ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
Even before the current full lock down only a few hills, for those living nearby, were within easy reach and it was obvious, from rising Covid numbers, that a full lockdown was coming at any moment. A fairly heavy dump of snow had arrived on the Kilpatricks, see above, so I was keen to get up there before they dropped out of reach as well. This trip was taken before the lockdown came in.
As I'd been up them twice now in the last two months ( the only viable hill group available to me) and as the car park was always packed out with cars every day I decided on a late afternoon arrival. That way I could get a parking place, enjoy two hours of sunshine, maybe see a good sunset, then get a few night shots.
Late December- dusk over the Campsies. In many ways, Covid 19 has not impacted on me as much as it has on others as I normally walk solo most of the year anyway, I also restrict myself to the Central Belt area at present, due to petrol costs incurred in travelling further afield, and I only go food shopping as I rarely need anything else for entertainment. No cinema, no retail therapy, no hospitality outings, no takeaway meals, no trips abroad... even before Covid happened. The only things I do miss are city to city bus trips, a wider choice of hills, and occasional human company. But basically I'm a bear in the woods, happy and content by myself since March as long as I'm eating well and have a favourite scratching tree.
So off I ambled up the hills once more, looking for berries or a dead fresh rabbit, having a good conversation with a few fellow hill-walkers descending the path- at ten foot apart distance markers obviously- no chancy two metre zone for me.. and I enjoyed these brief five minute interactions, as even I need some contact with the outside world around me to stay semi sane. ( I've never been totally sane at any point :o)
The sunshine felt good on my face but it didn't last for long and an hour later it dropped into sunset mode. A view of the River Clyde here, looking towards Greenock.
Sunset over the Campsie Fells from the Kilpatrick Hills. A foot of snow in places higher up but deceptively camouflaged here, hidden by foot high heather.
Reaching the snowline above Clydebank and the City of Glasgow.
Renfrewshire sunset just starting.
or a doorway into heaven perhaps...
or the immortal heartbeat of the sinking sun.... the life-giver of planet Earth.
or a last warm kiss from the wicked witch of the west before bed. Take your pick.
In any event once the sun departed the full moon came out, giving much needed light but little warmth. Temperatures soon dropped below freezing again.
I lingered up high to watch all the urban lights come on in my magic metropolis below. Erskine Bridge lights here.
Metropolis at dusk.
Had to watch my feet though on the descent as many of the once grassy paths had turned into mud and slush. Inevitable given the numbers of visitors involved and the year round rain we get here.
In places it was ankle deep mud, increased by mountain bike use, which are perfectly suited for land rover type tracks but do cause a lot of long lasting damage to grass paths- as this route once was, before covid restrictions funneled the masses into smaller exercise areas. Maybe it's gyms being closed or daily briefings on TV promoting the benefits of outdoor activity together but huge numbers of people, keeping fit in various ways, arrive on every canal bank, local park, hill, and meadow, hour after hour now, proving once again how ridiculously easy it is to brainwash the general population at large. Grannies and grandads who haven't moved off the sofa for years are now powering up inclines, in battered slippers, anytime a brief ray of sun appears.
Anyway, down I went into the darkness... of my black and thrice damned heart... Bears only believe in nature, after all.
Cloudscapes lower down.
Under the underpass.
Full moon in the car park.
Train Station at night. The end.
And then the stars came out. Farewell Cassini.