Award-winning photographer Gary Chittick will be regularly sharing his spectacular pictures with you on his Paisley.is blog.
In his first photoblog, Gary marks the start of springtime by showing off some of his favourite images captured in Renfrewshire at this time of year.
Well here we are at the start of a new season… allegedly. The recent bout of snow thanks to the “Beast from the East” might have made us think otherwise, but March is the month of the Vernal/ Spring Equinox when the equator is the closest point of Earth to the sun.
It is also the month of the Equilux when day and night are of equal lengths. This is quickly followed by the start of British Summer Time on Sunday March 25th, unfortunately meaning an hour less in bed. Booooo!
I thought I’d share a few images from Renfrewshire from this time of year. I hope you enjoy them.
Paisley Abbey in the snow
March. Spring. We’ll I’d hoped so, but the well publicised “Beast from the East” brought around 10 inches of snow to the town centre just a few weeks ago. After digging my car out from the car park wearing goggles to protect me from the blizzard, I cautiously made it to work. The town centre looked amazing with snow capped buildings and hardly a soul around.
I took the opportunity to get some images around our stunning Paisley Abbey and Town Hall. This one was taken from Cotton Street looking across the fresh snow to the Abbey. It’s amazing how the weather can influence the scene you are looking at and this opportunity was too good to miss, even if I’d have preferred it to be 15 degrees warmer!
Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
The change from winter to spring is a good time to explore local gem, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park in Lochwinnoch. There are a number of great walks around the park, including a popular local hike up Windy Hill. I have spent a great deal of time walking around the park at all times of the day and night (not for the feint hearted or those scared of unusual noises in the dark!) and the longer days make the park more accessible for those looking to stretch their legs in daylight after work.
This image was taken on the walk up to Windy Hill with the changing colours and low cloud making for a moody scene. I’m looking forward to taking a lot more images here this year.
Paisley certainly has an amazing skyline for sunsets and March into April has the sun in a good position over the horizon (depending on your viewpoint) for sunset images. Seeing a colourful sunset is often a a mix of luck, timing and a little help from mother nature but it’s the sort of event to sit, watch and enjoy. You can really admire the unique skyline from all around the town and Paisley has some great viewpoints for sunset, including Saucel Hill, Barshaw Park and here, Barshaw Golf Course. Here’s hoping for many more.
A Wee Calf
Who can resist a cute baby, whether human or animal? The change from winter into spring obviously means that the thoughts of many of Renfrewshire’s resident wildlife turns to creating new life. The next few weeks and months will see a range of baby animals join our world. Whilst this is a time to be extra careful around animals with young – especially if you have a pet of your own – it is also a time to enjoy the sights and sounds this new life gives us.
For this image, a young calf and it’s siblings enjoy some spring sunshine up near Hartfield Farm on the Glennifer Braes.
The equinoxes (Spring and Autumn) have typically resulted in an increased chance of aurora. NASA’s research suggests that this is because of the Earth’s “tilt” towards the sun at these times of year which makes it easier for our magnetic field to connect with the charged particles in the solar wind. As you may have seen with some of my previous images, I’ve observed the aurora many times from Renfrewshire and there is always an extra hope at this time of year for increased activity.
Unfortunately the strong activity we had earlier in the week was obscured here in Renfrewshire by cloud or else I’d have had a fresh collection to choose from. To show you what a “good” aurora can look like from the area, here is one from Lochwinnoch. Remember that the camera enhances what you can see by eye and most people see the aurora as a greyish, greenish glow, until you have movement which is much easier to see. The moral here is, if the aurora is on your bucket list, it IS possible to see it from Renfrewshire!
Remember that the Spring Equinox traditionally marks a time for new beginnings, birth and fresh starts, so be positive and get out there and find something fresh and exciting to do in Renfrewshire!
Gary’s pictures are not available for use without his permission.