Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Swans are back

Waking home from the shops (need I say ‘one night’ – I feel like a vampire living in the dark since the clock went back) I happened to look over at the spot where I’d watched a pair of swans nesting earlier in the year, and got a surprise in the cold and dark.

Once they’d hatched their eggs and eventually led the family to the river, they disappeared and weren’t spotted again.

Until…

I thought I saw a couple of light blobs in the distance, through the bare trees, but it was too dark and too far for anything to be made out, however they did seem to be moving slowly.

Lucky to be carrying a long stabilised zoom, I tried to get a closer look, but it was too dark to see anything by eye.

I killed the autofocus and took a best guess manual focus on the blobs, then let the camera take care of the rest.

Looks like the swans have come back home.

Swans

Swans

I thought I’d try for a second shot from a different spot, but by then their heads were up and they were on the move.

Guess they must have been talking to catbutt, and realised it was me!

Still, the second shot did at least confirm I wasn’t imagining them.

Swans

Swans

I hope they don’t sleep in the water – I know from past observation that this pond freezes over, and we were hitting -6 deg C  and even -8 deg C last night.

I couldn’t do much with these pics as the only light here is from street lights about 50 metres away, or headlight from vehicles going around a roundabout, and these pics take over 2 seconds to expose even at high ISO (and 35 mm equivalent 300 mm lens). I usually don’t hit 1 second with my settings.

Incidentally, I happened to be carrying a non-budget compact camera – while it had the sensitivity and zoom to match this, it’s focussing method rendered it almost useless for this situation. I’d liked to have tried harder and had a comparison shot, but it was too cold and I hadn’t digested the manual!

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December 10, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

(Sir) Billy Connolly bites Trump’s bum

Well THAT hit the spot!

The Big Yin called it RIGHT way back in 2011.

From Billy Connolly’s Route 66 – Episode 1:

Connolly On Trump

Connolly On Trump

Small set of grabs from this section: https://imgur.com/gallery/ZkYr6

I’ll just leave this here…

A Man Walks Into A Bar

A Man Walks Into A Bar

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rutherglen Christmas lights

I was too early when I passed through Rutherglen last week, with the hardware installed for Christmas, but still to be turned on.

Better luck this time.

Rutherglen West Christmas

Rutherglen West Christmas

(I chopped the bottom off this pic as all the drivers seemed unable to use their handbrakes, and the sea of red brake lights ruined the pic – and this junction never seemed to clear of vehicles).

It’s not that long since I had to resort to trickery to get this pic (taken from the Main Street, behind the sign, and then reversed to get the words round the right way).  I also couldn’t really have taken it from the viewpoint that gave this pic.

Wandering along the Main Street found the official Christmas tree, and this seems to be set to follow the practice of just hanging the lights from the top, rather than  wrapping them around the tree.

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

A little further along, and momentarily diverted by LOTS of Christmas trees and lights – at a guess, this shop probably sells them.

Rutherglen Christmas Trees

Rutherglen Christmas Trees

A look back as we leave, but still getting a welcome.

Rutherglen East Christmas

Rutherglen East Christmas

Maybe I should grab video – those light string across the road continuously fade in and out, but look as if they are static lights in still pics.

I’m never too happy with video, as it comes out OK, but eats time if you start fiddling with it.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

   

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