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

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  3. Beautifully spoken & portrayed as always!!!! Just love this countryside….have not been yet but hope to…visiting through your lens has been spectacular!! Thank u for all of the journeys!! Can’t wait for the next!!

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  5. How in the world do you get the most perfect quotes! They really called out to me this week – pen a story pronto! May I also add the photographs of the animals were outstanding. They looked so cuddly and I haven’t seen cows like that in my country. Scotland is back on the travel list 😊

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  18. Beautiful pictures of Scotland! Europe is on my bucket list, but it is south of here. The closest we will get is London, at least next year. Your photos are telling me that I shouldn’t tarry and consider this historic and folkloric country.

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  23. Tina those photos were amazing!! I love how you make all your trips seem like the best. Scotland is amazing! You catch the best with your ‘eye’.

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  25. Scotland truly is magnificent and I have only seen a very small part of it over the years. The mountains, the lochs, the light and the gardens are wonderful and you have captured many of its charms here Tina. We did contemplate moving there, but decided that the cold in the winter would be too much for our aging bones.

  26. Baa Baa brown sheep…beautifully hilarious ‘Pick a Place’ polka dotted ‘ just right in the space’ and I wanted to see more, just a little more to stay on the page and feel the grace, the sacred attraction of the animal race- a Grandmas Lace ,falling on the eyes ‘what long hair you have?O Yes the Lord blessed me so that My dear devoted follower could put me in the frame and present my face’ without any disturbing trace..And I am happy for more than a hundred including me The Star, will say..O What a wonderful wonderful Pick of a Place’-love and prayers Tina Ji You are gifted and blessed , the way you make your viewers and readers ‘Happy’

  27. I spent four and a half years living in Scotland as a student mostly so it is a place close to my heart too – in those days though it was print photos and at best 35mm slides!! I have many fond memories which your photos reminded me of. And you should have tried Haggis it is lovely especially when served with neeps (turnips), we would eat it on Burns night A day the Scots celebrate their famous poet Robert Burns). Next time!

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