Scottish woods are different

as it’s Burns’ night I am catching up with my Christmas in Scotland

on Christmas eve we went for a walk in Auchtermuchty (meaning upland of the pigs) about nine miles north of Glenrothes. the woods are quite extensive with lots of ups and downs to test my flatland legs.

I always get left behind, taking photos, waiting for Bims to sniff incredibly elaborately, and my legs are shorter than L and S’s. I actually managed to run (uphill) to catch up, which I was rather pleased about.

it’s a photogenic landscape

on the edges of the wood, pasture, pig pasture too, ash trees

and a field of highland ponies, happily fat and hairy out in the cold.

a very hard frost overnight

but in the denser parts of the pine woods it must have been warmer; there was no frost

in the sunshine and with steep hills we kept quite warm ourselves

after Christmas we went to Falkland for another woody walk

quite a dramatic place, and cold in the shadow of the hill to the south

then of course, there’s Lumbo and Spinkie den on the edge of St Andrews. (these names must be the relics of old Scots or Norse names, anglicised by map-makers.) Lumbo is just around the corner from the house and the early seventies estate it’s part of, and the burn spurls past the garden in its rocky bed.

I made a blanket strip stitched and then leaf-printed and dyed in water from the burn

ferns are always a good bet for contact prints

and even old dead oak leaves and sycamores will give up some tannin in the presence of iron

I left it a few days before unbundling

it’s not an intensely dramatic textile

made into another tsunobokuro bag

like a small painting

but I love the three-dimensional qualities

and there we have today’s motif

and for the time being it’s holding my precious store of knitting yarn – yak, merino and silk ….

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