Spend four fantastic days on Loch Awe in Scotland in the hand of the great team from Howl Bush craft. The relaxing location and the team made this a very enjoyable journey. The knowledge both leaders had about canoeing, camping, Scotland, craft, fire, wild food etc was unlimited.
You were always in safe hands, yet never felt like you were in bubble wrap or on a guided tour. You took part in the day to day decision, the cooking, fire making – you really made the experience yours.
There were so much to do and learn that I often forgot to take my normal amount of photos 🙂 Though I did managed to record some great soundscapes, do check out soundscapes@woollypigs (bring your headphones)
At Howl we specialise in journeying skills, the Bushcraft we practice and teach is that of the traveler. There is a wonderful simplicity that comes from taking a trip in the outdoors, a pragmatism gleaned from necessity. We draw from this experience in the field to teach a set of skills and knowledge based in expedience and realism, skills that actually get used while outdoors
The last day of my visit to Loch Awe was a washout. The strong tail wind and wobbly waves along with the heavy rain made it rather hard to take a snap of Kilchurn Castle from a canoe on the Loch.
Though even if this photo is not pin sharp, this panorama really shows off how dramatically the castle, the Loch and Scotland can be.
Kilchurn Castle (/kəlˈxʊərn/) is a ruined structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was first constructed in the mid-15th century as the base of the Campbells of Glenorchy, who extended both the castle and their territory in the area over the next 150 years.
Loch Awe (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Obha) is a large body of mostly freshwater in Argyll and Bute, Scottish Highlands. It has also given its name to a village on its banks, variously known as Loch Awe or Lochawe. There are islands within the loch such as Innis Chonnell and Inishail.
More commonly known as the Holy island, just off the coast from Lamlash on Isle of Arran. I took this after midnight in the middle of Storm Brendan, which gave the island go old battering, while we visited. Even on a small but sturdy tripod, that I was holding firmly, the long exposure got some motion blur. But I think it works well on this image, where we can see the light (glow) from the mainland and even at night the sky is blue when lit up by the fool moon.
The island is around 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long and around 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) wide. Its highest point is the hill Mullach Mòr.
Had a very windswept walk on Kildonan beach, got the cobwebs well and truly blown away. Could have spend many more hours walking here, will be back one day. As I can just stare at the waves for hours on end. On the way back the light and clouds changed and we got this rather cool looking light.
In the background behind Pladda you can just make out Ailsa Craig, where you can find the blue hone granite that has long been quarried to make curling stones
The lighthouse tower is 95 feet (29 m) in height; there are 128 steps to the top. Under normal conditions, its light (3 white flashes every 30 seconds) is visible for 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
View from Lochranza on Isle of Arran, towards the Kintyre peninsula. This is the tail end of the shower that gave us a good “wash”. When the weather forecast says showers, do be prepared wrap up fast, as you will get a soaking double fast at random times. As you can see on the other photo, the shower had on higher grounds brought some snow with it.
Lochranza Distillery, jolly good wee dram. There used to be about fifty distilleries on the island, but most of them were “moonlight” or illegal distilleries, those where the days, eh 🙂
On fair Lochranza streamed the early day,
Thin wreaths of cottage smoke are upward curl’d
From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay
And circling mountains sever from the world ”
— Sir Walter Scott, The Lord of the Isle
Had a few days on Isle of Arran. This snap was taken from the ferry as we left, the mountain had a wee dusting of snow doing the night.
Bonus shot of Goatfell, with added castle:
Goat Fell is the highest point on the Isle of Arran. At 874 metres (2,866 ft), it is one of four Corbetts on the island. The mountain, along with nearby Brodick Castle, is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
For once this dragonfly sat still long enough for me to change lens, focus and snap.
A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera. Adult dragonflies are characterized by large, multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong, transparent wings, sometimes with coloured patches, and an elongated body
I know they are often seen as a weed, but I do like the look of them and always reminds me of New Zealand.
Bracken (Pteridium) is a genus of large, coarse ferns in the family Dennstaedtiaceae. Ferns (Pteridophyta) are vascular plants that have alternating generations, large plants that produce spores and small plants that produce sex cells (eggs and sperm). Brackens are noted for their large, highly divided leaves.
Funny things these, never really heard about or seen these before. Now nearly every time we go to a bit of wood where there is a fallen tree, we find one.
