Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunrise rock November

The weather, clear sky and my motivations combined this morning to take in a sunrise. I think the last time I opted for a 3am July morning, this time November. The sun rises much later, 7.33am to be exact for Aboyne so 5.35am rise wasn't too bad. Of course the best views are from Sunrise Rock, 1500ft, first a walk up the Fungle path in dawn light, pretty light except going through the trees. Luckily the moon had already set so no fear of werewolves this morning. It's not until the last 10 minutes approaching sunset rock that the Deeside, North Sea Coast broad views are everywhere but before, golden amber's were flickering through the trees, a band of coastal cloud or mist was producing the magical colours before the sun made the horizon. 10 minutes to sunrise but who's counting the atmosphere is expectant. The colours intensify and yellows start to win out. The sun has arrived and new light starts to transform the landscape. Lochnagar corrie, crisp crags of granite folded from the anvils of time are clearly visible in great detail. Then Ben Avon's looks like its hills are covered in blooming heather as the amber light reaches. Then immediately, the light around me becomes alive, a intensity of light we expect every mid day had arrived. I'll never tire of these experiences, the only thing that I can think of to make it better would be to share it with someone, some sunrise.

Sunrise rock November, originally uploaded by ecotorch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Requiem by Mary Butterworth Artist

Yesterday evening marked the opening of the Butterworths Exhibition of paintings at the Foyer Restaurant Aberdeen. A walk down a dark Union Street and a turn left on to Crown Street until the welcoming light glow to the entrance to the restaurant and Gallery. An aptly reflective glass cube with a double door combination gave the first view of the art work on offer and what a welcome for the eye. A mauve night sky with its last tints of blue the full width of the Old Brig O'Dee over the River Dee lantern lit. A painting entitled, Requiem. Mary Butterworth, artist and the painting below for you to enjoy too.

The lanterns had me puzzled for a start as I matched up the street lights with the reflections on the water, but the artist soon put me right on the story behind the extra lights, the lanterns. Howard Butterworth paintings reminded me of good times at Kings College Aberdeen University as the leaves gathered along the Chanonry. West coast Island crags and hills of Skye allowed Howard to capture their dark and moody nature in textured oil paint. Add in great conversations with friends old, new and reacquainted made for a very enjoyable evening out. Thank you for the invite and good luck with the exhibition.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last week I became the owner of my first Mary Butterworth print. The painting is called Pulsar and I collected it on Friday from the @BallogieGallery that Mary's sister Sarah runs. I have been lucky enough to see Mary develop this ability to capture dynamic night time scene of Aberdeen, so I am really pleased to own Pulsar. The reason I like this painting is that is combines a place I know well with the mystic qualities of space (where does that tunnel go to?), captured in the picture's name. Now, this might sound a bit geeky, but I asked Mary to write the opening sentence describing a Pulsar from Wikipedia on the print, which she kindly did. Coolio. By the way, that white light in the photo is not a Pular, nor is it in the painting, it is the flash from the camera!

Pulsar, originally uploaded by ecotorch.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Lochnagar Spring Skiing 2011

I did eventually make it out back country skiing in late March.

Lochnagar Spring Skiing 2011, originally uploaded by ecotorch.

Just 5 weeks ago and now not to far from this location heath fires have been raging this week! This picture shows some turn on the Glas Alt valley, super fast spring snow, so much fun I climbed up again for a second go. Then a more substantial walk up (in ski boots) Cuidhe Crom 1083 meter summit. Some tricky boulder fields to cross before the steep ski down the east side. An excellent 8 hours out on Lochnagar shame the snow melted so fast this year.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

skiing 2011

I have not got my 2011 ski season underway yet. 2010 was such a rare year, backcountry skiing opportunities nearly every month, Jan to May and even December has enough snow depth for skiing but I did not make it out, well with the skis on. The South facing slopes around Deeside are hold the best cover and those west facing so I was planning on a trip up Pressendye this weekend, or somewhere up the back of Tarland but this cough bug keeps too big a hold for now. The back side of Gathering Carin is also loaded with snow but that is a 3-4 hike in, I'm not in that shape yet but give me a few weeks.