Winter Scenes

Monumental Sunset 02
The Scott Monument, lower half already in shadow even in the mid afternoon as the sun is so low in the winter sky, the upper half basking the golden honey glowof the winter light.
Fortress of Winter 01
Across the end of December and the start of January the ice and snow came to Edinburgh. Walking in the frigid, sharp air, the winter sun so low in the sky it casts as much in the way of shadows as it does light, and that light is stretched out, golden-amber. This is the sort of thing you see just going for a stroll in this magnificent city in winter…. (as ever click the pics to see the full sized versions of my Flickr)
Princes Street Gardens, Winter's Day 014
The charming head gardner’s cottage in a wintry Princes Street Gardens, but these days better known as Great Aunt Lizzie’s, after being used as the location in a popular kid’s storytelling show.
Winter Walk 04
“I got you”. Friend comforting a chum as they walk along the snowy towpath of the Union Canal
Princes Street Gardens, Winter's Day 013
Warming coffee on a freezing day
Princes Street Gardens, Winter's Day 02
Winter promenading in Princes Street Gardens during the snowy weather
Wintry Meadows 09
A splash of colour against the white snow – normally I like to shoot in B&W for my people watching pics, but with so much monochrome caused by the snow I felt like switching to colour (especially with such vibrant colours contrasting against all the white)
Wintry Meadows 06
Some enjoy a stroll, the crisp snow making that satisfying crunch-crunch-crunch noise underfoot, others decide to sit, chat and warm up with hot cuppas in the Meadows
Wintry Meadows 02
In Edinburgh we have a vast extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat, rearing up right in the middle of our city – you can go hill-walking here without even leaving the centre of town! And what a backdrop it makes….
Winter Walk 03
Who cares about the cold, we’re happy!! Smiling couple walking along by the Union Canal
Winter Walk 011
Reading as the snow begins to fall once more
Winter Walk 010
Hot drinks on a cold day, from the floating cafe-barge, The Watershed, a regular haunt of mine on my walks, here serving up hot coffees and hot chocolate as the snow falls afresh
Ice Swan 01
One of the mute swans on the Union Canal, on the only small stretch of remaining free water, bordering the ice that covers most of the rest of the canal. The setting sun’s burnished colours can be seen reflected in the dusk waters
Ice Swan 02
And there she goes, raising herself out of the water and back onto the ice, as dusk falls along the canal
Sunset Along the Canal 01
Winter sunset along the Union Canal (frozen in the frigid temperatures), glimpsed between two tenement blocks on opposite sides of the Walker Bridge over the canal at Polwarth. My view on my walk home yesterday afternoon, breath misting in the cold air, crunch of ice underfoot, sounds of people enjoying a walk nearby, the soft calls of the mute swans, and these colours firing the skies. Glorious.
Sunset Along the Canal 02
Skeletal winter trees and chimneys silhoutted against a fiery sunset sky on a winter’s day.

Brrrsville!

Walking along the gorge of the River Almond by the weir and ruined old mill by Cramond, big chunks of ice floating in the river, large, flat sheets which the ducks were using to sit on, and huge rows of icicles hanging down from the overhanging rocks like enormous fangs. Couldn’t resist taking some pics and shooting a brief video 360; the roar of water over the weir and the current in the river below it were both very strong, presumably with some of the snow and ice melting into it (going to be a lot more of that over the UK when the cold snap actually lifts properly). The temperature was actually slightly better during the daylight hours today than it’s been recently, but on the banks of the nearby Forth the ferocious wind felt like it was straight from the Arctic. Still, at least it was good for the kite surfers who were having fun when we passed along the windswept and still icy prom.

icicles 06

icicles 01

The mysterious White Isles…


Somewhere, legend tells us, off the western end of the dark sea by the very edge of the known world lie the mysterious White Isles, a strange land blanketed in snow and ice where few may travel… How cool is this NASA satellite image of frozen Britain (via the BBC)? There’s barely a scrap of colour to be seen, the entire British Isles appears to be white (must be a BNP dream!). Check the larger version on the Beeb site, its beautifully detailed and clear, you can easily see Loch Ness and the Great Glen in the north of Scotland while the western coast of Scotland looks astonishing

ice over ice

Up by the dam behind the Colzium in Kilsyth, again very icy. And walking along the path was also full of ice-choked puddles (which made very satisfying cracking sounds when you stood upon them). Then dad and I tried throwing some broken sheets of ice from the path onto the much larger frozen surface of the loch – shatter like glass then explode in a tremendously satisying explosion, fragments scattering and sliding across the ice with a great noise. Yes, I am easily amused, so what?

ice, ice, baby

Damned cold at the weekend – dad and I walked along a bit of the Forth & Clyde Canal between Kilsyth and Dullatur; large chunks were slushy with chunks of ice floating in it, while other sections were frozen totally solid, even stones we threw in just skidded across the icy surface rather than breaking through to the water below. Some swans were having fun – a couple had come out of the few open water channels left and onto the ice. One seemed to be managing okay, walking slowly and carefully, the other was taking a step and those big webbed feet would just suddenly slip back and he’d land on his belly, get up, try again, another step, feet slip back, land on belly… After a few minutes of this he decided to turn and get back into the water. The sounds you can hear are from the vibrations resonating across the ice; sounds a bit like the sound sometimes heard in overhead wires or in railway lines before a train comes; the same sound could be heard when we skidded stones over bits of ice as when the swan’s feet hit the surface, just a strange vibration sound which we really liked. There are some pics from the scene here on the Woolamaloo Flickr.