Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A Round of Ochils ... King's Seat ..Tarmangie .. and Whitewisp

Its been a great year for snow on the hills. It started for me in November last year and the hills are still getting fresh snow almost every other day. However its not good hill walking snow. Its soft and deep making it very difficult to walk through. It doesn’t stop me enjoying my hill walks but I have been sticking to my local Ochil Hills and keeping the walk length to six or seven miles.

Hopefully once the snow settles and consolidated I will get to the higher tops and longer walks. Im in no hurry to get there though.

Here is my latest video of a strenuous walk in the Ochils

Direct Link to video

And below is a previous video I posted when a warmer spell of weather hit the Ochils .. fooling me into thinking spring was in the air. Its not far off .. but there will be more cold fronts before the daffodils appear.

Monday, 29 January 2018

A Day out in Glasgow

Hey..just a note to say I have not fallen into a deep sleep again.

I have been quietly hibernating as the recent bad weather hits our hills. On the occasional nice day between the blizzards ..the snow was too deep and soft for my liking .. so I headed into town instead.

Although I'm over sixty years of age ..Im not at state pension age yet. As such ..I live on savings and a small work pension. Money can be tight after Xmas ..just like most folks find out.

Also ..for me .. being happily retired is not a life of lazing .. and can be hard work.

I need to keep myself occupied and my brain working every day .. to enjoy a happy retirement. So look for ways to meet my needs which don't cost the earth. I try to use my over 60s bus pass at least once a week. Why drive the car when I get free travel ?

This post is about one of my favourite free days out walking. I think of it as a "Day of Culture in the City"

My day starts with catching the Citylink bus to Glasgow ..then walking around the city centre..along the Clyde and then visiting free admission places of Culture :-D

Its a short video so I didn't have enough space left to include some of the photos I took.

Example ..I sat on the steps outside the Glasgow Concert Hall ..eating my Gregg's lunch of pie and coffee ..while listening to a talented Glasgow Busker singing his heart out.

All enjoyable entertainment that doesn't cost the earth.

I was also a little disappointed to see some of my favourite Graffiti murals have gone. The five faces under the bridge on the Broomielaw are no longer there ..but that's the nature of Graffiti art. I have my photos to remember them by.

So without any more rambling from is my video that tells this story ...

Direct Link to video on U Tube

Friday, 12 January 2018

An Old Man's View of Stirling Castle

Although I love pounding hill paths ... I sometimes need a change and go walking elsewhere.

I always enjoy a walk in Stirling Castle .. which is at the top of the town where I live. I like to visit it at least once a year as there is always something new to be found.

Not much more to be said .. as I told my tale in the video.

As with most my videos .. it tells a slightly quirky story. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed collecting the footage and assembling it in the U Tube video.

Direct link to video on U Tube

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Sunrise on Ben A'An

The day after my dull day on Dumyat ... the forecast promised a high pressure area over Scotland. Clear blue sky and no wind. It was Sunday .. so I suspected everyone would be in the countryside walking off holiday season blues.

From my viewpoint on Dumyat I had noticed a fresh fall of snow on the hills. I decided to keep away from the high tops as I knew walking would be tough in deep soft snow. It takes a few thaws and re freezes before the snow would consolidate  enough for walking on without sinking up to my knees.

I still looked forward to a walk so chose a low top. Ben A'An is described as "The wee mountain with the big views". Its in the heart of the Trosssachs only a 30 minute drive from my house.

I was up before dawn I knew this hill would be busier than the high street the week before Xmas. It was ..people were like a trail of ants heading up the path to see the views. But none of them saw what I saw ?

The moon seen from my house just before driving to The Trosssachs. It was a freezing cold clear sky day.

The moment the sun started to appear just below the horizon

It cast a lovely pink alpenglow on the far horizon

Then touched the hills and trees with a golden glow 

Here is my story on video

Direct link to video on U Tube

Saturday, 6 January 2018

A Dull Day on Dumyat

Poor Weather since the holidays was giving me Cabin Fever. I find I have to get out and about to stop life getting dull.

A walk up Dumyat .. (pronounced Dum-eye-it ) always brightens my day ..even on a busy Saturday Morning. Everyone was enjoying the morning out after the days of rain. Its my local hill ..five minutes from the house.

Dumyat is my local hill ..five minutes from the house...and I clamber it many times a month. It keeps me hill fit.

Direct link to video on U Tube

Friday, 29 December 2017

Meall An T Seallaidh (Hill of Views)

So without further ado ... here is my first video of a winter walk I did on 27th December.

I found I was not as fit as I thought I was.

Soft snow soon stripped me of my stamina and by the time O got to the summit.. which is only approx. one third of the distance of the full ridge walk ... I was exhausted.

I kept plodding round the ridge but was glad when I got back to the car. My legs ached all night.

I was correct with my thinking on the tripod. It would have proved useless on a windy mountain top. The Sony's stabilisation system does the job just fine. That is the reason I went for this camera .. reviews mention its the best stabilisation system for camcorders in this price range. I'm still delighted with the camcorder.

Here is the was recorder in full HD quality and not 4K. The walking shots are taken by the Gopro in its Karma gimbal which is great. The Gopro footage deteriorates a little on the internet when its shot in low light..but I don't mind.. after all ... Im a low budget movie maker. A couple of years ago and footage like this was impossible for normal home video users

Here is the video .. hope you enjoy it. If you do... don't be afraid to hit the like button :-D

Be sure to watch it in HD if you have the bandwidth.

Direct link to video on U Tube

North Third Reservoir and the Sony AX53

Before taking the Sony camcorder on my hill walks ... I wanted to try a final test. To record in the highest quality of 4K at 100mbits per second. I took it on a local walk where I used to regularly take "Holly" my old dog.

I took a tripod with me too as I wanted to see how it would fit in my filming techniques. I soon discovered that at high zoom levels.. I was better off hand holding the camcorder. The reason being .. the wind vibrated the camera and tripod which caused annoying shake. The camcorders in built stabilisation system detects its on a tripod and switches itself off ? The tripod head I used was for a camera and not a video it was difficult to pan with. Touching controls to zoom also shook the footage.

Once set and if there was no worked great ..but there is generally strong winds on mountain tops.. so for now I wont lug it up the hills. Hand held will give steadier footage.

I tried the tripod on some swans ..hoping for some great steady footage. Again..I think a monopod would possibly be better for wild life. Even swans swim around and go out of frame quite quickly.

However the footage was good when they sat still for a few seconds. The swans were approx. 300 meters from me.

The 4K video quality doesn't show on my computer screen or normal TV. The files produced are huge and would soon swamp my hard drive space. The computer I have which is only a year old .. slows right down trying to edit the footage ... so again .. for me the 4K quality is not worth recording. The full HD quality footage at 50 frames per second is more than excellent for my needs

Here is the test video I made using the 4K footage converted to HD for U Tube viewing

Direct Link on U Tube..