By the Whiteadder

Golden gorse everywhere

Easter Sunday and the sun is shining. So I drag myself away from computer, on which a backlog of emails and blog posts is rapidly growing, and proof reading of my next book, and we decide to head down to the coast.

Cameras in car, and off we go. A few stops en route to take shots of the oilseed rape which covers fields in an impasto of fluorescent greeny yellow. The smell by these fields is strong, cloying, uncomfortable to linger beside. This is the plant that produces the oil some of you know as canola.

Rape, the plant variety

Oilseed rape — throws a paint pot of colour at the landscape, and a noseful of allergies at sufferers.

We drive on, past gorse, everywhere smothered in golden yellow flowers. But suddenly the sun disappears and we find ourselves moving through a landscape devoid of features. A haar has rolled in from the sea, softening hills and blurring trees and vegetation. Colour has leeched away, leaving tones of grey with occasional dabs of muted greens and browns.

Ghostly trees

Ghostly and eerie, yet fascinating.

No shots of spring here, so we head back inland and before long have left the haar behind and are back in the sun. We stop beside an impressive bridge and go to investigate.

Three arched bridge

Whiteadder Bridge


River rising gauge

River level indicator

The bridge, built in 1770, is a three arch stone structure with the river flowing through the central arch. But, judging from the water gauge on the outside span at our side of the bank, the river when in spate flows through all the arches to a high level.

Through one arch a wild cherry is in full bloom like a bride in all her finery. In Scotland we call it a gean. Its flowers showed up delicately against the blue sky.

Wild cherry blossom

Delicate flowers, best seen against a blue sky.

More celebration was to be found at ground level — low growing willows boasted catkins like miniature golden brushes, the yellow of aconites in mounds alongside a patch of delicate white wood anemones, the odd plant of rosy vetch, and that thug sticky willow elbowing its way in wherever an opening could be found.

golden brushes

Shrubby willow catkins

Golden aconites

Aconites and lots of greenery.

wee white flowers

Wood anemones – so fragile looking.

At shrub and tree level acid green leaves were unfurling, waving hello to the world.


New greenery and a gorgeous trunk.

Wasn’t able to post on Sunday, but perhaps today, Earth Day, is also a suitably appropriate day. Earth Day instigated by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first celebrated in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet, and to encourage awareness of air, water and soil pollution problems. Plenty of these in our world, but glad to say none were in evidence on Sunday by the Whiteadder.

Salmon river

The Whiteadder. Like other Scottish Border rivers it’s cared for to protect fishing for salmon and brown trout


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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2 Responses to By the Whiteadder

  1. I love the “ghostly and eerie”, it would do as the ultimate back drop for a fashion shoot. Or, maybe I should venture back to film, I am a bit torn at the moment.

  2. Fashion shoots or films? Seems a good predicament.

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