Nothing ventured…

Ballhead mount: check. Chest waders: check. Hide frame: check. Hide cover: check. Waterproof: check. Camera: check. Capability to carry all of aforementioned: s**t!

And so it was I staggered through the wood yesterday in knee-deep snow, laden with…well, about half of everything I own. It was snowing and by god I was going to get some pictures: Pictures of whooper swans in a blizzard, oh yes. But there are blizzards and blizzards and in some blizzards it’s so blizzardous you can’t actually see your subject (which I always find helpful). Good conditions to set off in a floating hide. Not.

After 30 minutes and several waves having engulfed the camera, I conceded my ambition had exceeded what was realistic. If it wasn’t for the fact that the water was cold and I therefore knew its source was from the waterfall now cascading over my waders, I might have been forgiven for suspecting premature incontinence. Abandon ship and head for port before a Mayday was necessary. To be fair I had got close to the swans (not easy in this part of the world) but it was nigh on impossible to conquer the force 9 gale sweeping across the ocean that is Loch Insh. OK more of a stiff breeze but still damned difficult.

Undeterred I wandered the forest in my very handsome waders looking like some Arctic Andy Pandy still hellbent on getting some snowy images before the onset of spring. It’s fair to say that if you don’t like monochromatic pictures, the Cairngorms was not the place for you yesterday and you probably shouldn’t read on. But I do and so I persevered in my squelchy pants (I did succumb to ditching the waders) and held out long enough to grab a few PLNs (Pleasant Little Numbers).

The rewards nowhere near justified the effort but the pain of sitting at home and wondering ‘what if…’ would have been much more excrutiating. And besides, another life lesson had been learned – I’ll know better next time. If you believe that…

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7 thoughts on “Nothing ventured…

  1. I’m not sure whether to admire you or have you sectioned, Pete!!!
    That has either got to go down as some serious dedication to the cause or utter madness……
    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt this time and say good effort, Sir!!
    I think I’ll wait for it to warm up a bit, before I attempt anything like that……

  2. Pete, first image says it all – – –
    – – – madness to most of the population, but quite echoes the sentiments of those who want to hold onto the last grasp of winter.
    Here daffodils are blooming and the days are getting longer and I long for blizzardous. A shame travelling South of the Equator is so expensive and time consuming. I’ve seen snow here in the Lakes in May and Edinburgh in June – Winter may not have had its last laugh yet.

  3. Hi Peter

    You are a braver man than me , I guess Loch Morlich has never seen such activity. I once had the pleasure of Ben Hall letting me sit in his floating hide in only 2ft of water in a duck pond, I nearly sank the contraption. Any deeper and I’d have been photographing fish…. I’ve lost 3 stone since then though. I’m now a floater and not a sinker (-:

    Regards, Geoff

  4. Top shots squire! Sitting here presently in the South of England – the daffs are blooming, the birds are singing and its warm enough to have my coffee outside in the warm sunshine. You however….All v. good but especially like the rooks! Wish I was there!!

  5. very evocative images Pete, I’m impressed by the effort and determination required to photograph in those conditions. Looks like you have your entries for ‘Creative Visions’ sorted as well 🙂


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