One form of votive offering is the token offering of a coin. The remains of one such tree can be found near Ardmaddy House in Argyll, Scotland, a hawthorn, which is a species traditionally linked with fertility. The trunk and branches are covered with hundreds of coins which have been driven through the bark and into the wood. The local tradition is that a wish will be granted for each of the coins so treated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_tree#Coin_trees
I don’t see winter in Meteorological vs astronomical terms, I see it in how much snow we get.
Meteorological: This corresponds to the months of December, January and February in the Northern Hemisphere
Astronomical: The determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Also in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on the year, this corresponds to the period between 21 or 22 December and 19, 20 or 21 March.
And in 2013 we had over six feet of snow on the 22nd of March, which according to the above is spring. Where as in “winter” we had less snow, well a mere dusting.
But do head over to wiki and make your own mind up 🙂
The natural rotation of Earth around the sun forms the basis for the astronomical calendar, in which we define seasons with two solstices and two equinoxes
Well it is the season, so I will bore you with a few snaps now.
Autumn, also known as fall in North American English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September or March, when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools down considerably
Hiking up the Roman road out of town. Which takes you up to the moor with a view over town.
Roman roads were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.
The state of being alone, or a lonely and uninhabited place.
I need to find the correct quote. A French explore/sailor wrote a book, years ago, where one part he talked about being alone. He said that, he felt more alone on the Metro in the Paris rush hour. Compared to being on his boat alone in the middle of the ocean.
This I can totally relate to. The more remote I am, the more I feel at peace, relaxed and funny enough feel like I’m with my friends. Like here walking all alone, ok Peli is with me, on the Farewell Spit on the South Island of NZ.
Today’s Tip: Pay attention to the placement of your subject. As you frame your shot, consider the Rule of Thirds, which is a great introductory lesson in composition. Divide your shot into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you get nine parts. Place your subject at the intersections of these lines (or along them) to create a dynamic, off-center composition.
If you should find yourself lost on Isle of Lewis or want to. You can’t do wrong with staying at Corncrake Holiday Cottage. We spend a brilliant week there few months back. Beach, walks, chill, views and nearly totally of the beaten track and stunning sunsets.
Visited the Callanish Standing Stones on Isle of Lewis, fantastic spot. Amazing that they have been left to loiter about for so many years. Still makes me wonder why someone figured that this is a grand place to put some stone in a pattern and probably dance around them naked too. Back then it was not easy to sit around and enjoy the views as the island was covered in forest.
I totally forgot about this: We were sitting at the nearby cafe and overheard some Americans walking down from the stone circle.
Person A: So, what was your impression of the stones? Person B: Hmm, a bit like cilantro, take or leave it …
The Callanish Stones are an arrangement of standing stones placed in a cruciform pattern with a central stone circle. They were erected in the late Neolithic era, and were a focus for ritual activity during the Bronze Age.
This is our home away from home, our tent. Totally bliss and calm when out camping. This location is in the Neouvielle Lakes in the Pyrenees.
Taking part in Photography: Developing Your Eye I is a 10-day photo challenge for bloggers of all photography levels, from beginning photobloggers to pro photographers over on wordpress.org. This is Day One: “Home” — Get Oriented, e.g. learning your camera so that you feel at home with it.
That prompted me to post a photo of a place I feel very much at home, no matter where I’m pitched, my tent.
Prompt: When you think of home, what do you imagine? You might picture a house from your past, your favorite neighborhood hangout, or a city you miss. And while home is often found on a map, it can also be less tangible: a loved one, a state of mind, a forgotten time.
In ’09 we climbed up to 2400m and camped for a night where we enjoyed the sunset. Later that evening we enjoyed the stars and the milky way which was very clear. And pretty much bright enough walk around. Along with the clear sky I saw in ’90 when I was travelling around the islands of Greece it was the best star gazing I have done.
The Pyrenees mountain range separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe, stretching more than 430km between Spain and France and rising higher than 3,400m in elevation.
If you suffer from Pteridophobia, you can’t really do much in New Zealand as the country is literally covered in ferns of all kinds. If you are a suffer I’m sorry to tell you that the next few photographs on this blog will not be your cup of tea.
I have tried for three years to find Mangersta Bothy, aka Eagle’s Nest. The first two years I just went from memory and old maps, mainly no clue of where it would be other than in the Uig area or there about.
This year I found a blog post with a better description of where it would be. Looked on the map and narrowed it further down, and off we went.
I had led us in the right direction and just as I said to Peli I think it should be in this vicinity. She said – there it is! She had spotted the skylight window.
A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge