We tried to think of a location that would suit Carol to do some painting, and for me to tramp around with a camera, and we settled on the Skiag Burn and lower slopes of Spidean Coinich.
Good for Carol, as she could stay by the van with all her stuff, and good for me, as I got to walk somewhere new. Remarkable that, as we drive past regularly, and walk nearby, but not here yet.
Mid-morning and I’m gulping down my tea, ready to set off from the roadside. The first bit of walking is really rough, but down at the burn, the deer have kindly made a path that I can follow.
I can see some trees; now all I need are water features. And they’re here; courtesy of the steps in the quartzite geology. The burn is only a few feet below me, but I do struggle with access in a few places, because of those same rocky ledges.
A dipper passes me; I bet its wondering what I’m doing, probably eyeing up my camera. I’ll have to keep a look out….
There’s a pool with some swirly foam, like on top of a coffee, and I know it’ll make a good long-exposure. After some difficulty, mainly with my balance and confidence….. I get across the other side to a vantage point. And it rains. Just a shower, so I go for the hot drink and chocolate. Dry again, and it becomes obvious that the composition isn’t quite right, so after all that, I move on upstream. Turns out a good decision, as I soon find another coffee-swirl-pool. Yes, I’m on the wrong side of the water again, so go through the not-falling-in rigmarole again. The stone (quartzite) is actually very slippery when wet, so I’m not just making a fuss! Honest!
Thirty second exposures aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I like them. They do change some of the colours and textures, so it’s not “reality”, but I’m not worried about that if they look nice.
Plodding on, the dipper comes past again, so I keep a firm grip on the expensive stuff. You can’t trust dippers.
Now the quartzite steps are shallow and water is running through them, so I’m laying on the floor. Yes, it really is a dipper’s eye view.
Trees have disappeared now; and there’s a nice pool, but the light’s gone “flat”. It had been coming and going, but this is just grey and muddy. OK, let’s do lunch and see how things might improve. So the camera is on the tripod; poised. I sit on a rock and bite into a very lovely cheese, spring onion and mayonnaise sandwich, and the sun promptly comes out, so I rush over to the camera. It’s having a laugh; the sun vanishes before I can do anything. Half a sandwich later, it happens again; this time I do make it. I get a couple of shots, that later turn out to be quite mediocre, and then big spots of rain fall out of the sky (where else!); camera in its bag now. It is a very black cloud and it has “especially for Chris” written all over it. Quite amazing. I get my leggings on just in time, as rain absolutely lashes down. The remains of my lunch are soggy, and I honestly can’t tell if I finished my drink, as the cup is filling up! Now I get the message, and walk back down the road to find that the sensible one today is snuggled up in the van, all warm and dry. I’m soaked; and its coming through my coat too. I have a new one at home that I’m keeping for a properly wet day……