Spring has sprung

Out walking along the nearby Union Canal a few days ago, the first properly spring weekend of the year – we’ve had nice, bright days but usually still cold, this was sunny and also warm for the first time in the year. Beautiful light and the welcome return of colour to the world after the long, dark winter. It happens every year and yet each year it still seems like some wonderful magic as the dullness of winter suddenly gives way to a riot of vibrant colours:

spring has sprung 04

spring has sprung 01

spring has sprung 03

I have always found the way light reflects from water to be entrancing, and as I walked under one of the canal bridges the bright spring sunshine was bouncing off the water and creating a flickering, rippling dancing pattern of changing light on the stonework. I had taken a photo then thought it would be better in video mode, just to capture the quality of the patterns and movement. In still photo mode it looked better in monochrome (I’m not a fan of altering my pics in PhotoShop, so when you see a black and white photo from me, it means I shot it in B&W, not colour then change in PhotoShop. I know I could do it that way, but it feels better to me to shoot in B&W if a scene feels like it works better in mono, rather than just greyscale it afterwards in an editor), and fortunately the video mode in the new camera allows me to shoot in mono as well as colour, so I took a few seconds:

water under the bridge vid

Ephemeral

Every now and then I post a photo to my Flickr and it the viewing figures leap up for no reason that I know of – even with the pro version of Flickr the stats page is annoyingly vague, often lists a percentage of links from “unknown source” or not at all. In the case of this photo of dandelion seeds read to blow away for some reason I got over 1600 views in less than 20 hours, just for that one pic. To put that in perspective, three of four years ago I got around 600-800 views a day on average for my whole Flickr, on a good day maybe 1000, 1200, 1500 if the pic had been shared somewhere prominent. These days I get 3000 to 6000 on average a day, some days north of 10,000 though. I suppose some of it may be sheer weight of numbers, given I have well over 10,000 images on there now if even in in 5 gets a single viewing each day in one of the groups I shared it in on Flickr it will mount up, along with larger views for newly posted items. But getting 1600 views in less than 20 hours for one pic? No obvious links posting to it, perhaps it featured on Flickr’s front page for a few hours and folk just liked it. Not complaining, nice to get the views, just wonder sometimes why some leap up all of a sudden:

Autumn

autumn colours

It’s Scotland and it’s autumn, pretty much my favourite season here – the sunlight (when we get it!) from a much lower lying sun now bathes the land in a more stretched out coppery-golden hue, a beautiful quality of light, the low height of the autumn sun meaning we get good light but also many shadows, making it perfect for photography (and painting). And then there are the riot of colours as still verdantly green leaves mix with some already turning yellow, gold and russet, lit by the warm bronze tones of the low autumnal sun.

backlit leaves

As I was out snapping some autumnal shots on Sunday I was briefly joined by this charming little fella, scooting rapidly between the old tombstones of Saint Cuthbert’s kirkyard, in the shadow of the Castle:

cemetery squirrel

Amazingly even as September ticked over to October there were still some flowers to enjoy – clearly now on the wane and yet still boasting some vibrant colours:

the last buzzing of the flowers 01

And remarkably given the time of year and the chill wind (which was a contrast to the warm, copper sun), the flowers were still awash with numerous insects busily buzzing around for the last of the nectar before winter sinks its claws into our northern kingdom:

the last buzzing of the flowers 02

Even the less flamboyant flowers were attracting attention from the insects scurrying around for their last hurrah of the season:

the last buzzing of the flowers 03

The autumn light is great for taking pictures of buildings too, such as the fine 18th century Pear Tree, quick snap from its huge, walled beer garden as chum and I refreshed ourselves (will that be the last proper outdoor beer of the year? Sure we can have more outside, but I mean proper one where you can sit without the coat and gloves on and enjoy a pint) in the autumn light in between visiting some of the annual Doors Open venues:

Pear Tree, autumn afternoon 01