Time-lapse practise

I haven’t made any posts here recently as I’ve been busy with the day job and also shooting video footage for another wee project I’m working on.

As part of that other project I’ve been experimenting with time-lapse. So the other evening, I went up a little hill not far from my house to do a sunset time-lapse shot of this view. The result was pretty underwhelming; in fact it was rubbish. No racing clouds since the sky was clear, just the light changing as the sun went down over fifty minutes, as well as the windmill/wind turbine going round at a ridiculous speed. Oh well… at least I learned what isn’t a good subject for this.

This pic was done at the start just before the camera automatically snapped the 300 shots over 50 minutes for a 10 second MP4 video. T’was nice light though….  for still images! Think I might also just go back to using ND grad filters.

Mendick Hill and South Slipperfield windmill/turbine just before sunset.

Spring, frogspawn, new life

Frogspawn photographed a couple of weeks ago in a trackside pool in the Pentland Hills not far from West Linton.

Takes me back to my formative years a long time ago now, when as a boy, I collected some spawn, put it into an old fishtank in the garden with rainwater, large stones and some chickweed and was absolutely fascinated over the next few weeks watching the growth progress of the tadpoles. Observations ended when I was told to get rid of the tank contents after many tiny frogs appeared.

In some ways, when it came to being interested in nature and the environment, my parents were philistines! Probably one of the reasons I rebelled. 🙂




Moor Road

Single track road from West Linton onto the A701 near Penicuik. Generally just known as  the continuation of Deanfoot Road as far as Whitfield farm and then it’s just… well, the Moor Road; although there is probably an official B or C road designation or classification somewhere.

I find this first seven miles of my trip to work preferable to using the main A702. During the morning rush at least, the 702 has far too many kamikazi drivers who either tailgate until they can get by, or zoom past at 80 or 90mph, even often in the rain, although the official speed limit is 60mph.

So, a more leisurely start in the morning for me is heading out over the moor. Besides, when there’s lovely light like in these pics, you can easily stop in a passing place and take a minute or two to do some snaps without some gofaster idiot trying to kill you.

November dawn heading towards Penicuik
Electricity poles traversing the soft peaty moorland with a blanket of ground mist just after sun-up
A double rainbow half way over the moor
Rainbow over a passing place. Southern Pentland Hills just visible.


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.



Allan Ramsay Hotel, Carlops
Whitewashed cottages beside the A702 trunk road – church on the right.



Countryside delays

Arriving back after a long day, or days away, it always feels good when you get near home. Just occasionally though there’s a very minor hiatus !

So, whilst a flock of sheep are herded down the road to the farm to await the transfer to market next morning, or if they’re just being moved from one field to another for a bit of fresh grazing… stop, admire the view and do a quick picture. This pic snapped on a phone camera from inside the car.

Sunset shepherding. Farmer on quad bike & trailer.

Seasonal geese

West Linton appears to be a natural waypoint for migrating geese in autum and spring.

Twice a year, over several weeks in September/October and March/April, huge skeines of these noisy but beautiful birds overfly the village at intervals throughout the day, and depending on weather, often at night.

The larger skeines can be heard long before they are seen, often in groups of up to thousand or more. Occasional stragglers often follow in small groups, each jostling for the lead. This flock had been overnighting in a field and lifted when I disturbed them one morning.

I liked the contrast in the first picture with the contrails of a passing aircraft behind.



Rural views

Roughly five miles from West Linton is the small hamlet of Ninemileburn. There was once a nice little pub here, the Habbies Howe, now long closed. The cottages facing the road are now private housing and where the Habbies used to be.

The pub was named after a river gorge a mile away, now within the Newhall Estate and mentioned by the writer Allan Ramsay in his work ‘The Gentle Shepherd’ first published in 1725.

If this pic had been for an advertising or tourism brochure, I would of course have firstly removed the ugly wheely bin!


Just along this small road from Ninemileburn towards Carlops, in the same direction the postal van is travelling is Patieshill, a comfortable bed and breakfast which is part of a working sheep farm. Patieshill B&B is popular with walkers and hill explorers.

Following the track in the picture below leads to a footpath through the trees that runs parallel with the main road and then to a series of steps back down onto the A702 just outside Carlops.


Credit: Ordnance Survey maps