As the ‘Beast from the East’ hits the eastern edge of the UK, the cold weather continues from February into March. I do enjoy the bright, sunny frosty days of winter and the serenity of snow; one can wrap up against the cold wind and rejoice in being outside. It’s the dull, damp, rainy winter days that are so depressing when one is confined indoors and yearns for spring, so I’m happy with these dry, albeit cool, conditions.
We had a few days in our cottage at Kingussie last month and found the countryside looking glorious in snow. The view from our bedroom window towards Glenfeshie was uplifting and I enjoyed the various moods the light and clouds created on the landscape. I took a number of images (one of which was posted on Facebook) but during our stay the temperatures increased and the snow visibly melted by the day before us.
The snow drops in our Edinburgh garden are looking tremendous. It’s amazing how they have grown and expanded over the years from the few bulbs originally planted. I also went down to the Water of Leith to find some snowdrops to photograph against the river. I do like the effect of the foreground flowers set against a slightly more creative and abstract background and posted one of the images of Facebook. Some see photography as a snapshot in time in which everything in the image should be recognisable, however I am increasingly drawn to the artistic interpretation of natural objects using the various functions that a camera offers. There’s no magic here - it’s still about shutter speed and exposure - but simply being prepared to experiment and to 'push a few boundaries.'
A walk in Dalkeith Country Park one Sunday afternoon took us through the old oak wood. Some of these trees are centuries old and still thriving. The view from the Montagu bridge spanning the River Esk as it flows through the estate, revealed some trees backlit by the fading, yellow light of the sun for another creative photograph (see image).
A stroll through a wood in East Lothian on a different day allowed for a pleasant image of an expanse of snowdrops against a beech wood background. However as we ventured deeper into the wood, benches appeared haphazardly amongst the trees and we then noticed small plaques attached to natural stones discretely placed amongst the leaf litter of the woodland floor. We stopped to have a chat with someone who turned out to be a relative of the wood’s owner and learned that it is managed as a burial site for those who wish to be laid to rest in a natural environment. It was beautifully done and so discreet that many would never realise that they were walking through anything other than a beech wood. It also has an added bonus that the wood is protected from development now it has become a designated burial site.
With daffodils and crocuses pushing through, surely spring is only just round the corner?