Hurlet Limestone (326-331million years old), Kinghorn Beach

 

Hurlet Limestone crinoids, base of Lower Limestone Formation

Hurlet Limestone crinoid fragments, base of Lower Limestone Formation.

 

This limestone is found at the base of the Lower Limestone Formation, which was deposited in the Carboniferous (approx 300 to 360 million years ago). Most of the Lower Limestone Formation consists of sandstones, siltstones and mudstones, very similar to the underlying Pathhead Formation, which were deposited in a swamp/deltaic environment (not dissimilar to the modern day Mississippi delta).

But sandwiched in between them, is the Hurlet Limestone which represents a major marine transgression, where the sea encroached over the flat lying delta regions, thus temporarily cutting off sediment supply, and allowing the growth of coral and crinoid banks, in the resulting shallow and warm sea. Over time, the sediments from the delta gradually pushed outwards again, covering up the limestones with yet more deltaic sandstones, siltstones and mudstones.

 

Another close up photo of the Hurlet Limestone with crinoid fragments.

Another close up photo of the Hurlet Limestone with crinoid fragments.

 

 

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Kerry for Queen — Postcards from Kerry

This is brilliant from Kerry (https://chattykerry.wordpress.com/)

CAUTION – this post might make you laugh. It’s pretty obvious that the USA is no longer able to deal with a democracy. Fifty percent of the populace thinks the other half is bonkers/loco/crazy and now they are rioting over a legal democratic process that the President Elect assured us previously would be rigged/illegal/fraudulent (or […]

via Kerry for Queen — Postcards from Kerry

Supermoon

For those of you like me, who were uncertain as to what and why the recent ‘Supermoon’ occurred, I found this nice infographic from the Forbes website.

 

Supermoon Infographic from Forbes website

Supermoon Infographic from Forbes website

 

The moon’s orbit is an ellipse (an uneven circle), and as a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average the distance is about 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles). The point on the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the point farthest away is the apogee. The ellipse also varies slightly from year to year, with this years perigee moon being closest to the earth since 1948.

 

 

Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

Calton Hill, at the eastern end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, is surrounded on three sides by Regent Terrace, Calton Terrace and Royal Terrace, the last of these streets is pictured below.

Western end of the Royal Terrace in Edinburgh

Western end of the Royal Terrace in Edinburgh

 

It was William Henry Playfair, the renowned Scottish architect, who was responsible for the building of these prestigious streets, with the Royal Terrace being completed between 1820 and 1830. The Royal Terrace, which originally consisted of some very large townhouses (now mainly hotels), is the longest continuous stretch of Georgian architecture anywhere in Edinburgh.

William Playfair had intended his Calton Hill development to extend a fair distance to the north of London Road, and to rival the Edinburgh New Town development by James Craig in the late 18th century (to the north of Princes Street), but unfortunately the work was never fully completed.

The terrace has fine views over the Firth of Forth, and was known affectionately in the 19th century as ‘Whisky Row’. The reason for this, was probably due to the fact, that many of the residents of the Royal Terrace, were rich Spirit & Wine merchants, who could watch their ships returning from foreign trading trips.

 

 

Dugald Stewart Monument – Calton Hill, Edinburgh

 

Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill, in Edinburgh

Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill, in Edinburgh

View from Calton Hill in Edinburgh, with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground, and Edinburgh Castle, the Balmoral Hotel (and clock tower), and the Scott monument in the background.

The Dugald Stewart Monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher and mathematician, who is best known for popularising the Scottish Enlightenment. The Scottish Enlightenment or Enlichtenment, was a period in 18th and early 19th century Scotland that was characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments.

Dugald Stewart (1753-1828) was a professor at the University of Edinburgh, holding the chair of moral philosophy from 1786 until his death in June 1828. Among Stewart’s pupils were Lord Palmerston, Sir Walter Scott, Francis Jeffrey, Henry Thomas Cockburn, Francis Horner, Sydney Smith, John William Ward, Lord Brougham, Dr. Thomas Brown, James Mill, Sir James Mackintosh and Sir Archibald Alison, all of whom were to become leading figures in their respective fields, not just in Scotland, but throughout the world.

Following his death, the Royal Society of Edinburgh commissioned the building of the monument, which was completed in Aug 1831.

 

Comparison of Sunrise Positions – The Crazy Things I Think About

Have you ever wondered about the different positions in which the sun rises, in say Edinburgh, compared to, for example, Plymouth?

Because of the curve of the earth’s surface, us folks north of Hadrian’s Wall get shorter winter days, and longer summer daytime hours, compared with somewhere such as Cornwall/Devon.

This can be proved to be definitely the case, when you look at the angles at which the sun rises in Edinburgh, and compare that with the compass angles at which the sun rises in Plymouth.

If you imagine standing in a very large field of grass, that stretches as far as the horizon in all directions. When you look north, this is at 0° on a compass, east is 90°, south is 180°, west is 270°, and north is 360° or 0° again. If this field was in Edinburgh, in December, the sun would rise at 138°, but in Plymouth, it would rise 18° further to the north at 120°. During the summer, in this field, the sun would rise in Plymouth at 57°, and in Edinburgh at 48°.

To summarise, sunrise and compass positions are
Due North                       =  0°
Edinburgh June 21st    =  48°
Plymouth June 21st      =  57°
Due East                         =  90°
Plymouth Dec 21st       =  120°
Edinburgh Dec 21st     =  138°

I have shown this graphically on the image below.

Sunrise comparisons on a compass, Edinburgh and Plymouth

Sunrise comparisons on a compass, Edinburgh and Plymouth

 

The angles are fairly similar for the sunsets, but on the other half of the circle, between 180° (south) and 360°/0° (north).

Going back to the sunrise positions/compass angles, it’s interesting to see that the difference in Edinburgh between summer and winter sunrise positions is exactly 90° (a right angle)!! The difference in Plymouth between summer and winter sunrise positions is only 63°. Technically speaking, the difference at the Equator would be 0° (ie the sun rises at the same point on the horizon whatever the time of the year), and at the North Pole, its infinity?, because in the winter the sun doesn’t rise at all, and in the summer, it doesn’t set!

 

If I’ve totally confused you, as I’m sure I have, and you have any questions etc, please leave them in the comments below.

Anthony Kurtz – Free pdf download

 

screenshot-of-the-work-of-anthony-kurtz-3

A Screenshot of one of the stunning photographs by Anthony Kurtz

 

Whilst searching the web over the weekend, I discovered the work of Anthony Kurtz. His speciality is environmental portraits, that is, portraits of people taken in their work environment, or just in the places where they live etc. The photographs seem to all have a dark, forboding, moody, gritty feel about them. My description doesn’t do him justice, because to me, his work is just amazing and stunning!!!!

 

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

 

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

 

From his ‘About’ page on his website

Anthony Kurtz is an award-winning, Euro-American, commercial, editorial and “art-documentary” photographer based in Berlin (formerly San Francisco). He specializes in environmental portraiture and strives to create beautiful and unexpected photographs of people and the spaces they occupy.

Anthony Kurtz’s website, has a wonderful page which just shows thumbs of all of the photographs he has taken. It is possible to create your own pdf document, of all of your favourite photographs of his. By clicking the link below, you can see and download my favourite selection of his work

anthonykurtz-photography-environmentalportraits-berlingermanyandworldwide-berlinportraitfotografwebsiteportfolio

 

or create your own pdf, by going to

http://anthonykurtz.com/pdf/

 

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

 

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

Screenshot from Anthony Kurtz website

 

 

Victoria Power Station, Kirkcaldy

As early as 1896, Professor Kennedy (of Messrs Kennedy and Jenkins) proposed a joint venture for both power and tramways in Kirkcaldy. In 1898 he was appointed as consultant engineer, by the newly formed Tramways and Electric Light Committee. His proposal was to build a power staion on Victoria Road, in Kirkcaldy.

The Old Victoria Power Station, Kirkcaldy

The Old Victoria Power Station, Kirkcaldy

 

The main contractors were J & P McLauchlan of Larbert, but building was hindered by the difficulty of obtaining sufficient stone from Grange Quarry, at Burntisland, as well as the necessity for digging engine beds to a depth of 10ft. Three boilers and five engines (2 at 80hp and 3 at 250hp) were supplied by Browett, Lindley & Co Ltd.
The Victoria Road Power Station first generated electricity on 15th December, 1902, and was formally opened on 28th February, 1903 when the power was officially switched on by Provost Tait at 3pm. Guests from this ceremony were then driven in carriages to Gallatown to inspect the new tramway depot, and returned to town on a tram. The first service tram was run on Monday 2nd March, 1903. In 1909 the gallery was extended and a store added, a cooling tower was built in 1912 and a new engine room in 1922. The power station shut in 1931, and appears to have been derelict ever since then.

