Sunday, 26 September 2010

Walking Around Loch Monzievaird

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Shortly before I went away to Serbia, a colleague told me that she hoped it would be everything I was looking for.  When I came home overwhelmed and exhausted, it made me think about exactly what I wanted from my upcoming holiday to Scotland.  I had an idea of greenery and wide open spaces, lazy afternoons reading books while I looked out on to the loch* and visiting places steeped in history.  My boss had a good old laugh at that as the week we were up in Scotland was meant to be rainy, cold and grey and to top it all off, it was midge season.

I am more than pleased to say that I got my wish and we had a full week of the most incredible late summer weather topped up with a life affirming dose of greenery, blue skies and incredible nature.

Now I know that other people’s nature photographs can seem a bit boring sometimes but I hope you’ll enjoy taking this photo walk with me.  This is a walk I took around Loch Monzievaird on the first afternoon after we arrived.  It took 75 minutes and the closest word I can find to describe the experience would be exhilarating. 

Click on any of the images to enlarge them

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Before I embarked on my walk, I took a look back up to the cabin.  Doesn’t it just look like the archetypal holiday cabin in the woods?

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I tried macro photography for the first time this holiday.  I did not realise how very hard it is and the two photos above are the only ones out of quite a few that came out reasonably well.  It makes me appreciate all of your macro shots so much more now!

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I think it is pretty safe to say that I will never, ever in a hundred years tire of this view (and that I will be back to visit Loch Monzievaird).

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I walked up a little hill and saw this ancient structure standing on it.  It looked like it was only about 15 feet by 10 feet in diameter.  We think it might have been where they lead their sheep at night.  The sheep would have stayed in the bottom and the men would have slept a level above them, benefitting from the warmth that the sheep would have emitted. It looks like wooden beams would have run into the wall in the third photo above and that was shot at an upwards angle.  Although crumbling at the top, it does look like there were some defensive structures built in and that would have been protection from marauders.  Due to the precarious state of the building, entry was prohibited but I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I had a run in with some stinging nettle in order to get you these photos.

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I was quite enchanted to see how these stairs above seemed to disappear into nothing but lush, green forest.  It was really beautiful and green and abundant in the forest and soon I arrived again at the water's edge. 

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I soon came to a fork in the path and decided to go right, along the path that was less travelled.  It was a good decision as the path went back into the woods.  I soon came upon a tumbled-down house and a fence. 

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This massive tree had obviously fallen down on the house one stormy night as it looked like it had been quite intact before the incident with the tree.

By now, I was on the other side of the loch and all of a sudden, I was in a meadow.

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Laugh, if you will, but I totally had an Edward and Bella** moment and laid back in the meadow watching the clouds go by for a good quarter of an hour.

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Back on the path, I just loved how the edges of the path was dotted with little yellow flowers (you might need to enlarge the photo to see them).

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I clowned around on those tree skeletons for a while, as I phoned Stephen and asked him if he could see me.  He made me clown around and jump up and down for quite a while before owning up that yes, he could see me very clearly.

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All too soon, I was on the other side of the loch.  Just right of centre in the photo are the tree skeletons.

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Then al that was left to do was to hop over the stream next to my cabin and then I was back ‘home’ again.  What a fabulous walk!  If you have ever been thinking of visiting Scotland than don’t delay!  It is gorgeous and you certainly can’t go wrong with Loch Monzievaird.

* Loch is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic term for a lake or a sea inlet.
** Twilight reference for men and non-Twilight readers.

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16 comments

  1. Looks amazing I can almost taste the fresh air and you were amazingly lucky with the weather. Who says it is always miserable in Scotland. It is a lot of the time, but not always!

    75 minutes to walk around it, that sure was a gentle introduction to Scottish Lochs.

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  2. It looks fantastic, particularly the ruins which I'd love to explore.

    We're hoping to visit Skye in October. I'm really looking forward to it :-)

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  3. Wonderful photos! They really do capture the feel of the place. I lived in Scotland for a few yeas and when the weather is good, there is nothing to beat it. That's a big "when" of course. :)

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  4. wow, what a beautiful photographic journey you took us on! I agree with you also that macro photography is DIFFICULT. Beautiful moments you've captured on film.

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  5. Absolutely gorgeous photos! Scotland looks absolutely beautiful ♥
    Thank you so much for the comment you left on my 'Success & Blogging' post! I'm so happy that there really are other genuine bloggers out there :) xoxo

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  6. Another awesome set Emm!

    If you need any help with your macro photography, let me know. I can give you some advice on what you should/shouldn't do.

    -Matt

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  7. @ William: I am glad the post met with your approval as I was a little nervous in light of my many Scottish friends here on the blogosphere! I always had imagined it would be the best time of year to visit the weather forecast was horrid before we went!

    @ John: Skye should be awesome and I can't wait to see your photos!

    @ Sheila: Yes, I can imagine that it is all sorts of miserable when it is cold and rainy!

    @ And Miles To Go: Thank you! I shall keep trying with my macros - it feels so good when you kind of sort of get it right!

    @ Laura: Scotland is indeed incredibly beautiful and certainly recommended. And it is a pleasure.

    @ Phoenix: Thank you! I hope to reply to your email today so we can chat about macros then!

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  8. I liked your pictures.beautiful blog

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  9. SO much green! That always looks so restful (although a bit unnatural, too 8-)) to my south Texas semi-desert-accustomed eyes.

    My daughter recently convinced me to read Twilight so I got the reference! I feel so "with it"!

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  10. Emm - what a great photo-essay. I loved Scotland - it is such a lovely land. Your photos were fantastic.

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  11. Oh does that ever look like heaven!
    You brightened my day with these photos!
    Amazing pictures, Emm!!
    I really enjoyed that pictorial tour to a hauntingly magical place! :)

    Big hugs!

    B

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  12. Hi Emm! Gorgeous pictures!! It even makes us think summer isn't only a Thursday in UK... ;))

    Blogtrotter Two is almost leaving Costa Smeralda. But still has some new pictures for you to enjoy!!! Drop a line and have a great week!

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  13. I am glad you had a wonderful time and beautiful weather. It makes the trip even more memorable. The views are spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. @ And Miles To Go: And I am yours!

    @ Deepak Gopy: Thank you!

    @ Kathy: Gosh, what did you think of Twilight? I certainly have a love/hate reference with that author's work.

    @ The Half-Life of Linoleum: Thank you! I both enjoyed taking the walk and blogging about it.

    @ Betty: Thank you! "Hauntingly magical"... I like that.

    @ Trotter: We were very, very lucky with the weather, that is for sure.

    @ AVCr8teur: Thank you so much.

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  15. what a wonderful place...

    someday i do hope will be there..

    thanks for nice posting sist...

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