Down on the coast near North Berwick, short but beautifully golden winter day, sun setting, casting long shadows and warm, copper coloured light over the distinctive triangular shape of North Berwick Law (a major local landmark, it can even be glimpsed from parts of Edinburgh on a good day) as the rising Moon chases the sun from sky:
Down at North Berwick on a very warm, sunny Sunday afternoon earlier this week, strolling along the beach we heard the drone of a propeller engine – not unusual as there is a small airfield nearby and light aircraft and small microlights fly out from it and along the coast regularly. This sounded much more powerful though and when we spotted the plane it was moving a darned site faster than the usual little Cessna type light planes you see around there (which are really the small car of the skies, very slow). This sounded like an engine beefed up for speed and it roared past quite low; as it tilted we realised it was a biplane and we thought hey, few years back, last time we saw a biplane at this spot he was practising his air display routines, I wonder… And lo and behold on went the smoke cannister and the pilot launched into a series of maneuvres, rapid climbs, dives, looping…
After several moves the pilot roared low over North Berwick, from this perspective seemingly in line with the rocky headland which just out beyond the Scottish Seabird Centre and the harbour and I quickly tried to zoom and focus on the fast moving plane and was lucky enough to capture this scene:
And a moment later I got another decent pic of the plane with the local landscape, this time flying past the mighty Bass Rock (once a site of pilgrimage, a monastery, a fortress and a prison across our long history, now one of the largest seabird colonies in Europe, given back to nature):
We even got to see the pilot pull a classic stunt that goes back to the World War I dogfights, climb up at full speed, almost vertically until stalling then let the plane ‘fall’ over and straight back down into a dive:
Turning into a climbing loop:
And then it was all done, our brief one-man air show was finished and the biplane was roaring back inland towards the airfield. But what a cracking little surprise show we had:
The sun is declining in the sky, time to ship oars, furl sails for another day, make all ship-shape and Bristol fashion
I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the tide may be out at this point… You can actually walk down the steps right into the wee harbour floor at North Berwick during low tide, although I don’t recommend stepping out much further than the base of the stairs as the muddy sand is rather sinky.
Driving down the east coast from Edinburgh, down past North Berwick and all the fields either full of swaying, full, ripe crops, rippling like the sea in the breeze or already harvested like this one, all stacked and ready, the farmers making hay while the sun shines. Considering I shot this almost blind because there was a tall hedgerow in the way and I had to stand on tip-toes with the camera over my head I’m pleased it came out at all.
…Raindrops pooling along the brim and then dripping off of your nice Panama hat you put on to keep the summer sun from your face as you went on a walk of several miles along the beach…
Of course, being Scotland it was still sunny as it rained. Another thing you don’t want to see, raindrops running off the dark lenses of your sunglasses.
And add in a a t-shirt that was now two-tone, darker on the front where it was soaked and sticking to me (yes, ladies, you missed Joe’s Wet T-Shirt Beach-a-thon, try to contain your disappointment or your lunch, depending on your point of view or inclination) and still the normal on the back where it was dry. Still being summer the rain was reasonably warm. And when the sun came back out again the rain made all of the plants glisten as if covered in diamonds.