The Old Victoria Power Station Entrance

The Old Victoria Power Station Entrance

 

There have been plans to demolish the building and then use the site for an old peoples home and small supermarket. Thankfully ‘Historic Scotland’ stepped in and objected to the plan.

Another View of the Old Victoria Power Station

Another View of the Old Victoria Power Station

 

But now the owners of the building, United Investments, have put the building up for sale, for the nominal price of £1, as Historic Scotland is adamant in its position that the facade of the building be retained. The developers are saying that this will cost millions of pounds (I’m not a builder, but I can’t see why a facade would cost so much to preserve, the rest of the building will be demolished anyway), and at least one councillor (George Kay) has quoted that he believes the whole building should be demolished.

The top half of the Victoria Power Station Building

The top half of the Victoria Power Station Building

 

I, for one, am hoping that an investor will see the beauty of this historic building, and at least preserve the outside of the Victoria Power Station.

 

 

The Branwells House, Chapel Street, Penzance

During this summer just gone, we went back down to my home town of Penzance, to stay with my parents for a few days. I got up early one morning, and took my camera out to photograph parts of the town that I had always just taken for granted. Over the next few months I shall be posting some of these photos 🙂

The first photo is of a red bricked house, which was the home of Maria and Elizabeth Branwell. Maria Branwell was mother to Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell Bronte. The house is located towards the bottom of Penzance’s historic Chapel Street.

The Bronte sisters were famous, as I sure most people know, for writing books such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and have always been strongly associated with Yorkshire. However, their mother, Maria, was from a very prominent Penzance family.

Maria Branwell left Penzance, for Yorkshire, where she got married in 1812. Sadly for her and her family, she died a few years later, but her sister, Elizabeth, then also moved from Penzance to look after the children.

The house itself is unusual for Penzance, in that it is built of brick. It is part of a short terrace referred to as the Rotterdam Buildings. As the story goes, the bricks were confiscated from a Dutch cargo ship out in the bay, by local buccaneers.

 

The church in the background of this photograph is St Mary’s Church, which was designed by Charles Hutchens of St Buryan and built between 1833 & 1835.

The Branwell's House, Chapel Street, Penzance

The Branwell’s House, Chapel Street, Penzance

 

 

Haunting Black and White Portraits of Homeless People – by Lee Jeffries

As you know, I don’t normally do link style posts, but I just had to share this amazing blog post by a lass called Justina, on the Bored Panda website. These black and white portraits by Lee Jeffries (500px website), are absolutely out of this world!!!! If only these people could be used in a Film, it would be an instant smash hit, there is so much character shining out of each persons portrait!! As a taster, I’ve copied two of the portraits, from the blog (http://www.boredpanda.com/homeless-people-lee-jeffries/), to this post

 

 

 

Please let me know what you think of this amazing work by Lee Jeffries (500px)

 

 

Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline

This wonderful Georgian house in Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline was built in approx 1808, for James Blackwood, the then Provost of Dunfermline.

From 1920-1965, it was used as an art and craft school, under the ownership of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, but in 1985 it was converted into flats.

A Georgian House in Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline

A Georgian House in Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline

 

 

Galloway Library, Colinsburgh, Fife

The Galloway Library in Colinsburgh was built in 1903, at the bequest of Thomas Carstairs Galloway, a rich linen merchant, He was born in Kilconquhar, Fife, in 1846, and died at the beginning of the 20th century. He left a large Trust fund to the village. The money from the Trust was to be invested in railways and coal, and to be used to build a public library for Colinsburgh, and to provide for a librarian/caretaker who would live upstairs.

The Galloway Library in Colinsburgh, Fife

The Galloway Library in Colinsburgh, Fife

 

The library was still in use in 2009, at which point it was run by Fife Council. In 2013, Fife Council put all of Fife’s libraries into the control of the Fife Cultural Trust, and then slashed the funding to the Trust!!! The Trust has since been seeking ways of saving money, and this includes the closure of 16 of Fife’s libraries. Diana Jackson, whos website is https://dianamj.wordpress.com/ , has been actively campaigning to save Kinghorn Library in Fife, I believe they have succeeded in setting up a community project to run the library themselves 🙂

Getting back to the Galloway Library in Colinsburgh, it appears that it has been turned into a private residence, at some point over the last 18 months 😦

Whilst checking up on this, I found a Fife Council document dated 24th October, 2007, that states

“The Galloway Trust provides funds towards, amongst other things, the Galloway Library in Colinsburgh, bursaries for the local school, and poor relief for residents of the Colinsburgh area. The original trustees are no longer in existence and the Council has administered the trust for many years. The proposal is to ask the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to reconstitute the trust in a way that allows joint community and Council membership on it.”

It appears however, that the library was instead sold off, instead of being kept for the local residents.

 
If anyone knows something different, please let me know

Greenside Cottages, Leslie

Glenrothes is a ‘new’ town, none of the properties are much older than approx 70 years, with one or two exceptions. Therefore my closest ‘local‘ older houses, are the Greenside Cottages, which face onto Leslie Green. Leslie is a small village to the west of Glenrothes.

The Greenside Cottages are also known as Douglas Croft Cottages, and are some of the oldest properties in Leslie. The Green was originally common land (ie anyone living in Leslie could graze their animals there, free of charge), but unfortunately for the residents of Greenside Cottages, their houses were owned by the Douglas family of Strathendry. This meant the folk of the cottages had to pay a small yearly fee, for stepping out of their front doors!!! Thankfully for them, this situation didn’t remain for too long. Later residents had the privilege of being right next to Leslie Green. This was the focal point of community, the site being used for fairs and the weekly markets.

Greenside Cottages, Leslie

Greenside Cottages, Leslie

 

Chimneys and Roofs of Greenside Cottages, Leslie

Chimneys and Roofs of Greenside Cottages, Leslie

 

 

Update to the Post – Flying Buttresses of Dunfermline Abbey

Following a conversation I had with someone on Facebook, I’ve discovered a wee bit of extra information about the top photo on the post “Flying Buttresses of Dunfermline Abbey“, which shows the flying buttresses of the South wall of the Abbey. The extra info is at the bottom of the page 🙂

 

BTW In case anyone is interested, my Facebook Page is at https://www.facebook.com/Fife-Photos-and-Art-876703825718122/ and my profile is name Andy Baskerville.

Using Google Nik Software as a STANDALONE program – Part 01

01 Downloading and Installing Google Nik Software

As I mentioned in my previous post, Google has bought the original Nik software, and as of March 2016, it is now available for free. Which is a wonderful opportunity for amateur and semi professional photographers who are operating on a tight budget. As I heard described recently, using software such as Adobe Photoshop, is like driving a basic model Mercedes car, everything is good quality, but relatively basic……….. but using Google Nik software is like driving a Rolls Royce, the quality of the end product is second to none!!!

For those of you without Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom or Apple’s Aperture programs, you can use the Google Nik software as a standalone set of plugins. To download the Google Nik Collection, go to

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

and click on the ‘Download’ button at the top right of the page. The Nik Collection can be downloaded for both Windows or for a Mac…………..I use a Windows pc, so I will be primarily describing the process for the Windows download.

The software will automatically download to your downloads folder. To access your Downloads folder on a Windows pc, click on the Start button, then locate and click on your user name. A new window will open, double-click on the Downloads folder. The file will be called something similar to “nikcollection-full-1.2.11”.

Download Folder on Windows PC, showing Nik Collection download

Download Folder on Windows PC, showing Nik Collection download

 

To access your Downloads folder on Mac, open your Finder and click on the Downloads folder, which is most often in the list on the left. The file will look something like “nikcollection-full-1.2.11.dmg” and end with a ‘.dmg’ extension.

      —————————————————————————————

 

  1. To install, double click on the Nik Collection file, if necessary press ‘run’ if a security pop-up appears, then click on ‘yes’ to allow software to make changes to your pc, and finally choose your appropriate language to start the set-up process.
  2. Follow the instructions from the pop-up window, ‘Welcome to the Nik Collection Setup’.
  3. The software requires at least 425Mb of free space on your hard drive. I saved the plugins to the location Google suggested, ie, C:\Program Files\Google\Nik Collection.
  4. During the setup process, you will be asked for ‘compatible host applications’, ie programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Apple’s Aperture, but since we are using this software as a standalone application, we can just ignore this, and press install.
  5. The software will then install to the appropriate location on your pc…………..this may take several minutes depending on the speed and size of your pc (Be Patient!! It’s well worth it!).
  6. Click ‘finish’ to complete the setup.

