November 2018
November 2018 - Autumn Colours and Roman Remains

The autumn colours have been splendid, even if short-lived due to gusty winds in Scotland's south east. The extent of autumn for the photographer is often dictated by frost and wind - frost to hasten the colour change in leaves; wind that can strip those leaves off a tree in an instant. Some calm weather wouldn't go amiss just now.

A trip to Perthshire on non-photographic matters revealed some gorgeous golden scenes and a grab shot overlooking Loch Tay towards Ben More with wonderfully coloured trees in the foreground had to be posted on Facebook. Similarly, some of the trees on the Water of Leith were looking pretty special too.

At the beginning of last month I headed up to the Cairngorms and found myself in the right place at the right time with a satisfying view of an illuminated Ruthven Barracks at twilight. It's a striking building pre-dating Jacobean times and is now cared for by Historic Scotland. With a backdrop of the Monadhliath mountains it oozes a wild, harsh and cold atmosphere!

We also visited Northumberland in October and found the Sycamore Gap on Hadrian's Wall. It was quite incredible to be walking beside stonework dating back some 2000 years. The Sycamore tree (see attached) situated in the base between two rises is so distinctive and has now become an icon since being voted Tree of the Year in 2016. We also took in "Vinderlander" where we saw the outdoor remains of a roman fort and village complemented by many artefacts recovered from the archaeological excavations which were housed inside a museum. The day was finished off with a trip to the Roman Army museum to learn more about what military life was like "on the wall." The museums really put Hadrian's Wall into context and I would recommend them without hesitation.

I launched my new book "Mull: Moments and Memories" during October at a presentation to Scottish Wildlife Trust's Borders Group down in Galashiels. The evening included a talk and slide show to a full house which seemed to be well received and my thanks to them for a fun evening.

The rest of October was taken up with honey and cider production. The bees are now bedded down for the winter but honey is still to be extracted from some frames, while apple juice from the wind-blow is currently fermenting into cider. October is always a busy month which limits time for photography but hopefully things will ease in November.