The early work from our collaboration looked at fusing photographic images with paintings and prints. This was a way of clearly establishing a sense of working together. How would both our work literally merge together at this early stage?
The wind had been up, it had rained for the last few days and we were not hopeful that our longed booked trip over to Bass Rock would go ahead.
An Island one mile off shore in the Firth of Forth and three miles from our departure point at North Berwick, Bass Rock is a place like no other I’ve ever been to.
I’ve been working on an new collaboration with painter and print-maker Sue Hunt for the last couple of years and we are now in a position to show some of this work and are also beginning to channel it to working within the health care sector in Wales, specifically, at the present, with Rookwood, a spinal and neurological rehabilitation centre.
Last week I spent four full days at WWT Slimbridge. I hit a decent spell of weather too, days of hard frosts and unbroken blue skies, a rarity this last few weeks when the shortening days have appeared to close in earlier due to successions of low pressure systems bringing heavy rain.Continue reading
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is not an easy bird to see or photograph. I’ve been to quite a few locations over the years where they are known to breed (and it’s never easy to be 100% sure of that!) but never even caught sight of them. ‘A shy bird of the high canopy’ is often how bird books will describe them.
When Tom Kistruck, the RSPB warden at Ynys-hir, told me that the most recent count of the Greenland White-fronted Geese on the Dyfi estuary, not far from the town of Machynlleth, had grown from the eleven that had been reported before Christmas to thirteen, I had a feeling that the number might prove to be as unlucky as I’d been the previous couple of days. I’m not generally a superstitious person but at times like this you sort of begin to wonder.
A few days up around the Lakes saw us once again visiting Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin. Not only is it full of artwork from Ruskin and his contemporaries, along with all sorts of paraphernalia related to an incredibly eclectic life, but is spectacularly situated on the shores of Lake Coniston.
A trip up to the north coast of Scotland without a storm or two would not feel right whatever the time of year. We had cause to keep our pop up roof on the VW down on a few occasions on this trip and Gwenda was lifted off her feet during one very gusty walk out to the lighthouse at Strathy Point.
Handa is an island that simply tugs you back. It has it all; a wonderful evocative sense of loneliness (no Skomer hoards here – although it is still possible to get a quiet spot if you walk in the opposite direction to the Wick); a chance to get close to the ‘pirates’ of the bird world; archaeology and ancient history and a landscape of low coastal reefs to seriously imposing 100 metre Torridonian sandstone cliffs.Continue reading
This was a place we found by simply driving to the end of what was possible. We’d been down all the small roads off the road north from Kinlochbervie; Oldshoremore, Droman, the wonderful Bagh a’ Phollain.
I’m currently reading ‘The Nature of Autumn’ by one of our greatest nature writers Jim Crumley, seems apt just now, and came across a small piece about nature’s national flag and Mark Rothko. In my previous post ‘Clarity, Colour and Emptiness’ the last image could easily have accompanied Crumley’s thoughts on, ‘the triple expanses of sand and open sea and open sky’
We walked onto the small stone jetty at Droman, a couple of miles north of Kinlochbervie, and were struck at once by the phenomenal clarity of the water and the breathtaking colours that were refracted through its glass like qualities.
When we last visited Blairmore, hoping to do the walk to Sandwood Bay (map), we were in a spell of dreadful weather, with the wind whipping up the sea and very heavy rain. It would last for seventeen days!!
You sometimes get days when everything seems to be just right, I remember one at Firemore Sands some years ago when the dramatic weather played back drop to ten Black-throated Divers, Gannets diving in the bay, terns all around and surfing Red-breasted Mergansers. I had another one recently on our journeys around Scotland.
One of the star species on any trip up to the north of Scotland must be the Divers. The small lochans around Lochinver can be productive for the Black-throated, whist the Red-throated can be virtually relied upon to be in Scourie Bay. It’s not uncommon to encounter up to four at the same time here.Continue reading
A last post on the Kylebhan series and a one unashamedly celebrating colour’s relationship with age and weathering. The next series of posts will not be necessarily chronological, but will all be related to the five weeks we spent in the high north after the Kylebhan experience.
Our home for the week was MV Kylebhan. It had a character all of its own and one that will stay with us all for many a year. It was built as a trawler in the 60’s but converted to carry 12 passengers soon after.