stories and illustration

Landscape with Sunshine and Far Cloud


February 26, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Willow and Snowdrops

SnowdropsWent tramping around today in this little plantation, near the town.  The runnels are still full of ice here, there is a profusion of snowdrops, no footprints. Nobody walks here much, as the place does not have a way through to the town, the only walk being on the other side of the river.  I have seen deer here, and just across the water, a kingfisher, that flamy breast and then the flash of turquoise as it darts off. I’ve also seen grey wagtails (with their yellow breasts) down by the water. These are birds I knew from my childhood but don’t see often now. Today I tried not to step on the snowdrops, planting my boots on the moss, enjoying being in a secret place whilst just a short way away the town was going about its business: I could hear traffic, and a dog barking, somebody shouting. As usual, I disturbed a heron.

February 9, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Willows and Reeds

willows and reeds

These willows were cut back last year, and I missed the flashes of red from the other side of the Hirsel Lake, but they have grown back in their full glory of colour, amidst the general fawns of February. It made me happy to see them again.

February 2, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Willows by Tweed River


December 11, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 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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