stories and illustration


VestigesI have been telling myself this is Old Man’s Beard, but I don’t think it is fluffy enough; though maybe there was a wild clematis growing here last summer.  The buzzards were mewing today above the river, and mist was rising over the fields and hiding the Cheviots.  The heron is back on its post by the weir just down from Coldstream Bridge; I haven’t seen a heron at that spot since the autumn, though all summer it stood there, and then some yards further on there would be another heron, and then another. Young herons don’t seem to be too fazed about people, but the older ones are more canny.



February 15, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rough Water by the Weir

Rough Water

This morning dawned sunlit, followed by high winds which lashed rain against the window; then this afternoon the sun came out again.  I walked on the big open fields of the Lees, coming up on to the muddy path  beside the Tweed where the wind banged against me so icy it hurt.  My possum hat flew off – my possum hat never blows off – it was a raw old day.  I met a family group coming towards me past The Fishing Hut who asked me if it was windy thataway.  Why yes, it is windy, windy and freezing.  Right, they said, we’ll go this way instead.  So I turned away from the river and followed them back to Coldstream, but not before I took some photographs. It was getting dark, but the light from off the river was enough to get  picture of the mercurial waters of the weir as the sun set over the horizon.  The roads were being salted, so frost is on its way. All the way round the Lees are small tracks, from miniature motorbikes that have been given to two young boys for Christmas.  I don’t know how they managed yesterday when the winds were so strong they almost knocked me over.  I met them as they stopped their machines and waited for me to pass.  You got those for Christmas? I asked.  Yes, they said.  Fantastic.  What joy they must have been having, and I don’t suppose they have been making the mud much worse.  Anyway,  tomorrow the ruts will be hard and crisped with ice.

January 2, 2015 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weir and Branches


November 12, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weir Water


November 3, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Heron by the Weir 2


Out on a walk toward the Hirsel I stopped to look down at the water of the River Leet as it flows under the main bridge leading out of Coldstream towards Kelso.  The water reflected blue, and gold leaves were floating fast over the weir, it was pretty, so I leant over and was taking some photographs when I saw this heron just beyond the weir.  It looked like it was standing in a nest of fallen leaves. I took three or four photographs of the bird, but then when I looked again it had vanished. A man on the bridge stopped to talk and said herons had been taking all his goldfish, until he netted the pond.  I think they can sense fish from miles off.

October 25, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heron by the Weir 1

Heron 1


October 25, 2014 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Ducklings and a Stone

three ducklings

After the heavy rain, I saw a duck on the Tweed, flying from bank to bank, crying out in obvious distress. Perhaps her ducklings had gone missing.  Apparently herons can take them, though I suppose turbulent water might do it, or at least sweep them away.  But these three have survived fine, and are feeding on the weir just below Coldstream Bridge, which is just damp now as the water levels have gone right down. People and ducks walk along the weir, the herons stand at the end, looking into the water that swirls round the edge; and the other day I saw a solitary hooded crow, waddling about just beneath the Marriage House (eastern equivalent, in the old days, of Gretna Green), looking a tad out of place.

July 13, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heron in the Leet 3


I think this was a young heron, just learning to catch small fry from the river, by the small weir on Leet Water.  It seemed less aware of people than usual with herons, and so I stood on the bridge and photographed it from above for several minutes, while it stalked about, obviously on the qui vive for morsels; though the most it seemed to get were insects and maybe a tiny fish.






May 26, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heron, Willow, Leet Water


They have almost a sixth sense, herons; I just caught sight of this one through the branches of the willow, as I was crossing the green to walk under the bridge. It cottoned on to my presence almost as soon as I had taken the photograph, even though I was quite a distance away.  I continued through the ever-thickening undergrowth in the area beyond the bridge, where hardly anyone walks.  Caught sight of the heron again, but once more the bird had spotted me and was off.  I think it was quite irritated by my encroaching on its territory because it flew above my head, looking a touch pterodactylish, screeching. Last time I walked down by the weir on the Leet I saw two yellow wagtails, they weren’t at all disturbed by my presence; unfortunately I didn’t have my camera, as I would like to have recorded them, as I haven’t seen any for years. The swallows are back, and the house martins, and there is a whole host of sand martins down on the Tweed, they are little beserkers when it is sunny and there are insects about.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Weir


the weir

Strange how the panoramic view distorts the shape of the weir, and yet this is what the camera sees from a single  wide viewpoint. A kind of fishbowl effect.  This is looking down the River Tweed. There were several boats on the river, and a total lack of herons – they were obviously keeping a low profile.

April 29, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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