“Nothing endures but change.”
This week Kristin has challenged us to illustrate Change. These past few weeks change has been my constant companion, but that not-withstanding I’ve decided to focus on something much more interesting – the incredible, ever-changing landscapes of Scotland. Despite its size Scotland delivers an amazing variety of scenery and climate. Having driven 1,200 miles from north to south and from east to west, we experienced change at every bend in the (frighteningly narrow!) road.
Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
I will admit I was stunned by the sheer beauty of the place. I expected great golf (which we certainly got) but had no idea that the landscape would be so glorious. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather, but one cannot visit Scotland without experiencing a bit of their famous wind and mist. Happily, we never saw the pounding downpours for which they are famous, but the moody mists appeared often when least expected. (I swear I thought I might see Heathclif appear around the next corner more than once!) Happily, for the most part they were gone as quickly as they’d arrived.
“He who lives must be prepared for changes.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The landscapes of Scotland are enhanced by their proximity most everywhere to water. The sea, the lochs, the firths, the waterfalls – it’s water, water everywhere. But the surprise for me came with the hills and mountains. Who knew there was actually skiing in Scotland??! Of course we did know there would be hundreds of castles – in all shapes, sizes and states of repair – but their positions on the water or high on a bluff made them even more interesting than they might otherwise have been.
“Change is the end result of all true learning.”
I promise there will be many more castles to come in future posts 😀. For now though, a look at an adorable creature seen often in Scotland’s landscape – the Highland Cow. How on earth does he see through that hair-do?? I’ll save my many landscapes filled with sheep, dairy cattle and goats for future posts as well.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
Interestingly, while in Scotland I was reading Dead Wake, Eric Larson’s book about the sinking of the Lusitania. Much of the story is focused on submarines prowling in and around Scotland’s rocky shores. Not surprisingly we saw quite a few beautiful lighthouses guarding her shores from predators as well as protecting her seafaring communities from disaster.
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Seen below, an example of why they are so important:
“Change is the law of life.”
John F. Kennedy
It’s hard to believe the seas can be so treacherous as you observe some of the sleepy little villages that also dot the landscape.
“Change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.”
Another surprise for me was plethora of flowers. Of course there was the famous heather, which is quite beautiful and grows everywhere. But there were also fields and fields of wildflowers as well as beautiful blossoms growing along the sides of the roads. I suppose Scotland’s challenging weather means that only the strongest (and most vibrant) survive.
“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
I will close with two photos that to me illustrate the diversity of Scotland’s landscapes. The first is a capture of one of the beautiful waterfalls which can be seen everywhere. This particular scene lined a hike we took at Fairy Pools – a series of waterfalls of varying velocity that ran for miles (a future post for sure).
“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others. ”
Jacob M. Braude
The second is a view of one of the hills that surrounds Edinburgh, Scotland’s beautiful capital. We were fortunate to visit during the peak of their largest annual festival so the city was literally humming with life. Lots more on that as well as our Highland Games experience later.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
One of the challenges for a photographer in Scotland is the size of their roads. I can remember many times when the scenery was breathtaking but there was absolutely no way to pull over to capture a shot. Those moments remain vividly in my mind as eye-photos! The other challenge when traveling is the time of day when special scenes appear. Fortunately, Scotland’s light is quite beautiful at almost any hour; it is very rarely harsh, even at peak sunshine hours.
My thanks to Kristin for her (to me) very timely and interesting challenge. To see some of the changes others have highlighted, click here.