February 2019
February 2019 - Ice returns

At last some real winter weather has arrived - snow in the Scottish Highlands and frost in the Lowlands. When snowdrops are flowering and daffodil shoots breaking the surface in late December, something is very wrong! I guess it simply demonstrates the effects of global warming, hence the eventual arrival of low temperatures allows us to feel as if natural order has been restored and provides - perhaps misguided -reassurance.

Those freezing mornings may have been tough on the fingers but have produced some wonderful sunrises. An early morning rise ahead of a meeting in Stirling allowed me a chance to photograph the Wallace monument against a fiery sky (see image) to perhaps represent the turbulent times for which he is remembered. Stirling
Castle also stood out in silhouette against subtler colours reflected in the clouds.

The Ochil hills look down towards the north bank of the Forth estuary and are an underrated area of natural beauty; many will simply drive past them in a dash for the 'Munros' of the Central Highlands. On a frosty morning I came over the top of them when returning from a trip to Perth. While not the highest of Scotland's tops, they still gave great views of the frozen landscape of moorland, forestry and grassland pasture. Some of the Perthshire landscape was pretty stunning too.

An overwhelming need to fire off a few exposures one afternoon took me down to the Water of Leith to photograph a more creative image of the river flowing over stones. There was a lovely piece of late afternoon sun reflecting in parts of the water to give it a warming orange glow and I posted the image on Facebook. Having secured an image I was happy with, normality resumed!

During January I gave a talk on Mull to Livingston Camera Club. The show seemed to be well received by the members and I thank them for their very kind welcome. It is wonderful to see camera clubs flourishing and thriving as interest in photography continues to grow.

I also spent a long weekend in Dundee last month. I was pleasantly surprised at the investment being poured into the waterfront which, of course, includes the new V&A museum. It is a modern building which caters more for exhibitions at present. We also visited the McManus Galleries to learn more about the city, HMS Unicorn (a 200 year old wooden frigate) and the Discovery (which took Captain Scott and his team to the Antarctic). With good restaurants and plenty to do, it was a very enjoyable visit which I would recommend. It was just a shame the weather was wet, cold and hardly conducive for photographs: another day, I guess...