—————————————————————————————

 

Now to use any of the Nik Collection Software Plugins

  1. Go to computer folder, and then locate Program Files.
  2. Locate and open the ‘Google’ folder.
  3. Find the appropriate plugin folder, and double click on the plugin application file.
  4. This will open the plugin software.
  5. In the top left corner of the running plugin, click on ‘file’.
  6. From the drop down, and press ‘open images….’
  7. Go to the location of the image you wish to edit and click on it to open it in the Nik Collection software plugin (see screenshot – in this case the Silver Efex Pro plugin) .
Silver Efex Pro 2 Plugin in use

Silver Efex Pro 2 Plugin in use

 

Another method of opening your images in the Nik Collection plugins, is to

  1. Go to the location of the image you intend to edit.
  2. Then open a second folder and go to ‘Program Files’.
  3. Locate and open the ‘Google’ folder.
  4. Open the appropriate plugin folder.
  5. If we want to use, for example, the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin, open that folder.
  6. To open the image in the software, left click on your image.
  7. Drag the image over the top of the Silver Efex Pro 2 application file and release it. (See screenshot below).
  8. Wait a small amount of time, and your image will open up in the appropriate plugin, in this case, inside the Silver Efex Pro 2 software.
Drag and drop your image over the appropriate Nik Collection plugin application file

Drag and drop your image over the appropriate Nik Collection plugin application file

 

As a word of warning, once you have finished editing your photo, go to ‘file’ (top left), and click on ‘save image as…..’  and MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE THE NAME OF THE ORIGINAL IMAGE……………otherwise the software will automatically overwrite the original file. The same will happen if you use the ‘Save’ button at the bottom right of the plugin. To be sure that this doesn’t happen, always MAKE A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL IMAGE BEFORE STARTING IMAGE EDITING!!!

 

My next post in this series will be
“Basics of using Google Nik Silver Efex Pro 2”

 

 

If you have any questions about this process, or comments in general, please let me know in the section below, and I will endeavour to answer them.

Google Nik Collection – Now Totally Free

Google’s Nik Collection plug-ins are now totally free to download (see link at bottom of page), and will work as a standalone suite of editing tools (albeit, you need to edit one photo at a time). This is great news for anyone who edits their own photographs, especially for those of you like me, who like working in black & white.

The original Nik Collection of photo editing software would set you back $500, but when Google acquired them in Sept 2012, they reduced this price to a mere $140. But as of March 2016, they have made the collection totally free, with no sign up or registration required. (It appears that Google is about to announce a new free photograph storage facility, and this software may be integrated into it.)

As a set of plug-ins, the Google Nik Collection is best used together with one of the Adobe photo editing softwares, such as Photoshop or Lightroom, or Apple’s Aperture, but for those of us on a limited budget, it’s possible to use this wonderful software as a standalone editing tool.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the amazing transformations of some of my photos, and how they were achieved, using this brilliant piece of photo editing kit.

For anyone using these plug-ins with no other software, follow this procedure for a windows pc. This method may vary slightly for a Mac, but a quick check on Google will no doubt show you how to do it on an Apple pc etc.

  1. Download the Nik Collection using the link below
  2. This should automatically be saved to program files
  3. To edit a photo, go to the location of the downloaded software (it will be found in a main folder labelled ‘Google’), and open up the appropriate plug-in folder eg Silver Efex Pro.
  4. Grab the copy of the photo you wish to edit, and drag and drop it over application file in that software folder.
  5. This will open up the image in the appropriate plug-in.
  6. Once you have finished editing, ‘save’ the image. The new saved image will replace the original image in the folder where you initially retrieved the image from.

Please note : This software, when used by itself, alters the original image, so always make a copy of the photo before you start your editing!

 

Below are a few photos I’ve played around with over the last week (before and after shots), some of which are a little over edited, I’m still trying to get used to the multitude of different possible effects and edits.

 

Example of the Analog Efex Pro – Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, nr Glenrothes

Before

Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes - original image

Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes – original image

After

Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes - Analog Efex image

Rusty Gate at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes – Analog Efex image

 

Example of the Color Efex Pro – Horses in a field at Kirkforthar, nr Glenrothes

Before

Horses at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes - original image

Horses at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes – original image

After

Horses at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes - Color Efex image

Horses at Kirkforthar, near Glenrothes – Color Efex image

 

Examples of the Silver Efex Pro – Dunfermline Abbey

Before

Dunfermline Abbey from remains of the Old Refectory - original image

Dunfermline Abbey from remains of the Old Refectory – original image

After

Dunfermline Abbey from remains of the Old Refectory - Silver Efex Pro image

Dunfermline Abbey from remains of the Old Refectory – Silver Efex Pro image

 

Before

Dunfermline Abbey - original image

Dunfermline Abbey – original image

After

Dunfermline Abbey - Silver Efex Pro image

Dunfermline Abbey – Silver Efex Pro image

 

Before

View south from Dunfermline Abbey - original image

View south from Dunfermline Abbey – original image

After

View south from Dunfermline Abbey - Silver Efex Pro image

View south from Dunfermline Abbey – Silver Efex Pro image

 

 

PS The Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in, is recognised as the primary piece of software for black & white photographers.

 

Link for Google Nik Collection free download

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

 

 

Black & White Photos from Pathhead, Kirkcaldy – Part 3

Continuing from my previous 2 posts (Black & White Photos From Pathhead, Kirkcaldy – Part 1 and Part 2), here are the final few photos taken in Kirkcaldy, from the old Nairn Linoleum Works, Kirkcaldy Harbour, and the return up to Pathhead.

The first photo shows the large metal floor supports for part of what was the Nairn Linoleum factory. This area is now an open air car park for the Adam Smith College.

 

Nairn Linoleum Works Roof Supports

Nairn Linoleum Works Roof Supports

 

The second photo shows a couple of small fishing boats in the now almost unused Kirkcaldy Harbour. The harbour is thought to have first been in use as early as the beginning of the 16th century, with boats trading with the Baltic countries, and bringing back grain and continental beers. Shipbuilding also took place here, from the early 1600s. Kirkcaldy Harbour is now used by a few small fishing boats and yachts, and the occasional small grain ship transporting wheat into the nearby Hutchinson’s/Carr’s flour mill, and flour out of the site.

 

Small Fishing Boats in Kirkcaldy Harbour

Small Fishing Boats in Kirkcaldy Harbour

 

The final two black & white photographs show the Pathhead Mid Street Development, three tower blocks built in the mid 1960s, and the final photo shows the tower blocks with the Pathhead Medical Centre in the foreground. This much older building was formerly known as Dunnikier House, and was originally built in 1692 following the marriage of John Watson to Euphan Orrock. A number of monograms of ‘IW’s and ‘EO’s have been recorded in and around the building. (Note – the present Dunnikier House (built in 1790) is now a hotel, and lies on the northern edge of Kirkcaldy). Some alterations were made to the building in 1891, when the house became the Manse for Dunnikier Church, and in 1979, the name was changed to Path House, following restoration by the Fife Health Board, and a change of use to a health centre.

 

Pathhead Mid-Street Development built c1966

Pathhead Mid-Street Development built c1966

 

The Old and The New - Path House(1692) Mid St Development(1966)

The Old and The New – Path House(1692) Mid St Development(1966)

 

 

Black & White Photos From Pathhead, Kirkcaldy – Part 2

Continuing from my previous post (Black & White Photos From Pathhead, Kirkcaldy – Part 1), here are a few more photos taken in Kirkcaldy, going along Victoria Rd, and then down Dunnikier Road towards the harbour.

The first three photos show an old warehouse or factory (possibly the old Dunnikier Linoleum Works, built some time after 1895) on Victoria Rd.

 

Possibly the old Dunnikier Linoleum Works, Nairn Rd, Kirkcaldy

Possibly the old Dunnikier Linoleum Works, Nairn Rd, Kirkcaldy

 

Old Warehouse, Victoria St, Kirkcaldy

Old Warehouse, Victoria St, Kirkcaldy

 

Side view of Old Warehouse - Victoria Rd, Kirkcaldy

Side view of Old Warehouse – Victoria Rd, Kirkcaldy

 

The fourth photo shows St Marie’s RC church (now part of “The Polish Province of the Society of the Divine Saviour) built c1900 by John Bennie Wilson(?). The church was originally a Free Church, built in a tudor gothic style, with a tower and a squat spire.

 

St Marie's RC Church, Kirkcaldy

St Marie’s RC Church, Kirkcaldy

 

The final photo is of Kirkcaldy Fire Station, built in 1938, as a modern 3 storey ferro concrete framed purpose built fire station, with a tall square fire practice tower in the NE. This building is fairly typical of the Art Deco style that was popular in the 1930s.

