Home, home on the range…

Among all the acres of tartan on display down by Holyrood today for The Gathering (even by Edinburgh standards there were a lot of kilts and plaid) a single, old cowpoke, taking the weight off his feet for a few moments, sitting outside the Parliament building and looking over to the Palace of Holyrood and the Queen’s Gallery. The contrast between his cowboy hat and shirt and the Saltire and Union flags and the old buildings across from him appealed to me and I had to get a shot:

home home on the range

Snowy hills

In the Campsie Hills (an extinct volcanic range north of Glasgow – my parent’s home has a great view of them) a couple of weekends ago with dad taking some photos; snow lower down had melted, snow on top of the hills and bens was still there, the streams and burns full of ice and the wind bitterly arctic. Still beautiful though and the weather didn’t stop people going out for a good walk on the hills as we passed quite a few.

the bells of St Cuthberts

the bells of St Cuthberts
Originally uploaded by byronv2

The light was fading so the pic quality isn’t the best on this short clip, but I couldn’t resist trying to capture the sound of the bells of Saint Cuthbert’s peeling, just below the shadow of the Castle and but yards from busy Princes Street where the Christmas shoppers were utterly oblivious to this lovely little moment…

Hunting werewolves

Full moon this weekend, good werewolf hunting weather (hey, everyone needs a hobby and it gives me some exercise and gets me out into the fresh air):

(all this scene needs now is Christopher Lee in his Dracula cape; click for the bigger version on my Flickr)

(the full moon reflecting on the Union Canal; fun to compare this to summer evening pic of this same location I took a while back on my Flickr)

No lycanthropes were harmed in the making of these photographs, although my fingers got sodding frozen.

(click to see the full size pic on my Flickr page)

The lovely Victorian merry-go-round in Princes Street Gardens as part of the Winter Wonderland; annoyingly I missed getting pics of the official switching on of the Christmas lights and opening of the Winter Wonderland and the craft fair and German market because I didn’t know what time it started on Thursday, although I did see it all coming on and fireworks going off as I sat on the upper deck of the bus on the way home. Still, the evening before, on a wild, windy, wet winter’s night I saw them testing out the lights and the colours through the rain-spattered caught my eye and since reflections on the bus window or camera shake didn’t matter much for this kind of pic I thought I’d just snap it.


The BBC asked if they could borrow one of my photographs from my Flickr stream recently, to use as part of their Bitesize revision guides, in this case to be part of a audio-visual slideshow to accompany a reading of “The Field Mouse” by Gillian Clarke – my pic of a harvest-time field, taken just outside North Berwick near Tantallon Castle is the first one in the presentation. No money, sadly, but the feel-good factor is quite rewarding, especially since I’m so fond of poetry.

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard 10
Originally uploaded by byronv2

Since it is Halloween, the night when the realms of the living, the dead and the supernatural intersect, I thought I’d stick up one of my more Gothic images from my Flickr set.

Ah broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll! — a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear? — weep now or never more!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read — the funeral song be sung! —
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young —
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
“And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her — that she died!
“How shall the ritual, then, be read? — the requiem how be sung

“By you — by yours, the evil eye, — by yours, the slanderous tongue
“That did to death the innocent that died, and died so young?”

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel so wrong!
The sweet Lenore hath “gone before,” with Hope, that flew beside
Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride —
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes —
The life still there, upon her hair — the death upon her eyes.

“Avaunt! to-night my heart is light. No dirge will I upraise,
“But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!
“Let no bell toll! — lest her sweet soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
“Should catch the note, as it doth float — up from the damned Earth.
“To friends above, from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven —
“From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven —
“From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven.”

“Lenore”, Edgar Alan Poe, 1845