ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 30 May 2013

ONE CLOUD ON THE HORIZON. (30/05/13)

_V0G6666 copy    What a day. It started with a cloud in the sky and just got better.

_V0G6671 copy     We went for our last walk on the shore of Loch Leven. These Gulls were patrolling so was the Heron but it flew away to patrol elsewhere.

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_V0G6680      I’m not sure what these are but it was fun watching them. Flitting in and out of the light they were. A beautiful sight.

_V0G6682 copy    This grows in and around Thrift so I’m guessing Sea Sandwort. Any other guesses are more than welcome.

All images today are courtesy of the 135mm lens. Since switching to Canon I’ve been through a few lenses. Some are crap like the 17mm-40mm. Some like this one I like. Next week the 17mm-40mm is going and this was going to join it but not now. It gets recognisable pictures of birds, is light and can also get reasonably close. It stays. I really want the new 17mm tilt shift Canon lens but I’d have to sell Bertha. I’ve become attached to Bertha. Far too heavy to drag around but it does shut birders up and gathers light like there’s no tomorrow.

We have moved one valley north and are in Glen Nevis. I stopped at Morrison's in Fort William and got food. This time I remembered the Bells. Twelve days without a drink…..my head thought I’d turned into a Mormon or Methodist…. No wonder there have been some grumpy posts.

The feeders here are doing well. Siskin, House Sparrow and Chaffinch. I’m amazed at how many Siskin there are in this part of Scotland. Cuckoos too. Not seen one but wherever I go they are cuckooing away.

Twenty three degrees here. I took the dogs to the bar next door for a pint. The bar next door is not worthy of a post. It has carpets not flag stones and mountaineers are expected to remove their boots. There had to be one cloud on the horizon.

I’ll pop by again tomorrow. Have fun.

 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

VICTORY. (29/05/13)

Just a quick post today as I’m cleaning and packing for the trip round to Glen Nevis tomorrow.

The family from hell have gone.

maphandI waved them goodbye with a victory salute. Whatever did you think I was doing?

Now I’ll wash my hand and get on with domestic tasks.

I’ll report from the shadow of the UK’s highest mountain tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

MY BIRTHDAY….NO! (28/05/13)

It’s been a peculiar day. Sunny but hellish windy.

The family from hell are still next door….there are three tents worth. They kept me awake till two this morning. I got my own back and opened the van door at four thirty. Shouting, GO DOGS GO! Off they shot barking enough to wake the dead. The stick throwing St Helensite came staggering out and said.

“What the fuck do yooose think yoose is?….. Pishing he fook abowt at? My kids is trying to sleep.”

I did point out I was very tired myself. If on the odd chance you sired them all, I was just balancing the books. You Scowser.

“ Balancing the Fooking Books. I’ll give yoose a bit of balance. WEEZ IS NOT SKOOWERS!”

I came out fine. Told him he was nowt but a second rate Scowser. I said. I know, I’ve still got all six wheels and tyres on the truck and the police haven’t been round.

It gets better……..

He went back to bed and I went for a shower….Nothing wrong with the showers here. They spray hot water at serious pressure…perfect they are. The temperature controls don’t have this new fangled safety thingy so as one becomes acclimatised you can crank up the heat….Brilliant! Now it has to be said that by todays standards the showers are dated. ‘Got the last word from Trip Advisor’. There is only one hook in the cubicle and if you choose to shut the door your clothes get wet. There is a plastic chair in the communal area. I strip off outside and put my stuff on the chair. Can you imagine my shock and horror on exiting to be confronted with a naked Scottish lass……What the fook are yoose dooing in here? She said.

I said.”You should read the signs, you are standing stark naked in our end but I’m happy, if you are?”….It must be my Birthday. It wasn’t but as she’d dropped her clothes on mine I had a really good shower whilst she struggled back into her tracksuit.

Off we went waterfalling. Beyond my capabilities are steep waterfalls these days. The dogs only have little legs so they have to be lifted. This is the waterfall.

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Not stunning. Hard work though. We came back down to the road and saw a bus….stuck my hand out…It stopped we got on and went the three miles to Kinlochleven.

Kinlochleven is a sad town it used to produce aluminium. That finished donkeys years ago. When the then equivalent of Dithery Dave decided it was cheaper to import.

_V0G6643_4_5_tonemapped    It’s got serious water.

_V0G6646_7_8_tonemapped   It was nearly green in 1970 when it was shut. This is the mill race. All going to waste. The thick sods build windmills…..beyond me!

