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.