The road is still icy as I thread my way along the single-track road towards the loch.  There is always a big difference when I do my photography in the afternoon – there are no sheep.  If I arrive in the morning the landscape is inevitably teaming with horned local sheep as they are regularly fed around 8am in the winter.  As the buggy bringing their food approaches, the farmer beeps the horn and sheep emerge from the many coppices dotted along the edge of the loch.  Even earlier and it is a regular occurrence to see sheep sleeping alongside the road in quite precarious positions!

I wander into some of the small groups of trees, gnarled and contorted silver birch in the main, with moss and grass pitted by the feet of the sheep.  I scramble over the numerous burns criss-crossing the grassy areas, some frozen by the recent harsh weather.  The sun does not rise high enough to warm some of the grassy areas but the first coppice I explore is lit by sunlight.

Among Trees 20 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 21 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 22 – Alison Price, January 2021

The irregular-shaped trees cut across my path as I try to find a way through.  I have to avoid the spindly branches that spread horizontally toward other trees.  These trees have a hard life, surviving the hostile weather conditions in the micro-climate around the loch.  I am struck by how the low angle of the sun lights up the silver bark from which the trees get their name.

As I skirt the shore of the loch my steps take me into shadow – these trees have not been warmed by the sun and the coppice floor is covered with a thick hoar frost.  The sky behind is pale and watery – a typical winter scene.

Among Trees 23 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 24 – Alison Price, January 2021

Among Trees 25 – Alison Price, January 2021

As I retrace my steps I choose to walk along the loch-side as the sun is still falling on some of the golden reeds.  Many of them are still locked in place by the ice – creaking as it moves and is shifted by the current of the water.  Occasionally there is a loud crack as pieces of ice crash together.  Before I finish my practice for the day, I take a look at the ice formations further round the loch and there are some interesting shapes among the reeds.

Winter Impressions 102 – Alison Price, January 2021

As I near the end of the second week, mainly among trees, I am struck by how many different woods and forests we have on Skye – with varied structures, communities, and situations in a small geographical area.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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