_V0G6655_6_7_tonemapped    The Post Office. No wonder the Scots want independence. I just hope if they get it then they screw the landlords.

_V0G6650    Here it is. Adrian’s Bluebells. I can’t win them all.

Have fun.

Monday, 27 May 2013

THE SUN CAME OUT. (27/05/13)

It has been a bit damp again today, the rain gauge informs me that we’ve had 26.7mm. The sun did pop out a couple of times so it could have been worse.

_V0G6622 I saw a couple of reasonable rainbows.

_MG_0663  Everywhere is very wet though.

_MG_0661   Water rushing down to the loch.

This morning we managed a dryish walk but had to curtail it to dash back for Bertha.

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_MG_0658 copy  I found a couple of Black-throated Divers but before I could get close enough some imbecile threw a stick in the Loch for his dogs. The cretin thought it was funny. School holidays! They should be banned. Hopefully the divers will be back in the morning. The rain has soaked most of the children so they have gone back to whichever hell hole it is that they call home and taken their half witted parents with them.

_MG_0666    I should have taken this Pied Wagtails picture before the holiday as it is twice as wary now.

_MG_0665    The Siskin couldn’t care less and they are happy to tolerate my presence at around a couple of metres.

Today could have been a whole lot worse. I’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

THREEPENNY BIT. (26/05/13)

I’ve nothing much to show for today but as you get what I get here goes.

We had a good if misty walk up the hill this morning. Nothing to show for it but It restored my sanity after what sounded like a riot on the campsite last night but was only the screaming of excited children and their equally over enthusiastic parents.

_MG_0638 copy     I did find a Bluebell but they weren’t enough for a proper show like THIS from Peter and THIS from Trevor.

_MG_0633 copy      This is Thrift……….

_MG_0643 copy       And so is this. It is putting on a good show on the Loch side despite getting inundated with sea water twice a day.

Thrift used to be on Threepenny Bit coins. It was a long time ago when money was real stuff and worth something. When I was very small and visited the seaside I used to catch tiny shore crabs and for some inexplicable reason they reminded me of Threepenny bits.

I decided to recapture the magic of days long gone and started raking about in the seaweed on the waterline. Ten minutes I was at it and then a crab found me.

_MG_0647 copy    I popped it on a piece of weed on a rock. I thought it would look better in it’s own environment. It kept escaping so I took it a bit further inland and popped it on the grass. This is about as big as the palm of my hand so rather larger than I’d been aiming for. This is it advancing on the lens hood. It’s now back in the sea.

It’s been a showery afternoon and heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow. I need some shopping so will probably drive up to Kinlochleven and raid the CO-OP. I may even have a wander round and see what the town has to offer.

_V0G6619_20_tonemapped copy   I’ll leave you with another reflection from yesterday.

Have a good week.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

DAWN. (25/05/13)

It’s a beautiful day today. I was out at first light to take advantage of the peace and quiet before a thousand children woke up. I thought I was far enough from the beaten track here but unfortunately I misjudged the determination of the parents in seeking me out._V0G6580 copy After Dawn but before Sunrise.

_V0G6604 copy Sunburst.

_V0G6592 copy Looking West.

_V0G6616_7_8_tonemapped  And slack high water coincided with a flat calm. I’ve loads of perfect reflections from this morning.

That’s all for today. With a bit of luck the midges will be out later and eat some of the children.

Friday, 24 May 2013

BIRDS WHO’D HAVE THEM? (24/05/13)

It’s a grand day here but very gusty and cool in a fresh easterly breeze.

KEITH first drew my attention to the actions of a certain estate in Scotland who have been granted permission to destroy Buzzard nests. BOB has all the words and music here.

I wish I knew which estate. Come on RSPB tell us. I’ll be along to help cause more disruption to their shoots, far more than half a dozen Buzzard ever could. What was the RSPB playing at? Probably a Royal estate and they didn’t want to loose the ‘R’.

SPB sounds like a sexually transmitted disease. I hope the management….Sorry. Executives of the RSPB all get the pox. Chicken Pox would do but venereal disease or syphilis would be better.

We went a walk this morning and found this poor gull. _MG_0619 copy    This is a raptor kill and very fresh. I should have gone out when I woke up but it was awfully chilly. I could have got a close up of a raptor. Not a Buzzard kill, they are too lazy. A Sparrow Hawk is my best guess. And a female one to take a gull, the males are too small I would have thought.

_MG_0622 copy  The dogs had a good run. Moll was sick as she drank sea water. Both are pretty wet.

I put the feeders out but as I’m a good three hundred yards from trees or cover I thought it would be a waste of time. Not a bit of it…..the Scottish Sparrow or Siskin as birders call it were soon diving in.

Could Natural England find time to organise the extermination of Siskin? They are chewing yet another set of wiper blades. This a serious safety issue and not one of profit. I could ram one of you with a smeary windscreen. Then all your issue, like the Buzzards would be orphans.

_MG_0627 copy   Naughty bird………

_MG_0630 copy    Who Me?… These are great. Just as beautiful as the Buzzard so Unnatural England please take my previous request as irony.

I hope this post doesn’t set up a new ministership for Siskin Elimination. MSE sounds like another disease. Whilst I’m addressing the top echelons of incompetency could I point out that three wiper blade vehicles are discriminated against. Halfords only sell them in twos and my van takes three. Just like the millionaires that find shooting the slowest and daftest bird entertaining,  my van feels discriminated against.

Have a good Bank Holiday Weekend and place your Pheasant pens under bushes. The evil Buzzard can’t fly through twigs.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

GRATEFUL THURSDAY. (23/05/13)

I don’t do Misty Mondays or Sex on a Sunday…( Unfortunately I don’t make love very often so can’t recall what day my last carnal experience fell on) . Even dafter would be Fish on a Friday.

This is not because I have anything against Blog themes but it must be a pain responding to lots of comments. I like Blogland, as it is for me, if I get boring then folks stop commenting. If folk get boring then so do I. I don’t comment for reciprocation.  I do watch my stats though because I’m a vanity publisher…..I’m grateful to Blogger and a vain bugger.

I’m grateful to have got back to Scotland. Every day is different and the Highlands hold a magic for me. I’m like a dog with two tails.

I haven’t had a rant for ages.

I’m really thankful that Dithery Dave has left France and the deep discussion and debates to return home to grab a headline and convene COBRA. What can he contribute, I doubt he’s been anywhere near serious violence. COBRA is just an anachronism for a room full of blather. It’s not anything serious. He is not only dithery but a smug attention grabbing fat shite.

Unacceptable as murder is and it’s been frowned upon for as long as I’ve been alive. I was taught history and unless it was a royal this or that, committing murder was the same back in…. a really long time ago.

Why give the wee devils more publicity than they warrant. I know why. He comes back to try and re-unite the country. If he’d stopped in France he would have had the same effect and saved us an airfare.

He’s proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he hasn’t a clue how to govern. He’s from the same mould as the evil witch Thatcher. How did she get away with murder the slaughter of Argentines on the  Belgrano. It’s all how folk see it, Pinochet was an evil sod in anyone's eyes but her legacy is one of to promote self. She never suffered, daft old bat died in the Ritz.

Today we have shifted all of a couple of miles as the Hooded Crow flies. We are at Caolasnacon on the shore of Loch Leven. I’m just starting out with the Gaelic but I say Koolsnakon. Seems to work fine. Gaelic is quite an easy language to learn. Hello is Hallo but you don’t say the ‘H’ . If I want a Helicopter to take my old bones up high. Then all I have to do is ask for a Elicoter cos they don’t say p’s in the middle of a word. If I could afford a helicopter they would be falling over themselves to understand. I love it up here.

_V0G6552_3_4_tonemapped copy The view to the left of the van. This is looking down Loch Leven. Loch Liobhann I hope it is in the local lingo. It’s pronounced the same so there isn’t that big a problem. They only have eighteen letters in their alphabet so I should be able to learn to write and speak it.

_V0G6558_59_60_tonemapped copyThe vista to the right of the van….Perfect or it will be when it stops sleeting, raining and snowing.

The dogs are allowed to run and explore. Alf had to have a sheep test. He passed with flying colours….FEEWHOO!…. He walked through the flock had a crap and wandered back…..That was a relief for both he and I.

Bertha will be on full alert for wildlife. Not seen an Eagle , or an Otter, or a dolphin Yet but then I've been writing this. All are purported to be here. Don’t believe what is purported Dithery was purported to be in France.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

LATHA MATH GLEANN COMHAN. (22/05/13)

It’s a much cooler day with isolated showers. Tomorrow we move the six miles or so to Loch Leven. The one that runs into and out of Loch Linnhe. It’s a sea loch so does flow both ways, not the one near Kinross.

