WPC: (out of) Order

The front duck wobbled. Probaby planning his big escape!

Phew, just made it by the skin of my teeth – what a weird phrase! Teeth don’t have skin. Well mine don’t ūüė¶ I’ve really trailed my archives for this shot, which was one of the first I took when I finally got a DSLR after years of drooling over them. Anyway I tried Focus Stacking here and it worked (kinda) but the front duck is a wee bit blurry.

Order is the theme for this week and I thought this photograph was quite appropriate. One of these is not like the others.

Be weird.

Stay weird.

Embrace your differences.

Stand out from the crowd and do your own thing.

Be a free spirit. 



WPC: Friend

So many ways to think about this week’s photography challenge. I’m very lucky to have in my life a lot of people I count as friends –¬†Scottish friends I’ve know forever, American friends I’ve known for the past few years, online friends and of course my non-human doggo¬†friend…

My next-door neighbour (and good friend) moved away last month and before she left we spent a lot of time together as she was on her own and feeling sad. Anyway I told her a quote I’d seen on the internet and actually made her cry (which I really feel bad about) but it was so appropriate for us.

“You have 3 types of friends in life:

Friends for a reason,

Friends for a season,

and Friends for a lifetime.”

I can categorise her most definitely in the ‘friends for a lifetime’ group.

In saying that I haven’t always had a lot of friends around me at certain times in my life, whether it was due to moving away, being busy, life changing circumstances or whatever, BUT I have always been able to lose myself and find a friend in a book. This quote from Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n sums it up perfectly in my eyes:

‚ÄúIn the (book)shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody‚Äôs best friend.‚ÄĚ

From devouring Enid Blyton and her Famous Five and Secret Seven series as a child (I wanted to be George SO badly!) I have found a lot of best friends in books throughout my life.

So this week’s photograph is a still life, not any of my favourite books, but just a photograph of some old books I found in mum’s house last year.

Scottish books lowres




WPC: Evanescent

Wake me up, wake me up inside, I can’t wake up,
Wake me up inside, save me,
Call my name and save me from the dark, wake me up
Bid my blood to run, I can’t wake up
Before I come undone, save me
Save me from the nothing I’ve become

Oh, wait a minute. That’s Evanescence…. this week’s word is Evanescent! *goes and Googles the meaning of evanescent*

Evanescent: soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.


Bring me to life, I’ve been living a lie
There’s nothing inside, bring me to life.


WPC: Heritage

The things you take for granted when you were brought up and lived all your life in one place only take on importance when you move away from that particular area.¬†I moved away from my childhood town in Scotland when I was 22 to the nearest ‘big’ town, then at the age of 44 I moved across the Atlantic, and it was only when I settled into my American town that I realised how much history and culture was on my doorstep back home in Scotland that I never did appreciate. Most American friends all know their heritage and can tell you they’re from Scottish/Irish/German descent and they know how many generations ago their ancestors moved to the States. Me, I can only go back about 4 or 5 generations at the most. It’s even more noticeable in the buildings how ‘young’ this country is. My in-laws back in Scotland lived in a cottage that was attached to a castle which was built in the 15th century. The cottage has obviously been expanded and added onto over the years from it’s 2 room original form, but it still has 3 foot thick walls and original brickwork and stones. Unfortunately the castle was demolished in 1950 because it was unsafe and is now a pile of large stones and rubble covered with grass.¬†We all take this for granted and there’s nothing special about living in a 600 year old house.

Anyway for this post ‘Heritage’ I thought I’d throw up a few images from my home town and¬†the surrounding area.

Newmilns Town House

The townhouse was built in 1739. The steps led to the council chamber, and the side door led to the jail underneath. The town bell (housed in the belltower above the building) is engraved with the date 1547, predating the building below.

Newmilns Keep

The Keep (occasionally referred to as Newmilns Tower) is Newmilns’ oldest building, dating from the 1530s. Over its history, The Keep has served many purposes, including being used as a barracks, prison, grain store, doocot, band hall and beer cellar. After falling into a state of disrepair for many years, it was restored in 1997 and now exists as housing.

Loudoun Kirk

Loudoun Kirk is a disused church located about one mile west of Loudoun Castle (which I’m hoping to photograph this summer).¬†It served as Loudoun’s Parish Church until some point after 1600, when this function moved to the church in nearby Newmilns. It subsequently fell into a state of disrepair, however since 1994 has been preserved by a local charity, Friends Of Loudoun Kirk.

Loudoun Kirk

The establishment of Loudoun Kirk marks the earliest known Christian worship in the surrounding area. It is widely regarded as having been founded in 1451, with most local historians taking this date from an 1890 translation of the Latin text, Muniments of the Royal Burgh of Irvine. Recently however, a ocal historian unearthed a letter referring to church rents dating prior to 1451. After retranslating the Muniments of Irvine, he dated Loudoun Kirk to 1198. At or soon after its foundation, the revenues of Loudoun Kirk were allocated to support the monks of the newly founded Kilwinning Abbey, however they were obliged to provide a priest (curate) to attend to the spiritual needs of the parishioners.