 

Kirkcaldy Fire Station, purpose built in 1938

Kirkcaldy Fire Station, purpose built in 1938

 

 

Black & White Photos From Pathhead, Kirkcaldy – Part 1

Here’s some photos I took a few weeks ago starting at Pathhead, then going along Nairn St and Victoria Rd, and on down to Kirkcaldy Harbour.

The first photo shows Pathhead main street, Commercial St, which satisfies my love of old chimneys. The second and third photos are of a small church, built in 1869, tucked away from the main road and adjacent to an old cemetery (see photos below).

 

Pathhead High Street

Pathhead Commercial Street

 

Congregational Church Pathhead, Kirkcaldy

Congregational Church Pathhead, Kirkcaldy

 

Congregational Church Pathhead, Kirkcaldy

Congregational Church Pathhead, Kirkcaldy

 

At the end of the short lane (Pathhead Court) with the church, is a small cemetery, which appears to be locked most of the time. It backs onto the building which used to be the Head Office of Nairn Linoleum works (once, one of the major employers in Fife), but it is now luxury apartments.

 

Pathhead Cemetery, Kirkcaldy

Pathhead Cemetery, Kirkcaldy

 

In the background of the photo above, the last remnants of the Nairn Linoleum Works can be seen.

 

Pathhead Cemetery, Kirkcaldy, with the old Nairn Head Office in background

Pathhead Cemetery, Kirkcaldy, with the old Nairn Head Office in background

 

Part 2 to follow soon – Photographs from Victoria Rd to Dunnikier Rd.

Kirkcaldy Harbour in Black & White

Last week, whilst down in Kirkcaldy doing a wee bit of shopping, I stopped off and took these two photographs of Kirkcaldy Harbour. This once thriving port is now home to one or two fishing boats, and a few pleasure boats. The inner harbour is still used by small merchant vessels collecting flour for export from a local mill (just visible to the left of the railings in the first photo). Unfortunately, the old warehouses and harbour buildings surrounding Kirkcaldy harbour have now been replaced with modern style flats.

 

Kirkcaldy Harbour in monochrome

Kirkcaldy Harbour in monochrome

 

Kirkcaldy Harbour in Black & White

Kirkcaldy Harbour in Black & White

Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy – A selection of Black & White Photographs

This is a selection of black & white images I took last year of Abbotshall Church in Kirkcaldy, Fife. The images have been edited using two open source pieces of photo editing software, Gimp and Raw Therapee, both of which I recommend to anyone who either can’t afford, or would rather not, pay out the subscription costs of programs such as Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom.

 

Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy, Fife

 

Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy, Fife in Scotland

Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy, Fife in Scotland

 

Abbotshall Church Railing, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Abbotshall Church Railing, Kirkcaldy, Fife

 

Links to the open source (free & safe) photo editing software

https://www.gimp.org/downloads/

http://rawtherapee.com/downloads

 

Fred the Fush by James Robertson c2005

Fred the fush,
He had a wush,
He wushed that he
Wis in the sea,
Swimmin wi his mate
An haein a yatter,
And no on a plate
Swimmin in batter!

View across the Firth of Forth, from Seafield Castle Beach, Kirkcaldy with Lower Limestone Formation in foreground

View across the Firth of Forth, from Seafield Castle Beach, Kirkcaldy with Lower Limestone Formation in foreground

 

English Version

Fred the fish,
He had a wish,
He wished that he
Was in the sea,
Swimming with his mate
And having a yatter,
And not on a plate
Swimming in batter!

View across the Firth of Forth, from Seafield Castle Beach towards East Lothian

View across the Firth of Forth, from Seafield Castle Beach towards East Lothian

 

Mum and Dad’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary

This is just a wee post to thank my Mum and Dad for a wonderful weekend in Devon, at a hotel just outside Honiton, to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary – 60 years of being happily married!!!

 

Mum and Dad, Steygail, Dumfries & Galloway

Mum and Dad, Steygail, Dumfries & Galloway – Photo from 2014

 

We all had a wonderful time, it was great to see all the family in one place, and we all can’t wait for the ‘Platinum’ anniversary! 🙂

And a wee note of thanks to my brother and his wife, and the kids, for putting us up for the night in Weymouth 🙂

The Auld House – by William Soutar (1898-1943)

Original

There’s a puckle lairds in the auld house
wha haud the wa’s thegither:
there’s no muckle graith in the auld house
nor smeddum aither.

It was aince a braw and bauld house
and guid for onie weather:
kings and lords throng’d in the auld house
or it gaed a’smither.

There were kings and lords in the auld house
and birds o monie a feather:
there were sangs and swords in the auld house
that rattled ane anither.

It was aince a braw and bauld house
and guid for onie weather:
but it’s noo a scrunted and cauld house
whaur lairdies forgaither.

Lat’s caa in the folk to the auld house,
the puir folk a’ thegither:
it’s sunkit on rock is the auld house,
and the rock’s their brither.

It was aince a braw and bauld house
and guid for onie weather:
but the folk maun funder the auld house
and bigg up anither.

 

English Translation of ‘The Auld House’

There’s a good few lords in the old house
who hold the walls together:
there’s no large furniture in the old house
nor good sense either

It was once a fine and bold house
and good for any weather:
kings and lords crowded in the old house
or it went to pieces.

There were kings and lords in the old house
and birds a many a feather:
there were songs and swords in the old house
that rattled one another.

It was once a fine and bold house
and good for any weather:
but it’s now a stunted and cold house
where lordies gather.

Lets call in the folk to the old house
the poor folk all together:
it’s sunk on rock is the old house
and the rock’s their brother.

It was once a fine and bold house
and good for any weather:
but the folk must uproot the old house
and build up another.

 

Pitcairn House, Glenrothes - Close up of east wall

Pitcairn House, Glenrothes – Close up of east wall

 

See Pitcairn House post for more information about these photos.

 

Pitcairn House, Glenrothes - View from west wall.

Pitcairn House, Glenrothes – View from west wall.

 

William Souter

William Souter was born in Perth on 28th April 1898. He left school in 1916, and joined the Royal Navy, serving in the Atlantic and the North Sea during WWI. He was discharged in 1919, having begun to suffer from back pains and stiffness. He then enrolled in a medical degree at Edinburgh University, but transferred to English after one year, and graduated in 1923.

Unfortunately, in 1924 he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an infection of the spine, which had gone too far to be cured. Treatment continued for the remainder of his life, but following an unsuccessful operation in 1930, he became bedridden until his death in 1943. Fortunately for William, he was the only child of very loving parents, and his father converted the downstairs of their house to create a large bedroom with a bay window overlooking their back garden. From his bed, he spent his time writing poetry and keeping an extensive journal, and entertaining his many visitors, some of which were the leading writers of the Scottish literary renaissance. It was this literary renaissance that helped William Souter to become so famous, his original poems were in English, and not particularly successful, but once he started using his native dialect, his work improved dramatically. Some of his most famous works are whimsical children’s poems and epigrams, such as, for example, this first verse of ‘The Three Puddocks’.

Three wee bit puddocks
Sat upon a stane:
Tick-a-tack, nick-a-nack,
Brek your hawe-bane.
They lookit in a dub
And made nae sound
For they saw a’ the sterns
Gang whummlin round.

(Three small frogs
Sat upon a stone:
Tick-a-tack, nick-a-nack,
Break your neck bone.
They looked in a puddle
And made no sound
For they saw all the stars
Go whirling around.)

 

 

Lion’s Mane and Moon Jellyfish on Fife’s Shoreline

Over the last few years, we appear to be getting ever increasing numbers of jellyfish getting washed up along Fife’s coastline. The two most common species are the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish and the Moon Jellyfish – these often appear as blue or orange jelly ‘circles‘ on the strand-line of any given beach.

Lion's Mane Jellyfish - Kinghorn Harbour

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish – Kinghorn Harbour

 

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish can grow up to 6 feet (180cm) across, and one was sighted off the west coast of Scotland with 120 ft long tentacles – jellyfish of this sort of size could have fatal stings to them, but the much smaller ones found commonly around Scottish coasts will only cause mild stings, similar in strength to stinging nettles. The sting can be treated with vinegar to restrict the stinging sensation.

The Moon Jellyfish, however, is generally a smaller genus, it is usually 5 – 40cm in diameter, and is also often found washed up around Fife’s coastline. It’s sting is almost undetectable by humans.

Moon Jellyfish - Kirkcaldy Beach

Moon Jellyfish – Kirkcaldy Beach

 

Both jellyfish feed on microscopic plankton that float in large numbers in most of our oceans and seas.

