Almondell Winter – Watercolour
A small section of my favourite wooded area after a snowfall.
Cliftonhall Road by Ratho – Watercolour and Ink
After some dodgy weather forecasts one came through
Stav’ got it right
As temperatures fell, around tea time, last night,
We studied the forecast and wondered
Would it rain, hail or snow, you know, that sort of thing?
Or maybe a wee bit o’ thunder?
But Stav* promised us snow, plenty of snow
Traffic disruption an’ a’
Some rain would fa’ first on frozen highways
And then they’d be plenty of sna’.
Dawn came, it looked nice, though no sign of snow
Just an overcast sky and some cloud.
So I went to the shops walking down a steep hill.
“Whar’s yer sna’ noo?”, I cried out aloud.
Then a stiff wind sprang up, rain blew in from the west.
It fell on the ground and froze fast.
It was hard to stand up or make headway back home
And I nearly fell twice on my (censored).
I finally got home and began to thaw out.
My frozen demeanour a sight
Stav had promised us snow, plenty of snow
At least half of his forecast was right.
A warming hot drink with a hot bacon roll
Just the thing to feel human again
A wee sleep in the chair, cosy fire in the grate
I’m sure there’s no need to explain.
But what’s this I see as I look through the glass.
Its dark, there is hardly a sound
And there’s snow, snow, plenty of snow
Falling fast, blizzard like on the ground.
Here’s to Stav the foreseer, whose predictions bear out
He really is top of the tops
We have snow, snow, plenty of snow
And I don’t have to go to the shops.
* Stav Danaos – BBC Scotland Weather presenter
Freezing Fog – Watercolour
Dalmahoy Road this morning as fog descended over everything. Quite hard to do but I hope you get a flavour of our winter so far
Sunset in Winter – Watercolour
Because the sun is so low, at this time of year, we get the most amazing sunsets. The fading light seems to shine upwards into the clouds near the horizon while many colours mix in the sky above. Any objects, in this case the fence and trees, stand out darkly against this blaze of colours adding value to the “canvas”. This effort does not do the scene much justice but you just might get the idea.
To Plant a Tree – Watercolour
This is a small beech sapling which grows in the local woods. There are many young trees here which is good because a devastating storm, last January, brought down many mature trees.
Its amazing to think that, with a bit of luck, this wee fella will tower over the skyline long after I’m not here. Its always good to plant or even replace trees as Bunner’s poem echoes
What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants cool shade and tender rain,
And seed and bud of days to be,
And years that fade and flush again;
He plants the glory of the plain;
He plants the forest’s heritage;
The harvest of a coming age;
They joy that unborn eyes shall see –
These things he plants who plants a tree.
The heart of a tree – Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855 – 1896)
A first dusting of snow – Watercolour
A small amount of snow which added a wintry outlook to everything. Unfortunately it was all gone by mid morning so this view, of Ransfield Farm, uses a fair amount of “Artistic License”
Edge of the wood – Watercolour
Not a covering of snow but just a heavy frost. After all. The leaves are not all down yet. Isn’t it nice to see that there are still kind-hearted folks in the world? The local farmer has planted some winter wheat especially for these pheasants.
Brrrr is back – A winter victim – Watercolour
Time to attempt some snow and ice scenes. This is the view, at evening, looking towards Pumpherston, West Lothian
Vandalised Tree #2 – Watercolour
In my previous post I suggested that small trees, in the gardens of local houses, were being wrongly pruned. It would appear that the same goes for well-established ones.
This is a huge beech which is shown next to the A71 – one of the main arterial routes into Edinburgh. I pass this way almost daily and this scene was created from a photograph taken recently in early December. You can see that the left hand branches have been lopped off in order to allow traffic to pass underneath. This has been going on for years and is not confined to this particular tree. I confess that I do not have any other solution to this as the tree seemed to be encroaching on the vehicles. After all, the road cannot be moved. What is appalling is that the bear minimum of boughs have been removed leaving the tree totally unbalanced. Presumably it would have been too costly to remove timber on the right hand side. Shortly after this photograph was taken we had a severe storm which videoed:
Even this was not enough to cause it some damage but, in January, another, stronger gale caused widespread damage. The tree is no longer here having succumbed. It would probably have survived if years of “asymmetric pruning” had not taken place. Rather sad!
Vandalised Tree #1 – Watercolour
This is a local street on a frosty morning but the idea is not to show you a clear, crisp vista.
When these houses were built, around 35 years ago, trees were strategically planted. Now, some time later they are becoming too large and attempts are being made to cut the upper branches down to size. Residents hire people to do this but one wonders if these people are properly qualified as the trend seems to be to butcher all the upper branches when individual ones should have been tackled instead. The tree, far left was at least double this height while the one, in the centre not quite so. The left hand tree will become unstable and dangerous while the other is starting to push fresh growth across the roadway and will require attention in the near future. I wish folks would ask potential “tree surgeons” for proof of their competence – there are qualifications obtainable in Scotland. Maybe the original builders should have chosen their tree species with more consideration. Its not just amateurs who leave trees looking like this and my next post will attempt to show the result of some “officially organised vandalism”