The Galloway Hills provide a superb backdrop to the landscape in the lowlands of Scotland. The recent cold snap has left traces of snow on the highest peaks. Trying to do justice to such a dramatic scene is a difficult task for the landscape painter or photographer. It is surprising what you can find when you explore your local landscape and yesterday I came across an old lookout tower, a relic of World War II. Although it is now in a rundown state I was able to clamber up it and take in a spectacular view across the surrounding countryside.
The area I was walking in may soon become the site of a wind farm but for the moment it is managed by Scottish Woodlands. There are numerous derelict buildings across the surrounding farmland, whether they are old workers cottages or more unusual constructions such as the lookout towers. There are two towers that are within site of one another and the hard standings that presumably once supported some kind of military outpost. Even with the wonders of the Internet it is still difficult to find out much about local history. If anyone has any knowledge of this particular site please get in touch via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow my regular blog through ecoarts.co.uk or find out more about this part of south-west Scotland by visiting elrig.info.
I took a series of photographs from the tower but it was a slightly hazy day so I was not anticipating tremendous results. The forest is split by a series of tracks, mostly suitable for walking or cycling. Many areas are cleared or partially cleared so there are patches of unusually bare landscape comprising of felled trees and shallow ponds. Some of the fallen or uprooted trees make sculptures by themselves with their strange angular shapes.
The area also has a plentiful supply of wildlife but little was in evidence on this cold winter’s afternoon. A buzzard flew overhead and you could hear various birds twittering in the trees but no sign of the red squirrels. Having taken another batch of photographs I headed home to assess the results. The great advantage of digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you like without the need to worry about processing costs or waiting weeks to see the results. You can also buy a really good camera for relatively little money and crop your images without any serious loss of detail.
I have cropped and selected a few images that best reflect my “walk on the wild side” and will keep them on file for future reference. Even a relatively short walk in your local area can unearth some hidden treasures and is a reminder that we sometimes miss what is right under our noses! I am uploading my landscape and wildlife photographs to my free personal gallery on Bigvyor. Please visit the site and browse the various galleries that have already been set up from around the world. The site provides an excellent free resource for art and artists.