During the Campbell verus Kennedy feuds of 1527/8, Loudoun Kirk was badly damaged, but soon rebuilt. In 1530, in recognition of the shift in population, a chapel was built at Newmilns. Loudoun Kirk remained the parish church until at least the 17th century, at which time the chapel in Newmilns was upgraded to parochial status. Loudoun Kirk and its kirkyard continued in use for occasional church services, but more particularly as the last resting-place of generations of the parishioners of Loudoun. The building was repaired in 1898 by the Third Marquis of Bute.

Dean Castle, Kilmarnock

Dean Castle is situated in the Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock, Scotland. It was the stronghold for the Boyd Family, who were lords of Kilmarnock for over 400 years.

The Castle takes its name from ‚ÄėThe Dean‚Äô or wooded valley, a common place name in Scotland. However, until about 1700 it was called Kilmarnock Castle. Owned originally by the Boyd family, it has strong historical connections with many people and events famous in Scottish history.¬†Robert the Bruce who gave the Boyds these lands; James III of Scotland¬†whose sister married a Boyd; the Covenanters, some of whom were imprisoned here; Bonnie Prince Charlie, whose rebellion was joined by the 4th Earl of Kilmarnock and¬†Robert Burns¬†who was encouraged to publish his poetry by the Earl of Glencairn¬†who owned the Castle at that time.

I actually worked in the Castle for a while. Whilst it was lovely working in such a beautiful place it gave me cold shivers sometimes as my imagination used to run away with itself and conjure up all sorts of spooky scenarios! There¬†are ¬†many ghost stories surrounding the Castle which I try my hardest not to listen to….


Hiking at Turkey Run

For my son’s 20th birthday this week he wanted to go hiking at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. He’s been before so knew all the hikes, but as his 70 year old Gran and I were going with him I expected him to choose the ‘easy’ routes…. Nope. He chose all the most difficult ones – ‘rugged’ is how the trail map described them. In consideration of our advanced years he made us do the harder ones first, which meant that by the end of the day (4 hours of hiking btw!) we only had to consider stairs as the ‘obstacles’. He’s all heart that boy! According to MyFitnessPal I climbed 44 flights of stairs that day!

Anyway I was glad I’d taken my compact camera because it meant when I was climbing up gorges and down canyons, plus walking along streams and very narrow cliff edges I could balance myself better without a big DSLR hanging round my neck. Next time I go back I will definitely take the big camera with me though. The scenery was luscious and the rocks were majestic. I was fighting the bright sunlight though with my compact, which I have to say did quite a decent job in the circumstances with only a few blown highlights and flares. It was a fabulous day and I’m already planning when I can go back.

Turkey run4

The start of the hike was looking good and pretty easy so far.

Turkey run9

Son climbing up Wedge Rock.

Turkey run5

There are many legends about how Turkey Run got its name. One story says that wild turkeys, finding it warmer in the canyon bottoms, or “runs”, would often huddle in these runs to avoid the cold. Pioneer hunters would herd the turkeys through these natural funnels into a central location for an easy harvest. Since historic accounts suggest that large numbers of turkeys lived here, it follows that turkeys in the runs prompted the area’s name, Turkey Run.

Turkey Run2

Eventually we gave up trying to use stepping stones and logs to get over the water and just walked up the streams. We then had the joy of wet feet for the rest of the day.

Turkey run3

Caves and overhangs were everywhere. There was so much to explore and see; it really was photography heaven.

Turkey run8

The colours on the rocks were phenomenal.

turkey run1

The Devil’s Punchbowl was amazing and one of the places I’m definitely coming back to with my DSLR and a tripod!

Turkey run14

Some of the five million stairs we climbed. I have to say my wee mum was a champ. She has more energy than me and even though some of the stairs were higher up than her knee she managed everything!

Turkey run13

Falls Canyon waterfall

Turkey run15

The Ice Box

Skink lowres

A Five-Lined Skink

Turkey run6

Canoeing (or kayaking) down Sugar Creek river

Turkey run7

How I would do it if I was canoeing!

What a great way to spend the day with my son and my mum, plus added bonus. I was only very slightly sore the next day. Result!



WPC: Reflecting

On seeing this week’s topic the Chicago Bean (Cloud¬†Gate Sculpture to give it it’s proper name) immediately sprung to mind and luckily I found a shot I hadn’t ever bothered with before as I¬†had taken so many photographs of it. Anyway here is The Chicago Bean in all it’s shiny reflective glory.

Reflections of my life

Reflections of my life by Marmalade. A great song, but oh boy, is it depressing! Now I have an earworm.

I thought I’d throw in another shot on the Reflecting theme. Maybe if I’m a good girl this year Santa will bring me one of these. Or a pony. I’m easy to please.


p.s. You’ll be happy to know I have my ‘R’s’ back in the title field.


WPC: Dange

Question: Why is my ‘R’ not working in the title? It’s working in the post field? RrRrRrRr – see! Are R’s dangerous? I suppose it depends on who’s doing the R-ing. *sigh* I’ve had Internet troubles all week and now it looks like I’m having keyboard trouble.

Anyway the post. Danger. A week late.

A dangerous beastie!

Never trust a smile on a crocodile. Except this is an alligator. Don’t trust them either… they’re pretty dodgy too.