Over the past week, I’ve posted a number of entries that linked to the final WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme of All-Time Favorites. Sadly, the Weekly Photo Challenge is no more, so I want to close out this workweek with one last image in this series (although I may never stop!)
With this image, which is among my favorites (there are a number of photos from Skye that fall in that category), I simply enjoy the sense of being in a different world from our planet, as the light plays across the hills and changes with the movement of each cloud…
The Isle of Skye is a photographer’s dream-world, as each turn of the road presents one with a new, stunning landscape to try and capture. While up in the hills in the Qiuraing, I was continually astounded by the changes in the vistas, even while staying at the same location. Watching the light dance across the hills, changing the colors and highlighting features, was akin to watching a great magician doing their work, but at a scale well beyond even the larges stage.
Welcome to Week 110 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is something different again!
You produced a wonderful set of posts for the past week’s theme of Shine! Your creativity shone through your posts and made them a lot of fun to read and appreciate. So I decided to give a completely different element to this week’s theme and select a topic that allows you to go in many directions: Ring!
Of course, a ring can be the one that binds them all, or the sound from a telephone, or have a familiar ring! Your tasks is to put your creative vision on the theme and come up with something interesting…
I can’t wait to see what you might create!
This is one version of a ring, as it stands in a circle with a ring of stones…
The Lochbuie stone circle is a location that is filled with the power of the ancients, which permeates the entire site; there are several locations in this site that produce a palpable amount of energy that one can feel coursing through your body… To say that there’s ancient mystery in this location is an understatement!
The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:
Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!
I’m looking forward to seeing what might ring true in your posts!
As part of the WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge theme of Tour Guide, I thought it might be of interest to find something that ties back to this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge of Exotic.
My favorite island of the Inner Hebrides is Skye, for its amazing, rugged landscape and mountainous range that are just a dream to photograph, as every different incident angle of light creates a completely new environment, sometimes even otherworldly.
One of the interesting places to visit on the isle of Skye is Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, chief of the Clan MacLeod. Probably a fortified site from the earliest times, the castle was first built in the 13th century and developed piecemeal over the centuries. In the 19th century the whole was remodelled in a mock-medieval style. The castle is built on an elevated rock overlooking an inlet on the eastern shore of Loch Dunvegan, a sea loch.
The castle sits on a massive site on Skye, much of which is cultivated into a stunning garden that includes many exotic species, such as the tree in this photo. The people standing next to it give you a sense of the scale of this wonderful tree.
If you’re ever visiting Skye, the castle and its grounds are well worth a look!
In this final installment as your tour guide of beloved Mull, there’s one thing that I cannot overlook from our visit to Mull and really all of Scotland: Gorse!
Ulex (commonly known as gorse, furze or whin) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae. The genus comprises about 20 species of thorny evergreen shrubs in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae. The species are native to parts of western Europe and northwest Africa, with the majority of species in Iberia.
The first thing that you do notice about gorse is the intense yellow flowers, which are in bloom nearly year-round. When lit by sunlight, these bushes create beautiful patches of yellow across the landscape, which can stand out against a blue sky (yes, we found plenty of blue skies in Scotland)
Gorse is closely related to the brooms (Scottish Broom is a very hard plant, that we have in our backyard in New England), and like them, has green stems and very small leaves and is adapted to dry growing conditions. However it differs in its extreme thorniness, the shoots being modified into branched thorns 1–4 centimetres (0.4–1.6 in) long, which almost wholly replace the leaves as the plant’s functioning photosynthetic organs. The leaves of young plants are trifoliate, but in mature plants they are reduced to scales or small spines. All the species have yellow flowers, generally showy, some with a very long flowering season.
In this image you get a good view of the thorns, which you do not want to try to walk through without some adequate protection. The gorse in Scotland can grow rather large, as I saw bushes well above 2 meters in height.
In this fourth installment as your tour guide of beloved Mull, I’d like to show some of the beauty that we found there during our visit.
When visiting Mull, we had a general idea of what we’d expect from Scotland: mountainous terrain with expansive lochs and a sense of ruggedness that would be everywhere. While there is plenty of such terrain, there are also some tender, hidden gems that show up with the right light and transport one into a completely different environment.
Getting views of this kind gave me a sense of where our inspiration for works, such as ‘Lord of the Rings’, comes from. There are many places within Scotland that I found these utterly magical scenes…
Walking along the wandering paths of Mull, on a beautiful, sunny day, there were little treasures to be found around every bend.
In this third installment about our visit to beloved Mull, we take a look at one of the prominent features of the isle, which is seen upon approaching it on the ferry from Oban to Craignure.
Duart Castle sits high atop the hill with a great vantage across the Sound of Mull toward Loch Linnhe; it is rather imposing from any angle of approach, as even from the landward side, there is a bit of a rise to climb, while approaching the castle. Duart Castle was probably built by Clan MacDougall in the 13th century, and appears to have come into the hands of Clan MacLean in the following century.
In 1350 Lachlan Lubanach Maclean of Duart, the 5th Clan Chief, married Mary, daughter of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles and Duart was part of her dowry. In 1647, Duart Castle was attacked and laid siege to by the Argyll government troops of Clan Campbell, but they were defeated and driven off by the Royalist troops of Clan MacLean.
There was quite a bit of to and fro over Duart castle between various factions until it was abandoned in 1751. Descendants of Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll sold the castle in 1801, to MacQuarrie, who then sold it to Carter-Campbell of Possil who kept it as a ruin within the grounds of his own estate to the north, Torosay Castle. He later sold his Torosay Estate which now included the ruins of Castle Duart to A. C. Guthrie in 1865. On 11 September 1911, the ruin was separated from the rest of the Torosay Estate and was bought by Sir Fitzroy Donald Maclean, the 26th Chief of the Clan MacLean and restored.
In 2012, the centenary of the 1912 restoration, the Chief of Clan Maclean announced that his family could no longer afford the upkeep of the castle in light of the expense of major repairs. When we visited during the Spring of 2013, we noticed the Chief of Clan MacLean working on the upkeep of the castle himself; he was even nice enough to provide us some directions.
Unfortunately, in the winter of 2013-14 the castle lost four ceilings, which were brought down by water penetration through the chimneys. In July 2014, a Restoration Appeal was launched.
I certainly hope that the restoration will bring the castle to its former glory, to the delight of many visitors!
Factoid: Sean Connery is a MacLean through his mother’s side of the family.
In this second installment about our visit to beloved Mull, we pick up the era between 600 BC and AD 400, when Iron Age inhabitants were building protective forts, duns and crannogs. Whether or not they were Picts is unclear.
In the 6th century, Irish migrants invaded Mull and the surrounding coast, establishing the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata. The kingdom was divided into a number of regions, each controlled by a kin group, of which the Cenél Loairn controlled Mull and the adjacent mainland to the east. Dál Riata was a springboard for the Christianisation of the mainland; the pivotal point was AD 563, when Columba, an Irish missionary, arrived at Iona (just off the south-west point of Mull) and founded a monastery, from which to start evangelising the local population.
Another thing that we learned during our visit to Mull, is that the significant number of sheep roam free everywhere on the island and do not concern themselves with traffic; on the mostly single-track road one may have to stop for sheep that find it a comfortable place to rest.
The other aspect about sheep is that they will eat whatever they find; therefore, if you want a garden you put up a fence that is necessary to keep the sheep out!
Have a wonderful day, wherever you are in the world!