Wednesday, 28 October 2009

From Rain to shine - a little photo essay

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

You may have gathered by now that I am prone to occasional fits of chauvinism about my adopted land of Scotland, especially her hills and glens and lochs. But even I have been tested after the last ten days of rain. Each year I look keenly forward to autumn: the riot of colour, the cerulean skies, the crisp leaves, the hard glittering frosts. But this October, it felt as if the weather gods came and took autumn from me. Even glorious Scotland struggles to look glamorous when she is overwhelmed by relentless rain, and no matter how much I told myself that without precipitation everything on earth would wither and die, on the tenth day, even I began to feel a little disgruntled. (Does anyone ever feel gruntled, by the way? I'm just asking.)

Since I am devoted to giving you the unvarnished truth at all times, I plodded gloomily out and took these pictures, so you could see what it looks like here in the weather. 'Another dirty day,' said my neighbour, morosely. And that was the correct description; everything drenched and sodden, and skies the colour of old washing-up water.

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This is what we call here 'dreich'. There is no exact translation. But it pretty much means what it sounds like.

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Ominous skies.

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I must admit, though, that I am quite pleased with my artistic puddle shot.

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And at least the lichen, one of my most favourite things in all of nature, does seem to be thriving in the wet.

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And the tiny little ferns are growing happily on the verdant moss.

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And the dogs, being half Labrador, and therefore bred originally for the sea, are not disconcerted by the watery conditions.

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And there is still some magnificent leaf action in the beech avenue.

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Even if my poor little rowan tree, now stripped of leaves, but clinging onto its berries with its last shred of dignity, has to survive against a sky the colour of slate.

But then - a miracle happened. I woke up this morning and there was….SUNSHINE.

Sun on distant hills

See? There is actual light over them there hills.

Sun on leaves

And the leaves are dappled with sun.

Sun in the woods

And there is once more a sense of hope in the dark woods.

Sunshine and tree trunks

So that even an old battered tree trunk can look like a thing of sculptural beauty.

Three beeches

And I remember the glory of the ancient trees.

Purdey on the day after the rain

And the dogs are once again ready for their close-up.

Mango ready for her close up; best picture ever

And can even find a nice dry sunny spot in which to have a little lie down.

The sky is black again as I write this, but like an old camel living off its hump, I am still smiling at the memory of my glorious morning of dazzling sun.


  1. Lovely photos .. Lovely dogs . I just love this time of year you have capture it perfectly

  2. Wonderful pictures. I've just written about Scotland on my blog. In January 1982 it rained every day for the five weeks I stayed in Edinburgh. I was told by my Englishman 'In Scotland if it's not raining it's about to.' I loved it up there anyway, though. Something to do with being in love, I think. xx

  3. You do take a nice photo and don't the girls look regal?

    Down south I'm finding all this weather a bit spirit-lowering. We've got temperatures more suited to the summer we never had, but combined with a 'dreich' dampness and Tupperware skies. You never know whether to put a cardie on under your coat when you leave the house or to put socks on with the ballet pumps or if it's too damp and chill for leggings... I'm a morass of indecision in the mornings at the mo.

    And cooking is a nightmare - too warm for stews but the farmers markets full of stew-like enticements; too chill for summery things; the answer I'm sure is Vietnamese(new obssession).


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