In the garden of a nearby property there used to be a doocot (dovecote), which was home to a couple of dozen or so free-flying white doves. Over the course of a few weeks the number of these began to noticably diminish. One December afternoon I arrived home and quickly understood why they had been gradually disappearing.
Half way up my garden was this beautiful little sparrowhawk with a fresh kill. I quickly put up a tripod, stuck a 300mm lens onto a camera body and shot a few pics over the next half hour from inside the house. It was beginning to get dark so these images were shot at the equivalent of 3200 ISO.
Later on when I went out with a torch, the carcass had gone and I assumed she’d flown off with it. After first light next morning however, I noticed she had reappeared and dragged out the remains of the unfortunate bird from where she’d hidden it – behind a compost bin. Clearly too much for dinner, so the rest was eaten for breakfast!
A quick walk along the river beside the Lower Green this evening after getting home from work.
Temperature still around 7°C with occasional rain showers and sunshine. Clocks have gone one hour forward (GMT+1) as of midnight Saturday 26th March and schoolkids are on easter holidays. No daffodils in bloom as yet. Spring, in the true sense, isn’t far away though! These pics done using the utterly brilliant little Nikon Coolpix S7000 compact.
In 1882-4, Frances Groome’s Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Carlops…
Carlops, a village in Linton parish, NW Peeblesshire, on the North Esk river, at the boundary with Edinburghshire, 14 miles SSW of Edinburgh, and 2¾ NNE of West Linton. Founded in 1784, it came to be inhabited chiefly by cotton weavers, and now is a centre of traffic for the working of coal and limestone in its neighbourhood, and has a Free church and two inns. Carlops Hill, ¾ mile W by N, rises 1490 feet above sea-level.
Nowadays, cotton weaving, coal working and limestone works are long gone. There is still a church, but just one inn, the Allan Ramsay Hotel. Mostly, Carlops is now a small attractive dormitory settlement although it also boasts a thriving village community hall which hosts film evenings and live play and theatre events, as well as a popular monthly market fair selling local goods and farm produce.
A former gamekeeper on a nearby estate, Murdo was a larger than life character and fondly remembered by many. Originally from Perthshire, he lived and worked locally near West Linton for several years. Murdo greatly enjoyed his work out on the hills as well as the craic back down in the village pubs.
One Sunday afternoon when I was busy doing some photographs for another project, Murdo knocked on the door (having had a dram or two) and eventually agreed to sit for a quick picture. He moved away and back home to Perthshire a few years ago and thence not long afterwards up to the great estate in the sky!
Murdo was good convivial company, enjoyed the occasional cigar and had a vast repertoire of very funny stories. Pleased to remember him here with this pic.
West Linton has two churches for those who choose or feel a need to attend. This is St Mungo’s Episcopal Church and it lies on the the northern side of the village beside the main A702 trunk road. St Mungo’s never seems to be photographed much, although it is an attractive building. First three pics done March 2016.
Not too far from the annual spring solstice now. Visibly much warmer colours on recent occasionally sunny days… always encouraging after a long winter. Clocks are due to change from GMT, moving forward an hour to British Summertime on March 27th. Lighter evenings, but slightly darker mornings for a bit.
Buds are beginning to show on bushes and trees in the Spring sunshine and winter appears to be receding. Milder and hopefully warmer conditions soon. Temps still not above 6ºC here today.