Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place

“The place cast a spell on me, a lovely spell that seduced me one breath at a time.”

Brenda Sutton Rose

golden fields, green trees, dark sky


Last week Amy challenged us to share images of the countryside and/or a small town. This week we’re asking you to look a bit farther afield. Each of us at some point has visited a place that holds special memories. It may have been a small town, a big city, or even better, an entire country.  We’d like you to capture the spirit of a place that is vivid in your memory. What was it that drew you in and why did it capture YOUR heart?

small scottish town, rough sea


“There are places which exist in this world beyond the reach of imagination.”

Daniel J. Rick

My husband and I have been fortunate to experience some truly iconic places, most of which have appeared here on Travels and Trifles over the years. Among many others, we’ve been amazed by our safaris in Africa (always number one), Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, China’s Great Wall, the US National Parks, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and most recently, Old City Jerusalem. This week I’ve chosen to feature our visit to the small but enchanting country of Scotland.



“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”


Scotland is made up of some 30,000 square miles (79,000km) and has a population of just over 5 million. (By comparison New York City measures about 300 square miles and its population is over 8 million.)  It includes 790 islands, 130 of them occupied, and is home to over 300 castles. Perhaps Scotland can best be understood by a single fact – their national animal is a unicorn 🙂 gotta love that!

Scotland vista


home on Scottish loch


“This place is special to me and I just wanted to share it with you.”

Anthony T. Hincks

I remember many things about Scotland, including the food (loved Cullen Skink, couldn’t make myself try haggis), the roads (1200 miles on narrow, winding, often one-way roads with a manual shift), the golf (my second-ever eagle), the people (warm, friendly and helpful), the castles, and of course the glorious vistas. Most memorable for me though was the incredible, ever-changing, other-worldly light. You cannot capture it with a lens, nor can you describe it in words. It was simply the most beautiful I’ve ever seen with an ethereal quality all its own.


Bridge over water between farmlands in Scotland


Let your heart hear the music – be moved by images, people and places… for that makes you more alive.”

Val Uchendu

In Scotland, if you don’t like the weather just wait a moment. Bright sun, dense fog, hard rain, dramatic storms – oftentimes within the space of an hour or two. The elements made for spectacular skies and yes, amazing light. 



“There are some places that simply demand that a story be told of them.”

Mark Valentine

I couldn’t close without featuring some of the unique creatures dotting the Scottish landscapes. They were completely unfamiliar to me and having seen them I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Scotland really DOES have unicorns!



two-colored sheep




“Visualize a place that you really love, be there, see the details. Now write about it.”

Natalie Goldberg

Hopefully you’ve hung in there with me up to this point and are thinking about some wonderful memories of your own. As always Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy and I are hoping you’ll join us this week to share your own special places. Remember to tag your response Lens-Artists and to link it to my original post, rather than the reader version, to make sure we can all find you. 

Last week Amy asked us to share some thoughts and images from the countryside and/or small town life. We hope you enjoyed the responses as much as we did. The feelings of fresh air along with peace and quiet came through loud and clear! 


Pam at I Choose This gave us a tour of the countrysides in some far corners of the world

Svetlana of Svetlana’s Photography visits the unique countryside lives of the Amish

Henry of Fotoeins Fotografie shares his images of life in the small towns of Austria


New to Lens-Artists? Click here to learn how to join us.










265 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place

  1. Pingback: Lens Artist Challenge #65, Pick Your Place: Stompwijk – The Apples in My Orchard

  2. Wonderful post and images, Tina! I love your shots of the stunning landscape and unique creatures with horns (almost unicorns). This place is on my to-visit list, for sure! Thanks for the travel inspiration.

  3. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #65: Pick a Place – P.A. Moed

  4. I love the animals!! The heavenly view is pretty sweet too. I have only been to Aberdeen for work, I need to get over there some day. Also, thanks for the shout out….I truly appreciate it and you!

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  7. Scotland is one of my favorite countries. I love the landscape and the tranquility, especially the Northwest blowed my head away 😊
    The next time you have to try haggis… . My host in Drumbeg made this exquisite food for me. It’s delicious.

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  11. I think you got Scotland to a T, the light, space, weather, the people. Have you been to Glasgow? Glaswegians take friendliness to a different level and the banter is contagious. Lovely shots that remind me not to take this country for granted 🙂

    • We did indeed and truly loved it. Typically when we travel we have an agent work with us to make sure we cover the important places but we designed our own journey to Scotland and it was exquisite. We saw places an agent would definitely have missed!

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  16. I adore Scotland and I love your photos – I remember visiting Dunnottar Castle and the iconic “Highland coo” is wonderful. That last photo – that is one very FAT sheep (what has it been eating??)!

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  18. Beautiful pictures as usual Tina. I love the moody skies and the huge landscapes. Scotland is on our wish list, we have ancestral links and they keep calling.

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  20. Just managed to finish last week’s challenge! Think I’ll get this one started right now!!! Love your shots – the only country to visit on my “bucket list” is my father’s father’s homeland, Scotland.

  21. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge: Pick a Place | scillagrace

  22. Love, love, love Scotland! Your pictures make me want to get on a plane right now and go back. The Scots are such wonderful people and I love their sense of humor. Your animal photos are great. The Highland Cow is my favorite.

      • Tina, One of the places we stayed had a fenced in pasture with two Highland Cows. One came over to the fence to beg for food while I was standing there taking his picture. There was a pallet of vegetables on the ground and he ate out of my hand but when I scratched his head he gently nudged me with one of his horns to let me know he didn’t like it!

  23. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place | RyanPhotography

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