a parliament takes the air
Slow through the teatime traffic. I have a plan. If I can time it right, then I know what image I'm hoping for. I eye the traffic jam then look at the sun's descending angle in the west. I do some trig. I should be fine. If....
At Glasgow Airport bridge the traffic relaxes and opens up and moves more freely. Maybe I'll be too early. But there are clouds low to the west at the Argyll hills and the sun is slowly arcing towards them.
At that joyous point in the M8 where the road rises and there resplendent is the Firth of Clyde. Like a glorious quilt cast into the valley. The tide is low. Oystercatcher, gulls, sandpipers, curlews, mallards, redshanks, eider ducks and cormorant are just some of the birds I see fringing the water's retreat. This part of the Clyde is a haven for wildfowl.
At Langbank then I turn left and up the hill and up another hill onto the middle road to Port Glasgow. The light is creamy, vanilla sweet and soft. There they are. I pass them in the car and cut the engine and glide to a halt, trying to be as inconspicuous as it's possible to be with a combustion engine.
Wheatfield with crows my favourite Van Gogh painting. It is widely reckoned to be his final painting before he killed himself. Last October I went with my the kids to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. And it wasn't there !! It had been loaned out. I was gutted, My fridge magnet of it wasn't really any compensation.
I wanted to try and get something similar. A year or so ago I photographed it and it was not too bad. But the light this time was promising. I clicked open the door of the car. A couple of rooks - for they were rooks and not crows - cawed a warning to the others pecking the cut wheat for morsels. I turned on the camera and took a step towards the rooks (and starlings too). Another warning and a whoosh as a hundred wings all took to the air. The parliament had flown.
I fumbled with my camera to try and get the best shot I could. I only got two. This was one of them. A cropped version that I've taken most of the colour from to try and highlight the magnificent black against the stalks of grain. And - as a bonus - Dumbarton Rock sitting in the Firth, where the King of the Britons had a fortress way back when. Not what I had in mind, but no bad.
- Panasonic DMC-GX7