Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sea + Gulls + Snow = brrrr

+ a rare Trimeresurus stejnegeri! = wow!

I went for a walk on the snow beach yesterday on my way home from the post office. It started to snow, there were hardly any people and only a couple of terribly excited dogs enjoying the snow and soft sand.

It must be awfully exciting to be a dog - racing wildly over the cold snow. But it was a bitterly cold day. On the weather forecast is said it would reach a high of -2 ! goodness me! and tonight it was to be a low of -7 ! I haven't seen those temperatures outside for years.

There was a beautiful black silt on the beach that made the water's edge black. It's hard to see it in this photo but the waves are actually black. Now I'm wondering - is this pollution?

I came across these hungry gulls vying for food that a kind old man was sharing with them. It's good to share your unwanted food with the hungry animals. Where ever you are.

To the gulls a mouthful is the difference between living and dying. Winter time is the hardest for them and they have to expend valuable energy seeking out food. With these freezing temperatures the food calories then keep them warm. There will be no fat reserves on the animals this year.

It was after 3 and the sun was departing for the day. She turned the sky a beautiful pink. Every night she has been giving Edinburgh the most amazing sunsets.

This soft green curvaceous bench is 30 seconds from my house. A perfect point to take in the mood of the sea. I've only ever seen snow lie on the beach once before and it was over 20 years ago. Scotland sure has been hit hard with this early winter.

Solitude comes at a price. Today it cost -2 degrees and a wet bum but it was worth it to see a beach free of humans. It's the only time it happens! Oh, except for lashing rain storms too!

When I was in Stavanger, Norway, earlier this year I visited the local Kunst Museum. They always have a collection of old and new paintings and interesting works of art. I admired these birch trees above and the winter scene next to it.

In their exhibition section were huge photographs showing arctic scenes. brrr.
Well, when you are viewing snow scenes in July they don't really have the same impact as when you revisit the photos in December with icicles on your windows.

Each photo was about 2.5m long! The detail was incredible and the mood plausible.
Don't these huskies look right at home?

I wonder what they are sniffing on the snow? and all in different directions too.

I liked this scene with the huge bergs in the inlet. Can you see the roof tops in the lower left corner? Those bergs are Big!! and there looks to be low lying cloud cover over the mountains.

When it snows the skies turn black. The snow clouds are so omnipresent and there is little telling the boundaries of their clouds. I have watched them in the distance and they just seem to envelope the horizon, swallowing the land and making it all one. It's very moving!

..... meanwhile back on the snow beach by the bitter North Sea I spotted a very rare snake!!

I immediately recognized it as a female and from the viper family as I had seen pictures of them before but never met one. She was a rare Stejneger's pit viper, Trimeresurus stejnegeri, from the very hot Far East and definitely should not have been in frigid Scottish waters!!!

Well, I was going to take her home to meet the rest of the gang but she said to me that was happy spending time one the beach.
She had met a few dogs already and they had had some fun times but they had to leave her behind in favour of driftwood sticks, and it was only a matter of tides before a lucky kid picked her up, washed her in the surf and took her home to their Kung Fu Panda toy collection.


  1. what wonderful photos, Annette! So cold, isn't it?

    Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Enjoyed walking the beach with you, wonderful, thanks so much !


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