The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


The latter part of this past week saw some pretty torrential rain in this corner of the country. In fact, just across the Solway Firth in Cumbria, towns have been flooded, bridges have been washed away and lives have been lost.

Locally, Loch Ken - the loch just a couple of miles north of here - burst its banks to a level not seen in many years. The roads running up either side of it were blocked on Friday, as I discovered when I decided to go up and take some photos.

Oddly enough, it was extremely difficult to take some decent flood photos. The water levels were so high, there were no fence posts breaking the surface, they were all under it. Consequently, the loch just looked big, rather than the fields looking flooded.

You can click on any of the following images for larger versions

These 2 photos show the top of a wall (dry stane dyke - not so dry here...) usually separating 2 fields, which themeselves are usually a fair distance from the edge of the loch

This gate by the side of the road gives an indication of the depth of water too.

At the point I could go no further along the road, I saw this lorry stuck across this flooded area. But on the other side of the rise he was parked on the water was even deeper, so he was well and truly stuck until the levels subsided

On Saturday morning, the levels of Loch Ken had dropped by at least 3 feet, meaning the road was passable again, so I went out with the camera in the morning. With hedgerows and fences now more clearly visible protruding from the water, the potential was there for much better photos.

Unfortunately the heavy, horizontal rain started up again, so I still wasn't able to get out and about much as I'm not entirely sure how waterproof the camera is, but I did manage a couple.

This one in particular looks good when enlarged:



hope said...

Wow! Sorry you find yourselves underwater but those are some great shots!

I have shots of just the opposite: we had a drought here a couple of years ago that all but dried up the most popular recreational lake. We're still way below normal precipitation, but wouldn't you know it, because I shared this, my weather page just told me it's raining here today. :)

Gitta said...

Those photos are amazing! I’m in Leicester and we barely had any rain. I’m a student and don’t have a tv, which proves again that I’m so cut of from the world! I didn’t even know about the flooding until now! Hopefully it’ll get better soon. Love, Gitta

Jimmy Bastard said...

Kim, we struggled to get back up the M74 on Friday, I thought of you as we went past.

Nice photies by the way.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

So that week of torrential rain I drove through in August was just summer showers? I drove on that road past Loch Ken when I came to see you, pretty loch. I saw similar scenes near Oxford a few years ago. Seems to be working its way round the country. Keep your feet dry!

Fay's Too said...

You'd better put down your camera and start paddling, boy! Scary stuff.
Congrats on the anniversary, btw.

Dimple said...

Cameras really can't do justice to such huge events--even when the picture is great, the magnitude of its subject doesn't carry to the one who sees it. I learned that when I spent some time in New Orleans three years after Katrina.
Your photos are great, by the way; I'm trying to magnify the images to get a feeling for the event! I'm glad the flood is subsiding, and I hope the clean-up is accomplished quickly.

Mary Witzl said...

Those really are great shots, Kim, flood or no flood.

It's really sobering to think of Scotland being wetter than usual. Wonder if things will have dried out by the time we're back?

Anonymous said...

You have such a fantastic eye, Kim. Managed to find beauty even in something as devastating as the recent floods. I did find it funny, however, to spot the sheep, nonplussed as ever.

St Jude said...

Great photos to journal the floods. It was terrible rain wasn't it and it seems to be getting worse every year.

Charlie said...

As St. Jude said and you showed, your rains seem to be getting worse every year. On my side, we're getting less every year: 2.78 inches since January 1.

Thanks for taking the risk for the photos--they're great.

Patrick said...

Nice photos..=)

savannah said...

the last photo has a surreal quality to it which, for me, is how the whole experience with torrential rains feels. weather in its extremes is captivating and frightening! xoxo

marvelous photos!

Postman said...

Your camera performs well under (water) pressure. These are some of the prettiest photographs I've seen in some time. You've demonstrated splendid grit by venturing into flood zones and cloudbursts to obtain them, too. A worthwhile and evocative post.

I feel for that truck driver stuck on that rise...I wonder if he was hauling meat patties two by two...

Midnitefyrfly said...

Absolutely amazing photos. I really like the b & w perspective with the truck. Floods are very powerful and are one of nature's many forces that remind us we do not have control of nature.

Jayne Martin said...

Terrifying sight but amazing photos. Glad you're okay.

Dan. said...

How difficult was it to move around mate? Some really good photos there but must have been pretty scary to take them.

Some of the TV reports have been pretty eye opening.

Katie Roberts said...

Hi Kim,

glad you're all safe, if a little soggy. Loved your B&W photos, esp the lorry stuck, while the sheep continue to go about their business!

Photography,I find, is a great way to enjoy even the most full-on of circumstances.


(word verification: Hater! Which is not a true description of me at all)

Pat said...

