as it then slowly manouevred itself out into the main road on its way to wherever. I have total respect for drivers of these monsters – massif as they say in Jamaica. The  lines on the field are rather extrordinary.  The delicacy of them.  I remember the great muddy clods of yesteryear. I was out for a short walk with the small camera, but maybe over the next few days I will try and get some pictures of the feeding birdswith a more powerful zoom.  They are canny, crows, they know just how close they are not going to let you get.



April 17, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Borders Fields, Cheviot Hills

hills and fields

Another view of the hills, seen from the path that runs along the edge of the Hirsel.  Walked for miles yesterday, through woodland, past fields, and then along by the Hirsel lake, where I sat in The Hide watched coots and mallards and geese; then walked back down the wide road that leads back to Coldstream itself. I knew I was going to be late back, not allowing myself to be misled by the Golf Clubhouse Clock, which hasn’t yet been put on an hour to fit in with the end of Daylight Saving. The evenings are so much lighter now, I keep forgetting that the winter is over. That patch of snow on the hills has almost disappeared.

April 6, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

March Fields by River Tweed


brown fields

Tweed Landscape

There is still snow on the hills, or rather the sprinkling of snow has come back.  The fields are being ploughed, revealing the chestnut and chocolate  earth of Berwickshire and North Northumberland. The new machines turn the earth and render it to  fine grains and smooth it out, the newly-ploughed field is a thing of beauty and elegance. But if you walk along the edge of the fields across the river, there is little evidence of wildlife or even birds, apart from the crows and the ubiquitous wood pigeons. I remember many years ago living in the Liddel Valley, on the edge of the Middle Marches, looking at the fields after they had been drained and thinking how wonderful they looked.  But now that the fields over there have been left to roughen up again, become rushy and bumpy, or thick with flowery long grass, there is an abundance of wildlife. Saw a deer on the edge of the woods. And merlins up on the hillslope. Small flowers among the stones on the pathways. Nature taking over again, sharing with the hefted sheep.

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tweed River, November


November 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Before They Fall II


November 17, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: