Was it just me or did autumn suddenly roll in a week or two early? I thought the leaves changed colour sooner than usual and by the third week in October (when the golden splendour arrives) some trees were already past their best. Nevertheless it is a splendid time of year and one all photographers eagerly await. Storm force winds are the big threat to the season as overnight they can strip trees bare to the boughs and all those golden hues vanish in an instant.
Time has been tight for photography during the last few weeks but I did manage a couple of trips to the Water of Leith to 'expose some pixels.' I never tire taking images of the swirling flow of the river and find leaf, stone and water combine to create such atmospheric images. Different shutter speeds create varying effects and allow one to experiment with creative, abstract images. At this time of year leaves can stack up behind or be caught around stones giving another dynamic to images of the river (see image).
A trip to the Cairngorms gave a little time for photographic forays and a couple of early morning outings. Listening to the stags roar as mist rolled in between the hills in Glen Banchor generated a mood of wild landscape; the red deer rut is such a special time and, for me, one of the indicators that autumn has arrived. The birch trees were "golden-ing" up and my hands were soon frozen as the sun remained below the horizon. A tourist from Switzerland came across for a chat; they had been travelling across Scotland and loving the scenery with fond memories of Skye. It seemed strange that Switzerland has some of the highest peaks in the Alps, yet Scotland's lower altitude landscape was amazing them. Given Switzerland's land-locked nature, perhaps the west coast combination of sea and mountain gave them a dynamic they cannot experience at home? Either way, their 10 year old son said touring Scotland was his best holiday yet!
We also squeezed in a quick weekend visit to Northumberland where I gave a talk to the North Northumberland Bird Club who were very kind with their hospitality. We enjoyed wandering around the picturesque village of Warkworth and met friends for a walk around the beach in Amble. A stop at Craster for some of their famous kippers completed a wonderful couple of days away.