It looks pretty frightening to me. It's the force and weight of water that is so awesome.
Will the children get to school I wonder? Do not take any risks please

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - we're fine where we are, living up near the top of the town. Droughts are something that happen in the SE of England, but never in Scotland :)

Gitta - they were hit worse in Cumbria - check the BBC news website

Jimmy - thank you :)

Daphne - back in the summer, that was just a light drizzle. And yes, that road with the lorry - you would have driven on that one on the way down from Ayr

Fay - an inner tube, a bike pump and a puncture repair kit and I'll be fine :)

Dimple - it's a strange thing with photography that sometimes you have to look for ways to exaggerate the image in order to get a truer reflection of reality. A sraightforward snapshot never captures the impact

Mary - wouldn't mind a bit of your Mediterranean sunshine right now :)

C - it's the sheep that absolutely make that photo :)

St Jude - I don't know about worse every year. It was 3 years ago the last time Loch Ken flooded so much the roads were closed - as mentioned in this post

Charlie - 2.78 inches isn't much when measuring anything...

Patrick - thank you :)

Savannah - the image came out quite grainy - which adds beautifully to the atmosphere of it - but I think was created by the camera struggling to make sense of the rain

Postman - you're painting an entirely unjustified Indiana Jones like picture of me. The reality is very far from it...

Midnitefyrfly - just make sure you never live in a house on the flood plains :)

Jayne - thank you :)

Dan - I was never in any danger - far too much of a coward to take any risks :)

Katie - photography, like blogging, can be a great way to shift the empahsis of dodgy experiences

Pat - we're fine where we are, living up near the top of the town. The schools are at the top end of town too, so we were never in any danger

Anonymous said...

I love the second from the top and the second from the bottom! Top form there Kim- gorgeous. So sorry that you all are so wet!

mapstew said...

Great pics Kim.
There has been some bad flooding over here too though thankfully we have been spared for the moment.

Roll on Spring!


Gillian said...

I love the photos. They are brilliant! We've had quite a bit of rain here too even though its the height of summer here and we shouldn't really be experiencing rain at all.

Freaks of nature.

sarah said...

i think you captured the flood quite effectively Kim.

how is the photography going? i've not visited the photo site lately.

RainyWest said...

Water water everywhere and in some places not a drop to drink (or wash!).

Here in Ireland and up the road from me, its badly flooded. Houses and businesses under water and bad weather continuing. In some places like Cork City, they have loads of water but none to drink ala Coleridge!

Great pics, thanks for sharing.

Falak said...

Really amazing photos! Reminds me of the floods we had in Bombay way back in 2006.... But I doubt any of the pictures that depicted the aftermath of those floods were anything even close to pretty let alone picturesque;)They were scary!

Sylvan Strawberry Farmer said...

Great pics. I can see why they're calling the flooding, "Biblical" in some news reports.

bonequinhoda bic said...

That´s real terrible weather, be carefull okay K ?
Great photos.

erika said...

Now that's a real artist, getting out in the yucky weather to capture the beauty in the middle of the annoying :) I would have definitely opted for hot cocoa or tea or some other warm liquid contained in a cup, as opposed to the uncontained cold liquid gone wild. And that is why you are able to display your BEAUTIFUL photography on your blog, while I'm posting Izzy-pictures taken by my iPhone. (You probably winced at that iPhone part, didn't you :)?)

Suz said...

Beautiful photos. I am a real fan of black and white photography. It says so much.

Thanks for sharing your waterlogged week.

Kim Ayres said...

Starrlife - thank you :)

Mapstew - only 6 months until the sun shines again...

Gillian - mmmmMMMmmmm... summmmmeeeerrrrrr....

Sarah - it was put on hold for a bit as life was in chaos for a couple of months on the lead up to and the weeks following the death of Maggie's mother. But it's started back up again and I've decided to do a bit of digital retouching and enhancements - see latest post :)

Rainywest - I've decided I will never buy or rent a house called "Loch Side" or "Riverside"...

Falak - the Bobmay floods dwarfed anything here - they were devestating on such a large scale.

Sylvan - Biblical is a bit extreme - especially if you look up photos of the Bombay floods in 2006

Bonequinhoda bic - don't worry, I have a strong sense of self preservation and don't tend to put myself in dangerous situations :)

Erika - actually I don't wince at the idea of any camera. Fantastic images have been taken with a box and a pinhole. More expensive cameras allow you to photograph more easily or in more unlikely conditions, but a good photo can be taken on any equipment once you realise the best way of using it :)

Suz - black and white can create an extra level of mood in some cases, and I do enjoy it :)

Lynne said...

Wow, great photos!
I only check in every once in a while, but you definitely have a talent with the camera.
If I was closer to Scotland (I live in Seattle), I'd probably book you to take some photos of me and my boyfriend. :) The portraits on your commercial pages are wonderful.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Lynne :)

The other option is to find a few other people in Seattle who would like their photos taken and club together to fly me out :)

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