stories and illustration

Geese and Grasses


August 29, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bramble and Moth

Bramble and Moth

There has been a grand crop of blackberries this year. A week ago I came across a man picking the fruits for blackberry and apple crumble, and at the bottom of Nun’s Walk  a rather a well-attired couple was wondering whether to risk wading into the centre of the bushes where the best  ripe fruit still glistened. Today, walking along the hedgerow coming up from the fields of stubble I can see where the berries have been picked, and where some are ripening, and some are ripe and still unpicked. But  many of the bramble stems still carry flowers, and I notice  that almost every flower is sheltering moths, some of them two or three insects. Tiny things, if I hadn’t been looking closely at the brambles I would never have noticed them. They pay no attention to my peering at them at all. Yesterday, walking by the river in the same spot I saw a flock of nearly fifty Canada geese on the water, making a terrific racket.  I didn’t have my camera with me, as it had been a dull day and I thought the light was not good for photography. Then a watery sun shone, and there were the geese. Hoped the birds would still be there today, but of course they had flown.

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A February Walk Round the Hirsel Lake

Hirsel Lake

At last the pall of cloud lifts,  it is a sunlit February day, and I have the time to walk up to the Hirsel and take a leisurely walk round the lake. Although it is Sunday, and there are plenty of people walking in the grounds, nobody seems to be walking round the lake, and when I get to the Hide it is deserted.

Lake 3

A few birds float past the Hide:

Lake and Swans

Lake 4

Lake 5

Lake 6

There is some graphic grafitti of the usual kind on the walls of the Hide, and someone has demolished on of the sides:

Lake 7

I walk on round the lake path:

Lake 8

Lake 9

There is farmland to the left of the path:Lake 10

Then further along the path divides, with the left hand path going into the woods, where in a couple of months the famous rhododendrons will be flourishing:

Lake 11

I decide to walk into the spinney near the lake.  The ground is very soft underfoot, and I find myself sinking in, so try and anchor my boots on a piece of fallen branch.  A treecreeper is climbing up a tree, it moves amazingly fast, like a little mouse. Down nearer the water I can see greylag geese:

Lake 12

But as a try to inch nearer through the bog they sense my presence and take off, with an amazing cacophony:

Lake 13

I think of the geese that saved Rome with their clamour – there was me trying to plod surreptitiously across the mud, quite some way away, but they get a sense of me and rise into the air, wheeling above me in a frenzied flock, honking away, shadowy above my head.  I thought I’d scared them away.  But eventually they come down on to the lake, further off, their honking fainter, and feeling a tad abashed at creating this uproar, I gaze for a few moments at the peaceful, birdless water:

Lake 14

Then I unstick myself from the mud and continued along the path, through the grey wintered trees:

Lake 15

Lake 16

Lake 17

On the path is this pretty feather:

Lake 18

I am near the end of the route round the lake, I know that when I came across the willows that I like to look at from the other side of the water, and that I missed when they were cut and I couldn’t see that lovely red that shines almost vermilion from far away:

Lake 19

Coming out from the path, I see  the Hirsel  spread out on the top of its gentle slope:

Lake 20

I walk back past the reedbeds:

Lake 21

Then look back across the lake, from where I started, before going to have a cappucino in the Hirsel Tearoom, which is packed, although in the whole of my walk, on such a fine day, I only met one couple going round the lake.

Lake 22

February 3, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Borders Sky III


A big pink cloud, the light failing fast, a skein of geese flies past, then another skein of geese, flying along the path of the Tweed, the plaintive sound of their honking like no other sound. The cloud is wispy, the photograph is wispy, but I am glad they have crossed the eye of the lens all the same. Bon voyage.

November 27, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments


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