Thursday, 26 February 2009

Back on the beach

I didn't go out yesterday afternoon because we had 50mph gusts rising to 70mph later on and I didn't think it was a particularly wise idea to go scrambling round the countryside when it was hard enough standing up in the back garden. So to make up for it I took a wander down to the beach today (OK, so I wanted to check the rabbits were leaving my garlic alone, the beach was sort of incidental!).

Our neighbour used to take his boat down to the beach behind his tractor and it makes a useful path for getting down to the main footpath:

Tracks to the beach (2)

It was a good day for skies (and I'm still loving Lightroom's ability to add an ND grad filter onto pictures!):

Armadale beach

And the wind was coming off the sea and pushing the Armadale burn back up the beach:

Armadale burn

Normally I try not to split pictures in half with the horizon, but when it's a reflection you can just about get away with it:

Reflected cloud

And just to prove to my family that I've finally succumbed to genetics and started gardening - a weeded bit of border:

Garden (3)

As you can see, there's a lot more to do...:

Garden (4)

And that's before I start on the veggie field - the tiny little brown strip in the top left of the field is a 10ft x 4ft bed!:

Veggies (1)

The garlic is coming on nicely though :o)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Loch Meadie

Today's afternoon expedition was to Loch Meadie. I'd checked it out on the map and there was a farm track running alongside it and a layby to park in, so I packed up my camera rucksack (including tripod for once) and set out.

We'd had the most amazing stripey sky all morning, which was just starting to pass:

The road towards Bettyhill

I didn't see a single piece of wildlife all day, though I heard a couple of birds. Not sure whether it was the time of year, the place or the fact that the tripod clanked loudly - probably the latter! So I became a landscape photographer for the day:

Loch Meadie in blue

Until the sky went flat grey and I had to turn to lichens:


and water:

Water and rock

I'm having a play with Lightroom 2.2 at the moment and so far am very impressed. Not quite got to grips with it yet (I've had it less than 24 hours), but I'm finding it a lot more intuitive than Photoshop Elements.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Gosh, two posts in one day - don't get used to this! But we had about 4" of snow in 45 minutes this afternoon, so I had to go out really, didn't I?

First stop was the bird feeders. I topped them up and was rewarded by a number of hungry visitors including this robin:


and a young sparrow dunnock (thank you for the correction!):


Next door's pig is not so impressed with the snow:

Pig in snow

And to be fair to him, we did have rather a lot in short space of time:

Armadale in snow (1)

Just compare this shot with the sunrise one earlier today:

Armadale bay

Oh what a beautiful morning...

Sorry for the lack of posting, but last Wednesday's outing was cancelled due to extremely cold weather and me being a wuss!

Have a picture of this morning's exceptionally beautiful sunrise instead:

Armadale sunrise

(3" deep snow and slippers are not a good combination!!)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Big seas and little bays

Once again I've been tardy in my blogging - I do apologise. The pictures have been put up on Flickr; I just haven't got round to writing about them.

Anyway, just over a week ago OH and I went for a walk along past Thurso castle to see if the shipwreck he remembered from when he was a kid was still there (it wasn't). The sea was big and the wind was up:

Big wave

which made it foamy:

Not a day to fall in...

The birds, as usual, were completely unbothered by it all:


although I did see an oystercatcher absolutely legging it out of the way of a wave, which was very funny. Sadly the picture was out of focus!

Wednesday's trip out was closer to home. At the far end of the village there's a track to a deserted village called Polouriscaig. It's quite a walk to get there (for an unfit photographer carrying a bag of gear anyway) and I was considering just walking to the top of the second hill, which is about two thirds of the way there, but then saw on the map that the burn at the foot of that hill led down to an inlet marked Port Mor. The contour lines on the sides were very steep, but it looked as if the burn itself went down a much shallower slope, so I decided to go and take a look.

I was right:

Port Mor (1)

The burn was lovely; lots and lots of miniature waterfalls:

Mini waterfall

The climb down really wasn't too hard at all. There were a couple of points where I had to stop and consider my options (as in 'Do I attempt to follow that sheep track or do I turn round and go back?'), but pretty soon the bay was tantalisingly close and I was hoping against hope that there wasn't a vertical drop for the last bit like so many of these places have:

Port Mor (3)

Fortunately the slope down from that grassy bit on the right was quite gentle and I made it all the way down to the beach:

Port Mor (4)

My thigh muscles did not thank me for the climb back up!