This morning we walked the logging track for about two and a half hours. A couple of hours up hill and half an hour back down. I didn’t take a tripod so no HDR. I don’t know what these pictures will look like as I’m still not confident looking at the new screen. It was almost dark in the trees but sunbeams were lighting the hills and mountains around._V0G6504 copy  The less romantic side of Scotland. Timber is a thriving industry and apart from tourism there is precious little else.

_V0G6519 copy

_V0G6525 copy     The little dimple to the left of the dead tree breaking the horizon is, as far as I can tell, Ben Nevis. These roads aren’t marked on the map so it’s difficult to be sure exactly where I am. I must get my GPS sorted out…..It is somewhere safe.

_V0G6528 copy     This what the road is really for. I bet his brakes are a bit warm when he gets to the main road.

If I’ve written something rude as the title to this post I apologise. It’s supposed to say Goodbye Glencoe in Gaelic.

glencoepan220513

That’s all for today.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

ANOTHER NEW ONE. (21/0513)

As I may have already said the birds round here are very tolerant of my clicking. We went out first thing looking for the Cuckoo I wandered up the hill for three quarters of an hour, it was cuckooing away but when I got to the trees it was in it started cuckooing from the other side of the valley. A pain in the bum is the Cuckoo.glencoe pan215131 This was taken from a picnic table that was sitting on a knoll about ten minutes from the van. I’d never noticed it before.

_MG_0494 copy_MG_0503 copy 

This Orange Tip was taken yesterday. As always they will enlarge with a click.

I got back had breakfast and got Bertha out to get some better shots of the crow. It did put in an appearance and was a bit closer than yesterday.

_MG_0592 copy    Still not close enough. I then turned my attention to the feeders which are doing really brisk business.

_MG_0612 copy_MG_0551 copy

_MG_0562 copy_MG_0577 copy

Despite the variation in plumage I am going to call these female Siskins.

_MG_0582 copy

_MG_0583 copy     Redpoll I think but even if it’s a Linnet it was the star of the show today.

The sun has come out now so I’ll wind up this post and go and sunbathe.

As I rely on more knowledgeable folk than me please feel free to correct any rubbish I’ve posted.

 

Monday, 20 May 2013

AM I A SILLY BEGGAR? (20/05/13)

The weather is now settled, it’s foggy early on but by lunchtime the world comes alive.

I am not a birder or naturalist but enjoy looking at things. I’m a voyeur of naturism.

I had a piss myself moment today…..what birders call a LIFER a WETTER would be a better word. Funny folk are birders. I found a hooded crow….they don’t eat wholemeal bread…I scattered two precious slices on the ground and they are not bread eaters. 

_MG_0535 copy   Hooded crow pissing off with Bertha hand held. Is this what you call a record shot? I mounted Bertha on the tripod with Gimballed Head.

_MG_0519 copy I concentrated on the feeders. Male Chaffinch._MG_0518 copy  Male Siskin. Nothing wrong with Bertha. She is sharper than her manager.

We went out for a wander.

_MG_0507 copy   I found this, I don’t usually pick wild flowers but they were growing in a swamp and I wasn’t in swamp gear. I seem to recollect Phil Gates posted these a year or two ago but it being a year or two ago I can’t remember what they are called. They are tiny green or nearly green flowers.

_MG_0482 copy    It’s easy to get muddled up. This is Ladies Smock. In a morning it is this lavender colour and by lunchtime it is white. I’m getting paranoid. These plants are out to trick me.

_MG_0481 copy    This is, I hope, Bird Cherry Blossom. These are shot macro so will enlarge with a click.

_MG_0490 copy  I too found a Blue Bell. Good on mass but a bit disappointing close up.

_MG_0489 copy   I know what this is….It’s a very old primeval plant called Mares Tail. These aren’t very old. They weren’t here three days ago. These are a brand spanking new Jurassic plant.

_MG_0534 copy  Hooded Crow. This and the next are perfect.

_MG_0524 copy   I’ve seen one….I’ve seen loads of them but they aren’t tame. These were shot with Bertha plus 2x teleconverter. Will the wee devils come to my feeders, will they hell! The file size will allow enlargement. These are proper wet my knickers shots.

Now for the Eagles and Buzzard and Osprey and White Tailed Eagles. Who sells incontinence trousers? Don’t worry I’ll enquire on T’internet.

Have fun.