 

 

 

Tyndall-Bruce Monument – Man Made Circles in Fife

As part of this weeks Daily Post Photographic Challenge – Circle – I’m posting two photos of the Tyndall-Bruce Monument on Blackhill, in the Lomond Hills.

This interesting structure was built to commemorate the life of Onesiphorus Tyndall-Bruce, who married Margaret Stewart Hamilton Bruce (the then Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace), in 1828. Having accrued quite substantial debts earlier in his life through gambling, marriage appears to have had a good affect on Onesiphorus. He turned his life around, and in the end had enough money to rebuild Falkland House in 1839 (which is now a private school), and to have Falkland Parish Church built. The first photo shows the circular shape of the outside of the monument, the second photo has been taken looking directly upwards from within the tower.

 

Tyndall-Bruce Monument from the outside

Tyndall-Bruce Monument from the outside

 

Inside of Tyndall-Bruce Monument, Lomond Hills

Inside of Tyndall-Bruce Monument, Lomond Hills

 

 

The Burnie – by Walter Wingate (1865-1918)

Over the next twelve months or so, I will be doing a series of posts under the category “Scottish Poets & Their Poems“. Most of these poems will have an English translation from the Scottish dialect version.

Walter Wingate was born on 15th April 1865, in Dalry in Ayrshire (NE Scotland). He was a schoolmaster and a poet, he taught mathematics at St. John’s Grammar School in Hamilton, near Glasgow, for most of his adult life. Even though he never published any books of his poetry, he was a regular contributor to the Glasgow Herald and Evening News.

The Burnie – Original Version

Here’s a bonnie burnie
Singin’ a’ its lane,
Singin’ frae a happy heart,
Like a sinless wean!

What a worl’ to sing to!
Grey auld hills around;
Rowin’ mists about their heads
Ilk ane sleepin’ sound’!

‘Mang the heather rovin’,
Sheep and Hielan’ kye;
Hillward airt their heads, the while
The burn gaes singin’ by.

E’en the shepherd laddie,
Whistlin’ on the scaur,
Hears nae music but his ain!
Where could fate be waur

Than yours, my bonnie burnie,
To sing for ever mair?
Sing your sweetest and your best,
Wi’ nane to ken nor care

But the happy burnie,
Carin’ nocht ava
What may hear or what may heed
Sings and sings awa!

 

Wee Burn - Lomond Hills

Wee Burn – Lomond Hills

 

The Burnie – English Translation

Here’s a pretty stream
Singing along its way,
Singing from a happy heart,
Like a sinless child!

What a world to sing to!
Grey old hills around;
Rolling mists about their heads
Each one sleeping sound!

Moving amongst the heather,
Sheep and Highland cattle;
Their heads directed towards the hill,
while the stream goes singing by.

Even the shepherd lad,
Whistling on the steep hill,
Hears no music but his own!
What could a fate be worse

Than yours, my pretty stream,
To sing for ever more?
Sing your sweetest and your best,
With none to know nor care

But the happy stream,
Cares not at all
Who may hear or who may heed,
Sings and sings away!

 

Wee Moorland Burn

Wee Moorland Burn

 

Wee Burn

Wee Burn

 

 

The Night Before Christmas – Aussie Style – from Julie Powell

This amazing poem comes from an excellent blog by Julie Powell (Julz) – JULIE POWELL – PHOTOGRAPHER & GRAPHIC ARTIST
‘Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.

Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.

We’d left on the table some tucker and beer,

Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,

While dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;

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Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge : Centrepoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds

As part of this weeks Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge, I have enclosed seven photos where the focal point of the photograph is at the ‘Centrepoint‘ of the image, and thus breaking the rule of thirds. The three flower photographs, because of their circular nature, make placing them at the centre an obvious choice.

The three insect photographs work fine, because there is nothing else of interest in the photo. If the insects were flying, they generally look better slightly off centre.

In the final photograph, the small baby fern growing between the wooden logs of the kids climbing frame is the focal point of the photo, and from the shape of the play frame, it’s sensible to have it at the centre.

Daisy, Balfarg Woods, Glenrothes

Daisy, Balfarg Woods, Glenrothes

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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Metal & Wood (Late entry)

As a very late entry for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Metal & Wood, I’m posting 3 photos taken from the now derelict and fire damaged Leslie House, near Glenrothes. This magnificent building used to be the home of the Dukes of Rothes from 1670, and in it’s prime was said to rival Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, for both its size and glamour.

The first two photos are of the main entrance gates, which open up onto the tree lined drive to the front entrance of Leslie House (third photo). I’ve included a fourth photo, which shows the front of the house before the latest fire practically destroyed it.

Metal gates prior to wooded drive to now derelict Leslie House

Metal gates prior to wooded drive to now derelict Leslie House

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Frozen Wee Burn on the Lomond Hills

Oops!! – this wee burn is beginning to freeze over! Whilst out for a walk on the Lomond Hills, a couple of weekends ago, it got so cold that the wee stream (‘burn’ in Scottish) began to freeze over! (It was partially frozen from the night before.)

Burn begins to freeze

Burn begins to freeze

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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Wood and Metal

As part of “Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Metal & Wood“, I’m posting 3 photographs taken in Glenrothes Town Park. This metal sculpture, called ‘Forest Screens’ was designed by the artist Malcolm Robertson in 1987. It was originally placed in the Glenwood Shopping Area, in a part of Glenrothes known as Macedonia, but was later moved to its present position in the Town Park.

"Forest Screens" - Metal Sculpture in Glenrothes Town Park

“Forest Screens” – Metal Sculpture in Glenrothes Town Park

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Eye Spy My Dog (and a Fly)

My final post this week, as part of the Eye Spy theme, for the wordpress photographic challenge, is two photos of actual eyes. The first is a picture of my dog, who loves it when I go to the beach to either take photos, or in this case look at the rocks!

My bedraggled dog at the beach

My bedraggled dog at the beach

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Eye Spy Glenrothes Sculpture/Totem Pole

As part of this weeks wordpress photographic challenge, Eye Spy, I’m posting three photos taken in Glenrothes. The first photo comes from Glenrothes Town Park, and shows ‘The Good Samaritan’, a sculpture by Ronald Rae, unveiled in 1988 to mark the 40th anniversary of the town. The sculpture depicts a fireman carrying a victim to safety, after the King’s Cross Tube Fire disaster, and symbolises the community spirit of Glenrothes.

Eye Spy - The Good Samaritan, Glenrothes Town Park

Eye Spy – The Good Samaritan, Glenrothes Town Park

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Eye Spy – Butterfly Eye Spots

The Peacock Butterfly

The Peacock Butterfly (so called because of it’s markings, like those on a peacock’s feathers), uses it’s ‘Eye’ Spots to great affect for deterring predators such as birds and mice. When viewed head on, the rear ‘Eye’ spots create a head, with the body appearing as a large beak! The peacock butterfly is also capable of producing a hissing sound, audible to humans, which it makes by rubbing it’s wings together. This combined with the ‘Eye’ spots tends to deter most of it’s predators!

Bedraggled Peacock Butterfly Eye spots

Bedraggled Peacock Butterfly Eye spots

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Eye Spy – Foxglove Eye Spots

As part of this weeks ‘Eye Spy‘ Weekly Photo Challenge, here are three photos of the very common and popular foxglove plant. What many people miss though, is the beauty of the individual flowers and their ‘eye’ spots.

Just as an extra wee note, did you know that foxgloves will only grow on acid soils – this can be useful geologically, in areas such as the chalk downland of southern England, it’s possible to locate localised clay bands by the presence of foxgloves (they won’t grow on the alkali soil of the chalk).

Foxglove - 'Eye' Spots (a)

Foxglove – ‘Eye’ Spots (a)

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Eye Spy Blue Skies at Dysart

After a number of days of heavy rain and general dreich weather, I couldn’t resist posting these three photos taken back in September, during the last days of our summer, as part of this weeks ‘Eye Spy‘ Weekly Photo Challenge. Eye Spy BLUE SKIES!!!!!! 🙂

Renovated Houses of Pan Ha with St Serfs Church in background, Dysart

Renovated Houses of Pan Ha with St Serfs Church in background, Dysart

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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Buildings & Trees

As part of “Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Buildings & Trees“, I’m posting 8 photographs taken this summer from around southern Fife.

