Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Up the Armadale Burn

I've found a cracking website called A Wild Land, which is all about the area I live in and has what look like some very good walks on it. Today I decided to stretch my legs on the first one: The Armadale Big Burn.

The website says that you can sometimes see buzzards riding the thermals and I could see one circling in the distance as I climbed up the track. A beetle caught my eye on the path and I stopped to try and photograph it, but as I did so I could hear 'Keeeeee keeeeee' coming closer all the time and ended up hurriedly switching the lens out of macro to take these:

Buzzard 1

Buzzard 2

That is as close as I think I'm going to get to a flying one with this lens - I shall keep an eye on the fence posts and see if I can get closer to a stationery bird.

As you can see from those two shots, the sky was a bit washed out, meaning it was a bad day for landscape photography, but a good day for macro. And luckily I came across absolutely the biggest dragonfly I've ever seen in my life:

Dragonfly 1

Dragonfly 2

Those two were taken with the lens at 300mm in normal mode, but this lens has a switch on the side of it that will change it into a macro lens between 200mm and 300mm. This was taken in macro:

Dragonfly 3

I was looking out for a tributary coming down to the burn, because that meant I was getting near the broch mentioned in the walk guide. The ground started to get marshy and this little chap sprang out of the way of my boot:

Frog 2

Frog 1

I finally reached the broch and did the obligatory climb up to it:

View from the broch

The walk guide said to continue following the burn up to the loch at its source and, if you have the energy, to climb the mountain beside it. However, it had taken me an hour to get this far and looking at my map I could see I was maybe two thirds of the way there at best. That's the problem with taking me walking with a camera - I'll happily spend quarter of an hour following a dragonfly around.

I could see a farm track from the broch that I knew crossed the burn a little way on, so I walked down that to the water and then decided to turn back. There's a small copse of trees down there and in their shade, foxgloves grow:

Foxglove

I tried to get arty with the cotton grass:

Cotton grass

And as I got back towards the road, I was rewarded with another buzzard:

Buzzard 3

1 comment:

Lane said...

Absolutely stunning photos. The dragonfly is amazing!

Can you do this walk from your back door?