Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Heathered Walking

I've been back for more than a fortnight now but I can still see the walk through the leafy neighbourhoods of Chicago to the Peterson Garden Project Global Gardens more clearly than the way into Thurso or Wick. I need to reconcile the images of the Book Cliffs of Utah and the Golden Gate bridge with my own here and now.

That means walking myself back into this landscape and all that is associated with it. Timespan (https://timespan.org.uk/14230-2/) was promoting walks around a recently discovered crater site. OK not even up here could someone overlook a great whopping hole in the middle of everything. Geology has flirted with it for thousands and thousands of years, but if you look closely at the evidence and know what you are seeing (I was walking with geologists who spoke their own language), then it is there.
For those of us less geological, it was a walk through a heathered moor, a bit of northern woodland, and boulders and hills. No confusing this for Chicago or San Francisco or even the wide open spaces of the west.

And within this now familiar landscape, I picked up one of my ongoing projects: getting a truly representative photo of the stunning combination of heather-boulder-lichen-moss.
I have a ways to go yet to get a good photo, but for those of you who have never had the chance to walk among the heather, I pass this along as a hint of what it's like.
Thanks to John King, walk leader, and my new friends from Highland Geology Society, it was a great way to reconnect with my life on this side of the Atlantic.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Back in Caithness

You have to love Caithness both for what it does not have (there is a lot of that) and for what it does have. This was what I saw last night  as we ease into the season of the long dark:

low slung sun shortening the horizon so the sea in silvered blues appears to float above the hills
driving home like being in a gallery where the lights are dimmed and an ancient scroll of sun and sea and sky is stretched out for a rare and special viewing.