Belvedere Hotel – West Wemyss

This wonderful old building was built in 1927, and used by the Miners’ Welfare Institute until 1952. It then remained derelict until 1986, when it was converted to a hotel. The location was perfect (we very nearly had our wedding reception here 🙂 ), with fantastic views of the old harbour and the Firth of Forth. Unfortunately, it closed down some time prior to 2010, and has been derelict ever since 😦

Now derelict Belvedere Hotel (Built in 1927) - West Wemyss

Now derelict Belvedere Hotel (Built in 1927) – West Wemyss

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St Andrew’s Day

Yesterday was St Andrew’s Day, St Andrew is being the patron saint of Scotland. It is celebrated on the 30th November each year and has been made a Bank Holiday by the Scottish Government, since 2006. Unfortunately banks, businesses and schools have not been forced to shut for the day – which means that many people don’t get to celebrate the day because they are at work.

St Andrew's Flag

St Andrew’s Flag flying proud!

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A Selection of Inanimate ‘Trios’ from Fife

My final post for the theme ‘Trios’ (as part of the Weekly Photographic Challenge – Trio), consists of a series of photographs of inanimate objects from in, and around, Fife.

The first photo is of three boats on the Firth of Forth.

Trio of boats on the Firth of Forth

Trio of boats on the Firth of Forth

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Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Diagonal Lines

In response to “Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Diagonal Lines“, I’ve enclosed seven photos taken from in, and around Fife.

I’ve also posted three extra photos, for Thanksgiving, showing things I am grateful for, about living in Fife.


 

The first of the photos for Cee’s Challenge is of Cramond Harbour, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The second photo is from the village looking down towards Cramond Harbour. The next two photos were taken in Fife’s capital, Dunfermline. The next two images show two churches in villages on the outskirts of Glenrothes, and the final photograph comes from the very picturesque village of Culross.

Cramond Harbour

Cramond Harbour

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A Selection of Vegetation ‘Trios’ from Fife

As my penultimate post following the theme of ‘Trios’ from Fife (as part of the Weekly Photographic Challenge – Trio), I am posting two photos. The first is of a ‘trio’ of pine cones, the second is of a ‘trio’ of ferns.

'Trio' of Pine Cones

‘Trio’ of Pine Cones

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A Selection of Animal ‘Trios’ from Fife

Continuing my theme of ‘Trios’ from Fife, as part of the Weekly Photographic Challenge – Trio, here is four photos of animals & insects in threesomes.

The first two photos are of cows (or coos in Scottish!) on a misty summer morning in a field above Glenrothes.

Trio of Scottish Coos in the Mist

Trio of Scottish Coos in the Mist

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A Selection of Wild Flower ‘Trios’ from Fife

In response to this weeks ‘Weekly Photographic Challenge – Trio‘,  I’m posting seven wild flower ‘trios’ all taken around Fife in the last few months. The Iris flower head was growing in the wild, but is a garden escapee.

'Trio' of Young Blackberry Nests

‘Trio’ of Young Blackberry Nests

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Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Vertical Lines

In response to “Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Vertical Lines“, I’ve enclosed seven photos taken yesterday fairly close to home.

The first two photos show an old wooden fence at the end of a garden, the third photo another fence adjacent to some garden steps. The fourth and fifth photos caught my eye because as all the other garden flowers are beginning to wilt as the winter frosts approach, this hydrangea was still going strong. The final two images are of the vertical lines on the trunk of an old silver birch tree bark.

Fence & Gate

Fence & Gate

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Late Autumn Colours at Balbirnie Park

 

As part of this weeks Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge : Orange & Green, I’ve posted eight more photos taken from Balbirnie Park, near Glenrothes. The photographs were all taken just after dawn, at the beginning of this month, on a day which started quite misty (well foggy very first thing – see last photo), but gradually turned sunny.

 

Early Morning Misty Lane, Balbirnie Park

Early Morning Misty Lane, Balbirnie Park

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Cramond Harbour Yachts, near Edinburgh

In response to Cee’s Black  & White Photo Challenge : Open Topic.

I’m posting three photographs of the yachts in the mouth of the River Almond, taken at Cramond Harbour, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Yachts at the mouth of the River Almond, Cramond, nr Edinburgh

Yachts at the mouth of the River Almond, Cramond, nr Edinburgh

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Clouds over Fife

Today I’m posting a selection of cloudscapes taken over Fife over the last few months. Most were taken looking southwards towards the Firth of Forth, two were taken actually over the Firth (one of which is a rainbow, not a cloudscape).

 

Cloudscape over Fife

Cloudscape over Fife

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William Wallace and Pittencrieff Park

Following the Scottish ‘Victory‘ over the English in the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, William Wallace was a Scottish hero, and very much sort after by the King of England, Edward I.

In 1303, Wallace was meant to have visited St Margaret’s Shrine in Dunfermline, (see Jo’s blog, The Hazel Tree, for an excellent post about St Margaret and Dunfermline Abbey), but had to hide from English ‘scouts’, in a well in what is now Pittencrieff Park, just below the ruins of Dunfermline Palace.

Remains of Dunfermline Palace

Remains of Dunfermline Palace

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Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Horizontal Line and Horizons

In response to “Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Horizontal Line and Horizons“, I’ve enclosed six photos taken over the last few months in and around Fife.

The first photo is of an incoming tide on the Firth of Forth, at Blackness Castle in West Lothian.

Firth of Forth at Blackness Castle

Firth of Forth at Blackness Castle.

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Sunlit Leaves, Balbirnie Park, near Glenrothes

This photo was taken last spring, in the gardens of Balbirnie House, near Glenrothes. I love the way the sun has really highlighted the vein structure of the leaves (typical leaves from a dicotyledon, as distinct from a monocotyledon that has parallel veins).

Sunlit leaves in the gardens of Balbirnie House, near Glenrothes

Sunlit leaves in the gardens of Balbirnie House, near Glenrothes

 

Fly on a Flower Stem, Balbirnie House Park, near Glenrothes

Today’s photograph is another from Balbirnie Park, this time a macro style image of a fly (blue bottle?) on a flower spike. I’m normally reasonable at identifying wild flowers, but for the life of me I can’t think what this one is 😦 If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments below 🙂

Fly on unknown plant in Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes

Fly on unknown plant in Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes

 

 

Ramsons in Balbirnie Park, near Glenrothes

Continuing my Balbirnie Park theme, whilst continuing to get all my previous posts located on the above menus, I took this photo of the flower head of a Ramsons, in late April this year.

Ramsons are part of the major group of flowers called the monocotyledons. ‘Monocots’ are principally distinguished from the other major group of flowering plants, the dicotyledons, because the seeds only have one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. In the field however, as a general rule of thumb, plants with leaves that have parallel veins are ‘monocots’, those with spreading and branched veins on their leaves are ‘dicots’.

Ramsons is part of the onion family, and is also edible – the leaves are used around the rind of Cornish Yarg (a type of cheese). However, care must be taken to identify the plant correctly, the similar plant ‘Lily of the Valley’ has poisonous leaves. Monocots also include flowers such as orchids, iris’s and daffodils, to name but a few.

Flower Head of Ramsons, growing in Balbirnie Park, near Glenrothes

Flower Head of Ramsons, growing in Balbirnie Park, near Glenrothes

 

 

Yellow Lichen from Balbirnie Park

As you may well be aware of by now, I’m no expert on lichens, even though I love taking photographs of them. I’m guessing this lichen, which I found growing on a small rotting branch in the woods at Balbirnie House Park, is a member of the Fruticose Cup or Trumpet group of lichens.

Yellow Fruticose?? Lichen from Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes

Yellow Fruticose?? Lichen from Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes

 

If anyone recognises this beautiful wee lichen, I’d really like to a bit more about it.

Thanks to Inese from inesemjphotography, who I think has correctly identified my mystery lichen. It looks like it’s Xanthoria parietina, a foliose lichen that is sometimes known as common orange lichen, yellow scale, maritime sunburst lichen or shore lichen. It prefers growing on bark, but can also be found on rocks, especially those that are likely to be splattered by bird droppings, which enhances its ability to grow.

 

 

Tree Bark, Balbirnie Park, Nr Glenrothes

Continuing my series of short posts from Balbirnie House Park, nr Glenrothes, here is a couple of photos of peeling tree bark. The first photo is of logs from an ornamental cherry tree, the second photo is from an old silver birch log.

Peeling Ornamental Cherry Tree Bark

Peeling Ornamental Cherry Tree Bark

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Patterns

This is a selection of black & white photographs taken in and around Fife, in response to this weeks Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.

 

Patterns - Old Fire Escape, Falkland

Patterns – Old Fire Escape, Falkland

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Garden Spider, Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes

This very plump Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) is a member of the orb weaving group of spiders. It is very easily distinguished by the ‘cross’ markings on its back.

