Birch Baubles

Birch Baubles

Birch trees shimmering with light

Some more images from last week’s outing to Torr Alvie.  With no wind, the morning mist left the trees and grasses coated in dewdrops.  In the low temperature these don’t evaporate but stay all day, coating everything in a multi-faceted sparkling silveriness of countless refractions through the water drops.

As you move the eye catches countless mini-rainbows and flashes of colour.  Its hard to show in a single static image, but  I hope the impression comes across!

Lichen dewdrops
Dewdrops and Lichen

This wood is part of the old Caledonian Forest, a native mix of Birch, Scots Pine, scraggly Juniper and the occasional oak, usually widely spaced with plenty of room around the trees and open meadows.  The birch especially are coated in long strands of ‘old man’s beard’ lichen, which gives a very ancient feel to the place.

Birch on Torr AlvieBirch, Torr Alvie

Lower down the hill the birch are tall, elegant and graceful, but as we climb they become dwarf-like, hugging the ground in a multitude of low branches, covered in lichen.

Now, just for balance, the following week was constant winter gloom, with thick heavy dripping mist, rain…

I know I’m repeating myself, but being here is a constant lesson in ‘siezing the moment’.  Photographically, its a mix between knowing the local landscape intimately and watching the weather, so I know at any particular time of day the locations which might work well with the light, with an extremely large dose of luck to add the magic.  Its about putting yourself in the right place at the right time so as to get the best out of the weather, the luck, the passing magic.   Add to this that many of my locations can take 1-2 hours of physical effort to reach, and there’s no guarantee of conditions being good when I get there.  It can be frustrating, challenging, hard physical effort, but very rewarding.

 “To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.”
– Ansel Adams

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