My entry for Leanne Cole and Laura Macky’s Monochrome Madness 31
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness
and as Hallow’s Eve will be coming soon!!
The church yard at St. Kevin’s Monastery in Wicklow
PS: I’m home at last and happily tired!! I checked posts sporadically while gone but will try to catch up with all wordpress friends over the next couple of days!!
The Land of the Standing Stones by Paul Anderson ( thank you Vicki)
The Stones of Macrie Moor
In the heart of the beautiful island of Arran, with purple heather blooming on the hillside and sheep grazing by an abandoned cottage, there is a moor where a collection of neolithic stone circles lie- five in all, including one at the entrance poetically named Fingal’s Cauldron. The only way to get to them is to walk through the fields which can take about 40 minutes or so.
Scotland is full of these Callanish stones which predate the pyramids of Egypt. Their meaning and origin is surrounded in mystery along with their builders. I visited the ones on the Orkneys last year and could not help but be drawn into their powerful energy.
The late, brilliant science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, wrote a novel, “Rendezvous with Rama” about scientific explorers who discover an ancient unmanned space ship sailing past our solar system to an unknown destination. Inside they find a living biosphere in strange triple patterns. The vanished alien builders, along with their purpose and quest remain a mystery and as the craft heads out into deep space the scientists must abandon their investigation. Clarke ended the story with the main character back on earth and waking up in the night, forever wondering why the Ramans did everything in threes.
These stones give you the same sense of mystery, awe and wonder. What is the significance of five circles? Of course, the main theory concerning the placements of the circles is that it is related to the solstices and seasons which would have been spiritually significant to the early farmers of that era.
Please note the little bird on the right hand stone in the first photo. He is also on the stone in the last photo. He and I had the moor to ourselves alone and he flew from stone to stone as I paid my respects to the old, silent ones. Here is my poor bit of poetic meandering.
an ancient guardian reborn
Priest and bard
he flies from stone to stone in reverent song
And here is a photo from the old Birnam Oak Grove in Dunkeld. These are the oldest trees in Scotland dating back possibly 800 years and to MacBeth! (Infrared)
Rendezvous with Rama can be found on Amazon and Goodreads for all you science fiction/fantasy buffs and is a worthy read.
Killarney and County Kerry are beyond beautiful!! An area of high mountain peaks, glass lakes, a huge national park, dramatic coast and rolling hills it truly is like stumbling upon a magical Oz.
When I return home I will organize my photos but for now I was very taken with the wonderful and historic place of Muckross Abbey and house. It is a major ecclesiastic site founded by the Franciscans in the 1400’s. Muckross house is a huge estate of woodland waterfalls (the Torc) and lovely gardens. The house was built by a Scottish architect and privately owned by one family. It was later donated to the Irish nation and is now part of the National Park.
inside the Abbey
grounds at sunset
And my contribution to Leanne Cole and Laura Macky’s Monochrome Madness
The abbey courtyard hallway
This is my vision of the true Scotland, the misty mountain, moor and glen of the Highlands. These were taken from the summit of the Ben Nevis range near Fort William, loved by hikers, mountain bikers and skiers, to the beautiful glens of Glencoe known for the infamous event where the Macdonalds invited the Campbell’s for supper and the Campbells repaid by murdering their hosts as they slept, including women and children (truncated version). So life imitated art -reminiscent of the play about MacBeth’s ambitious treachery written in the 1600s!!
There is still a pub somewhere in the vicinity whose sign reads “Campbell’s are not welcome” over 350 years later!
At the moment the Scottish referendum is a resounding YES amongst highlanders and we shall soon see the historic outcome and ramifications. I am wishing the best for them on all fronts.
I also visited the beautiful island of Arran on the Firth of Clyde where Robert the Bruce is said to have encountered the spider (Try, try and try again) while hiding in one of the sea caves. It inspired him onward in his fight. Also the beautiful Macrie Moor with the standing stones and Fingal’s cauldron is there.
Castles and churches will follow in another post! Travelling can be tiring and am not always able to get on line! I hope you enjoy my Scotland!
summit in Ben Nevis, Loch Linnhe in the distance- What a feeling!!
Sunset on Arran Isle at Blackwaterfoot, Kinloch
Fairy glen at Rosemarkie
My token Scot, Hamish
cattle of the highlands
Standing stones on Macrie Moor
Morning on Arran Island
This will be my contribution to Leanne’s Monochrome Madness
And we’re off – first stop Scotland
The land of golf, haggis, and men in kilts
some of my favourite Scots
and the late, great Robin Williams on Golf
(some profanity of course)
Our favourite road sign in Dublin
and some lovely Irishmen
and our favourite bus driver Stephen