The next bit about them (below the photo), is not for the squeamish!! 🙂

Garden spider (Araneus diadematus)

Garden spider (Araneus diadematus)

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Autumn Daisy, Balbirnie House Park, Nr Glenrothes

Whilst re-organising my blog, I thought I would post a few photos of some flowers and insects, all of which were taken locally in the last few weeks, including this very common, but often much overlooked, daisy.

Autumn daisy from Balbirnie House Park, nr Glenrothes

Autumn daisy from Balbirnie House Park, nr Glenrothes

 

My Apologies

My apologies to anyone who tries to use the new menu structure at the top of the page. This is a work in progress (should take a couple of days or so), to try to organise my blog posts, to make it easier to locate previous posts on subject matter. I will then be adding information to each of the pages relevant to each section (at present, I’m just adding the appropriate post links).

Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

South Queensferry at Night

Last weekend, on the way back from Edinburgh, we decided to stop off at South Queensferry, in West Lothian. Since I had my camera, I couldn’t resist but to stop and take a few photos of the High Street, and both the Forth Rail Bridge and Forth Road Bridges. All the photos were taken at night, obviously 🙂

South Queensferry High Street looking westwards

South Queensferry High Street looking westwards.

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Glenrothes Town Park – Abstract Art

Last month I took a walk down to Glenrothes Town Park, mainly to try to capture some of the Autumn colours in the trees and bushes. But I also wanted to try and take some slightly more unusual shots, and the photos below are from the play park area.

Glenrothes Town Park Slide - Abstract Art

Glenrothes Town Park Slide – Abstract Art

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Glass Bottle of Barr’s Irn Bru – The Ultimate ‘Treat’

Another of my responses to this weeks’ Weekly Photographic Challenge, I thought I would share the Ultimate Scottish ‘treat‘. Forget the whiskey, the porridge or the haggis. None of that compares to a chilled GLASS BOTTLE of Barr’s Irn Bru!!!!

Glass Bottle of Irn Bru - The Ultimate Scottish Treat

Glass Bottle of Irn Bru – The Ultimate Scottish Treat

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Dysart Cliff Walk

 

In response to the Weekly Photographic Challenge this week, the biggest ‘Treat‘ I can have, is to be outdoors, armed with my camera, on a pleasant and warm sunny day. Here are four photographs I took at the very beginning of October, whilst out on a walk from Kirkcaldy to West Wemyss.

The first photo was taken down at the back of the beach at Dysart, just to the west of Kirkcaldy. It is a photo of a hoverfly enjoying the late summer sunshine, on some Sea Aster (Aster Tripolium).

Hoverfly on Sea Aster - Dysart Beach

Hoverfly on Sea Aster – Dysart Beach

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The Problems I Set Myself – And an Unexpected Answer to an Unexpected Question

Over the next few weeks, I am considering writing some pages, rather than posts, about the geology of Scotland, and in particular Fife.

This set me to thinking, at which point do I start. Do I put in a few pages teaching the very basics of geology, then describe the fundamental rock units that are found in Scotland? Or should I outline the basic stratigraphy of Scotland, ie how Scotland came to be where it is now and how each of the major rock units formed?

If I take the second approach (I’ll actually probably use a combination of the two), how far do I go back in geological time? Should I include the formation of the earth, the solar system, our galaxy or the universe and ‘Big Bang’??

All this, made me think about energy, which I know is getting side tracked from the original questions I asked myself. But the sudden thought that occurred to me was

“What happens to all the energy we use (worldwide) when we burn fossil fuels, or industrial processes heat things up, etc, etc?”

A. I knew that energy can’t be destroyed, it can only be transferred from one form to another, and I know that the burning of those fuels creates heat (another energy form), but I wanted to know what happens to that energy as everything cools back down.
The answer is something called ‘rest mass’. The example I came across comes from Tom J (w Mike W.)

“If a box contains some air at a temperature, and then is warmed up, it will become ever so slightly more massive because of the extra energy given to it. You can call that rest mass of the whole box or the mass equivalent of the kinetic energy of the particles in it- nature doesn’t care what names you give it.”

That extra mass will have the energy stored in it, the amount can be worked out using one of the most well known formulas in the world, Einstein’s  E=mc^2

 

Today, I’ll leave you with that wee gem of basic physics that I hadn’t ever considered until this morning, and tomorrow I’ll get back to my thoughts about the geology pages 🙂

 

Holl Reservoir and West Lomond Hill – Gates and Stone Walls

I headed out yesterday with the intention of catching some more of the fabulous Autumn colours in the foliage that we are getting this year. The weather was still a wee bit sunny, the rest of the week is set to be dreich 😦

But alas, I ended up at Holl Reservoir in the Lomond Hills, a great place for a walk, but with very few trees for those wonderful foliage photos! So instead, here are a few old stone walls and gates, and various views of West Lomond Hill.

Holl Reservoir - Lomond Hills - Wooden Gate

Holl Reservoir – Lomond Hills – Wooden Gate

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Buttresses of Dunfermline Abbey

 

In response to this weeks photographic challenge, the builders of Dunfermline Abbey were being ‘careful‘ when they built the flying buttresses around both sides of the building.

Flying Buttresses on South Wall of Dunfermline Abbey

Flying Buttresses on South Wall of Dunfermline Abbey

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Field Scabious – Kirkforthar, Fife

 

Whilst photographing the storm clouds at the back of Kirkforthar at the end of August this year, I couldn’t resist stopping for five minutes to take a few photos of these Field Scabious flowers.

 

Field Scabious Flower Head

Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) – Flower Head

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Clothes Pegs, Locks and Ladder

After a ten hour round trip yesterday to Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, which ended up being a complete washout with regards to any photography (my own fault, we took the scenic route down there, and arrived 10 mins after they let the last people in 😦 , next time I’ll go via the motorway!), I’ve decided to post a few more photos for this weeks Daily Post’s, Weekly Photographic Challenge. This week the theme is basically ordinary items that for most of the time we just take them for granted, but some times they can be seen as (extra)ordinary.

The first three photos are of some wooden clothes pegs on a washing line, I love the texture of the wood and the way the spring mechanism is rusting from all the Scottish rain.

Two more wooden pegs on a washing line

Two more wooden pegs on a washing line

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Glenrothes Town Park – Weekly Photo Challenge – (Extra)ordinary

 

As part of this weeks ‘Weekly Photo Challenge’ I’m posting a few photographs taken yesterday in Glenrothes Town Park, of some lamp posts!

 

Lamp post from Glenrothes Town Park (a)

Lamp post from Glenrothes Town Park (a)

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Lomond Hills

The Lomond Hills are my ultimate ‘Happy Place‘ in Fife, partly because they are the closest thing to mountains, and partly because the open moorland reminds me so much of West Cornwall.

Path from West Lomond to East Lomond Hill

Path from West Lomond to East Lomond Hill

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Kirkcaldy Beach at Night

Last night whilst down at Kirkcaldy beach, I decided to try my hand at some evening/night time photography. The results were fairly pleasing, but I kept things nice and simple by using the ‘monochromatic‘ setting on the camera.

The first photograph is taken from the promenade above Kirkcaldy beach, looking almost due south towards Edinburgh. You can see Inchkeith Island slightly to the left of centre, with the lights of Edinburgh to it’s right. Seafield Castle is just visible on the headland to the far right of the photo.

Firth of Forth - view from Kirkcaldy Beach to Edinburgh at night

Firth of Forth – view from Kirkcaldy Beach to Edinburgh at night

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‘Happy Place’ – Weekly Photographic Challenge

My previous ‘Happy Place’ posts have been actual locations of places that make me happy.

But of course, a ‘Happy place‘ maybe a state of mind, and that’s the feeling I get whenever I need to use any of my field guides, or read from a selection of my geology books 🙂

 

Happy Place - Wildlife Guide Books

Happy Place – Wildlife Guide Books

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Kirkforthar and Cuinin Hill, near Glenrothes

One of the places I really enjoy walking is a smallish circular walk from the Balbirnie Park, nr Glenrothes, through to Markinch, up to Star and Kirkforthar, and back to the back entrance of Balbirnie Park. This would definitely be classed as a ‘Happy Place‘ for me.

A few weeks ago, I had decided to do this walk. Heavy showers were forecast, but when I left there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I’d taken my DSLR with me, thinking the showers wouldn’t appear until at least late afternoon. When I got to the back of Kirkforthar, the furthest point away from the car, a huge dark storm cloud loomed over the hill. Most times, I love the being out in the rain, especially during a storm, but NOT whilst I had my camera with me, and no bag to put it in!!

