Up with the lark

I hadn’t been up early enough to catch a sunrise so decided this was the day, bearing in mind most sensible photographers don’t try this in the summer when the nights are short and days long, meaning you need to get up a silly o’clock (which in this case was about 3 AM) before an hour and a bit drive to the site!

Dunnottar castle was my objective and that is about 1:15 – 1:30 hr drive from my home, so equipped with freshly made coffee I set off, getting there around 15 min before sunrise; so had to quickly find a good spot. I was surprised to see another couple there waiting to catch the same sunrise with their phone cameras, apparently, it was something on the ladies bucket list to do before her 50th!

Anyway, the time came and went for sunrise and it wasn’t the best I had seen but there were moments of clouds clearing and bright sunshine beaming across the landscape, I wanted to get a shot of the castle with the sunrise as a backdrop but it just wasn’t happening. In the end, I decided to try a silhouette effect on the castle and the sun shining through the clouds.

Once sunrise had come and gone I decided to move down to the shoreline and see if there were any scenic opportunities there, I used a long exposure method to try and smooth out the water and give a surreal effect, a few of the results are below, see what you think.

Out and About

Well, the weather this weekend has been great and the forecast for next week is just as good if not better, so I decided to go on a minor trek Saturday up to Moncrieffe hill, which is just a mile or so outside of Perth. It is a beautiful area of woodland (and hill) with a couple of hill fort sites from the stone age I think, although there is not much left of them to see, however, once you are up there the view is extraordinary!

 

All in a day

This morning started well enough, set off for work around 7.15 and on the way spotted the Virgin balloon just rising above the skyline, it often takes off from a local park when the weather is good (which it was again today) and made the walk to work a bit more interesting.

Balloon
Virgin Balloon

 

 

It was nice to think that someone (several someones!) had to get up earlier than I to be able to get airborne by that time of the morning, is that bad of me?

 

 

 

My job today was on the face of it a fairly simple one, drive a customers car back to them in Inverness, well from Perth that’s around 110 miles or 2.5 hours in the car; a fair distance sure, but with the benefit of passing through some stunning Scottish scenery. So I set off on my journey, only to find after about an hour there was a problem with the car meaning I had to return to the garage to have it checked out. I duly did this and then set off again, only for the same problem to arise again, resulting in another return, only this time there would be no third attempt today, car needs to be looked at in more detail!

Anyway, it was not all a total loss as I said, there is some really nice views I drove through and stopped (of course) to take a couple of photos off, see below.

Highlands
On route

 

Layby
Layby

Colour is coming to town.

Today was a really nice sunny day, and the flowers seem to be responding to that as well as people, I went for a walk around town this afternoon and into the park, where there are some lovely and colourful crocuses starting to appear.

Crocusses 2
Crocuses

The “North Inch” is a large park which includes rugby pitches, golf course and open spaces for the residents of Perth to enjoy. It is well looked after by the council and as a result, boasts some beautiful natural areas where flowers such as these crocuses grow freely.

Crocusses1
Crocuses in the park

The park is close to the centre of town and therefore a great place to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet and lovely views, especially on a day like today.

whilst I was there I noticed a hot air balloon being prepared for launch, the conditions I imagine were ideal and this area is quite often used as a launching ground for the balloon.

Balloon
Hot air balloon taking off

Back where I belong…

So I got a Christmas present of a DNA kit to investigate my heritage, it seems after reading the report that I am from mostly Scandinavian stock, some Irish, Scottish and Welsh and even English.

 

 Scandinavian 45.3%
Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
 28.0%
 English 19.2%
 Greek 5.6%
Nigerian 1.0%
North African 0.9%

Map of DNA sources
DNA Profile

The upshot is I am predominantly Norseman lineage, I’m not the best sailor in the world so god knows how I ended up here!