Just a wee bit of a diffuse glow.

Just a wee bit of a diffuse glow, well that just about sums up the dawn yesterday as it was foggy in this part of the world. The area around Loch Leven seems to draw fog like a magnet, a few miles either way and you are into sunshine, but not Kinross.

I took the big camera and the tripod for a walk along Hatchbank Road as there had to be something worth photographing, the fog seems to take away familiar perspectives, isolating subjects and making the familiar appear strange.

I have been fascinated with this old gate for a while. The trouble is the dynamic range of the shadows to the sky is too great, HDR seems to cope a lot better than normal photography, however, the fog kicked a few stops of light off the range and this one was made by conventional means with just a wee bit of colour enhancement to provide some relief to the depressing snow.

Ardgairney gate

I used a square format here as it seems to work better.

Turning right at the top of the road onto Cleish Road brought me the next picture, the scene was all framed up when a passing motorist forced me to move out of the way, believe me this one you do not want to be in front of, giving way is not in their vocabulary. So the shot was hastily recomposed just as their tail lights give dimension to the scene.

Cleish Road

Cleish Road has an interesting history. The main road into Kinross, the B996 or The Great North Road as it was called was, as the name implies the main route north since Adam was a lad. The road from Burntisland, which was the favoured crossing point for traffic from Edinburgh joined the  main road from The Queensferry, past the ancient Scots capital of Dunfermline a few miles south of Loch Leven. The road then carried on past a number of coaching inns in Kinross and Milnathort then up and over the hills to Glenfarg, or Arngask as it was called before the railway, to Perth, where the route would split for Inverness and Aberdeen.

The problem was the Great North became a statute toll road, which not only meant that traffic using the road had to pay but the local people also had to pay, in money or labour for its upkeep! (Nothing much has changed really.) The toll house was in Gairney Bank, so to avoid the tolls a road was made over the hills from Dunfermline down to Cleish, running parallel to the Great North Road and that was the Cleish Road.

I turned right into the field and went over to a Beech tree that seems to have survived in the corner of a field in defiance of modern farming methods who seem to despise going round anything. Sitting high up in the branches was a …. oh I have just found a chocolate chip from a cookie, stuck in the keyboard, I wondered where that went… lethargic buzzard. I can’t say that I blame it for not moving, it was doing a very good job of energy conservation.

The beech and the buzzard

I could have went closer but it wasn’t worth the bother disturbing the buzzard and it obliging stayed put providing a sense of scale to the picture.

After that it was a mere matter of a stroll back down Hatchbank Road and the dual pleasures of drying down a very soggy doggy and some tea and toast.


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