Storm cloud approaching over Kirkforthar

Storm cloud approaching over Kirkforthar

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Balgonie Bleachfield

There are many sites in Fife that I would class as a ‘Happy Place‘, places that just relax me totally. One such place is the Balgonie Bleachfield Project just outside Glenrothes.

Balgonie Bleachfield and Fence

Balgonie Bleachfield and Fence

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Cobbled Street and Tron Post in Culross, Fife

This is a photo of one the cobbled streets in Culross, Fife. It’s not a selfie, well I guess it is, but thats not the point of interest, the cobbled lane is of far more importance!

Cobbled Lane in Culross - Back Causeway

Cobbled Lane in Culross – Back Causeway

It shows Back causeway, a late Medieval – Jacobean roadway heading from Culross Town House, or Tolbooth, to the Mercat Cross. The Mercat was the location for markets and generally the centre of the ‘burgh’ or town. From the photograph, you can see the smoother cobbles on the edges of the lane that make up the gutters, and allow the free flow of waste and rain water away from the roadway. Continue reading

Weekly Photographic Challenge – “Boundaries” – Land, Sea, Sky

As part of this week’s, Daily Post’s, Weekly Photographic Challenge, Boundaries, here’s another two photos. Both photographs were taken at Blackness Castle on the southern edge of the Firth of Forth at the beginning of September this year.

The first image shows the boundaries between the land, the beach, the estuary and the sky.

Blackness Castle - Land-Beach-Sea-Sky Boundary

Blackness Castle – Land-Beach-Sea-Sky Boundary

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Weekly Photographic Challenge – “Boundaries” – Hadrian’s Wall

As part of this weeks WordPress Photographic Challenge for the theme “Boundaries“, for many people in the UK, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most famous boundaries. It marks the divide between the ‘civilised’ English, and the ‘barbaric’ Scots. Okay, that is somewhat exaggerated, but you get the gist of it.

Hadrian’s Wall was started during reign of Emperor Hadrian in 122AD, and it was effectively the northern limit of the Roman Empire.

Hadrian's Wall - Northumberland. Built in 120AD

Hadrian’s Wall – Northumberland. Built in 120AD

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Hill of Tarvit Mansion, near Cupar, Fife

Hill of Tarvit mansion was originally built in 1696 by John Wemyss of Unthank possibly using Sir William Bruce as the architect, and was known as Wemyss House. In 1906, Frederick Sharp, a wealthy businessman from Dundee, bought the house and employed Sir Robert Lorrimer, an architect and designer, to completely rebuild and modernise the front two thirds of the house, to create the ‘Hill of Tarvit’ Mansion.

Hill of Tarvit Mansion - front of house and front terrace

Hill of Tarvit Mansion – front of house and front terrace

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The Fog

Boundaries can come in many different forms, walls, hedges, fences, country boundaries, sports field boundaries, the list goes on and on. The two photos below show the boundaries between a clear crisp view of the landscape above Glenrothes, and the early morning mist/fog that had formed in the valley.

Early Morning Mist over Lomond Hills

Early Morning Mist over Lomond Hills

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Weekly Photographic Challenge – “Boundary”

For this weeks Weekly Photographic Challenge, the theme is “Boundaries“. Some boundaries are quite obvious, such as these two very old boundary stone walls on the Lomond Hills in Fife.

Boundary Wall on the side of Falkland Hill

Boundary Wall on the side of Falkland Hill

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Final Weekly Photographic Challenge – “Change” post

Finally, some photographs Autumn, that are obviously more typical for the theme ‘Change‘ for last weeks’ Daily Posts – Weekly Photographic Challenge.

The first set of  photos are of a dog rose, Rosa canina, and it’s associated rose hips (seed pods), taken in Glenrothes park two days ago (more photos to come in another post).

Change - Dog Rose Flower

Change – Dog Rose Flower

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Belated Weekly Photographic Challenge – “Change”

A wee bit late, but here’s a couple more sets of photos for the Weekly Photographic Challenge – Change

The first two photos are from a walk I made yesterday, from Ravenscraig Castle (Kirkcaldy) to West Wemyss and back (more photos to come in another post). When I got to Dysart Harbour, the tide was out. By the time I got back, the tide had come in.

Dysart Harbour - Tide out

Dysart Harbour – Tide out

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Bridge at Maspie Den, Falkland, Fife

The Bridge - Maspie Den, near Falkland School, Fife

The Bridge – Maspie Den, Falkland, Fife

Just to the west of one of the most picturesque villages in Fife, lies Falkland School. The area surrounding the school was once part of the Falkland Estate, and has a few of the remaining architectural features which were built in the 19th century, including this fine bridge, which crosses the Maspie Burn (a small stream approx 3ft wide!!)

A Storm Approaches and Arrives – Seafield Castle Beach

Last summer I was down at Seafield Castle beach, just to the south of Kirkcaldy, doing a bit of ‘geologising’, ie looking at the various beds of rock to work out the sedimentary sequences. When I started, it was a beautiful summers day, but little known to me, as I was busy peering at sandstones, mudstones and limestones, a storm was approaching. It was only when the exposure time on my camera suddenly started to increase, that I looked up and saw this amazing view.

Storm Approaching - Seafield Castle Beach

Storm Approaching – Seafield Castle Beach

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Aliens? No, just some Lichen

Aliens - No, Just a member of the Genus  Cladonia (Lichen)

Aliens – No, Just a member of the Genus Cladonia (Lichen)

I photographed this small clump of lichens on the sides of Falkland Hill last summer. I think this lichen is of the Genus Cladonia (also known as pixie cups, which is a far more magical name!!), but as to the species, that requires an expert. It’s one of the over 1500 different species found in Scotland!!

Lichens in Scotland are far more prolific and much better developed than else where in the UK, mainly due to the much cleaner air. They have in the past played an important role in the Scottish economy, they are used as dyes for the infamous Harris Tweed even to this day. And they are an important food source for the only remaining naturally occurring reindeer in the UK, found up in the Highlands of Scotland. The reindeer spend much of the year eating a lichen called reindeer moss.

The Grid – Closer to Home

As a bit of a challenge to myself, I took some more photos for the WP Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Grid. My own challenge was to allow myself 30 mins to take the photos and edit them – this was my results, a couple of which are pushing it a wee bit to say they are grid like 🙂

The Cobbles

The Cobbles

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True Love – Two Mushrooms from Falkland woods

True Love ( - Possibly Lactarius genus of mushroom)

True Love ( – Possibly Lactarius genus of mushroom)

I really need to spend some time getting to know all the names of each part of a fungus. I spend more time trying to identify them from pictures and photos, than I would spend systematically identifying from the various attributes that each mushroom has. Today, I found an excellent on-line key for mushroom ids, developed by two Danish guys, Jens H Peterson & Thomas Læssøe. It’s called the MycoKeys online Morphing Mushroom Identifier.

This reminds me of a brilliant post I read a few months ago, whilst attempting to identify a lichen species. The person who wrote the post, I think his name is Ben Dolphin, lives up on the Lomond Hills. His whole blog is brilliant (even if it is on a rival platform to wordpress! Lol!), but this particular post just sums up how I still feel about identifying lichens, mosses, liverworts and fungi. His post is called “Have you ever had an argument with a wildlife ID book?“.

Fife Council Building and the Daily Post Photographic Challenge

Last night I discovered the WP Daily Post “Weekly Photographic Challenge“.

This afternoon, whilst we were out shopping for some dinner to cook for the kids, I noticed a very obvious ‘Grid’ for this weeks challenge. These are photos of Fife House in Glenrothes, the main offices for the Fife Council. Hopefully next time I’ll manage to think a wee bit more laterally 🙂

Weekly Photographic Challenge - Grid - Fife Council Building 1

Weekly Photographic Challenge – Grid – Fife Council Building 1

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Charlestown Harbour and Lime Kilns, Fife

The village of Charlestown, which lies on the south coast of Fife between the Kincardine and Forth road bridges, was established in 1770 by the 5th Earl of Elgin, Charles Bruce. The village, which is on a ridge overlooking the harbour, was laid out in the shape of an inverted ‘C’ & ‘E’, for Elgin and Charles.

Birds-eye view of Charlestown, Fife, showing inverted 'E' and 'C' layout design

Birds-eye view of Charlestown, Fife, showing inverted ‘E’ and ‘C’ layout design

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Kissing Trees, Kinghorn

The Kissing Trees, Kinghorn, Fife

The Kissing Trees, Kinghorn

I took this photograph on the same day as the photo from yesterday’s post. It was taken on the back road from Kinghorn to Auchertool, just to the west of Kirkcaldy. These two sycamores are on opposite sides of the road near the brow of the hill and remind me of an old loving married couple holding hands and kissing each other.