The magic of Light refraction

The Daily Post Challenge

  A tale of the Crystal Cave

a very short story

the crystal cave

 As the light reached the innermost part of the cavern it pierced the stalagmite shard and a single jubilant tone rang through the subterranean halls. The sound shivered through the souls of the waiting listeners.  Ixchel, the rainbow goddess was set free from her crystal prison and moved among them and into the world above. The ball game had been won by the hero twins and the gods of Xibalba were again defeated. At each of the four corners of the earth, Ixchel’s four sons would forever hold up the sky vault over the people of the corn.*



For some reason this photo reminded me of my journey along  La Ruta Puuc (of the Maya), from Sayil to the Lol Tun caves, when I traveled through  the Yucatan two years ago. Sacred to the ancient Maya as portals to the underworld- and as journeys of the soul, the beautiful Cenotes and Caverns had captured my imagination years ago, along with the mysterious Mayans themselves.

I used a tile blur and a lens filter on this crystal rock.  We don’t have much sun these days so I was grateful when an errant beam slipped through the window before the rain gods arrived.

 *My story background:

Xibalba: the underworld or place of fear

In the beginning of time the hero twins Hunapu and Xbalanque challenged the dark gods to a ball game. The ball game then became part of the sacred ritual of life and death as is evident by the many ball courts and depictions of the game found on all the archaeological sites.

In Mayan myth the first humans were created from corn.

Some of their wonderful mythology can be found in a few surviving codices called the Popol Vu.

Here is a previous post on    My mayan travels 

If you ever travel to the Yucutan, Chiapas and Central America  remember Dzitnup Cenote, Lol Tun Caves, Balankanche Caves, The Wizard’s Temple,  among other beautiful sites  including those in Guatemala.

Cee’s Shadows And Reflections

More black and white challenge from Cee Neuner’s Shadows and Reflections

Thank you for the inspiration Cee!!

after the rain- the shady road to Scone

after the rain- the shady road to Scone

(This one looks best viewed in full size on attachment page)

 Dear wordpress friends,

I’ve had an accident which fractured my rib so am a bit laid up and in pain!! There’s nothing to do but wait for healing!  I’m so grateful this happened after my trip and before Christmas!!  Now I have a good excuse to lie around for awhile and no excuse not to catch up with my writing.  The weather is as wet as ducks so photos may be sporadic!! And I have time to practice patience!  For a person with my emotional disposition this is like asking a hen not to peck!!  Just breathe!!

“The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions.”- The Dalai Lama

and try not to shout oh shite every few minutes!!

Samhain, sorcery and the visual alchemist at work

Hallow’s Eve is coming ( scary ghost sounds)!!  I am still trying to catch up with home, work, and WordPress and  I don’t yet have any spooky images at the ready ( who me!!- queen of Goth!) but do visit Ed Mooney and his wonderful Bram Stoker Posts.  I know others will post on the Halloween theme as well.  I saw Laura Macky‘s spooky house and Leanne Cole‘s full moon on the ever more wonderful Monochrome Madness!!

I’ve been resting beside the road less traveled this last while gathering my thoughts that have scattered like Niamh’s dreams.   I hope my friends haven’t forgotten my Tales of the Tuatha!! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus since another wonderful visit to Ireland and Scotland. Now I’m  back home dealing with the challenges of daily life and a distracted and mood disorderly  mind that can’t organize the bills at the moment.  Things will settle and the muse is stiring!!  I promise I will have something soon!! I’ve been working on a few things as I am able.

So please don’t abandon me yet dear readers.

(and thanks to those who asked when I’m going to publish the next chapter here!!)

 the last two chapters 29 & 30 of Tales of the Tuatha

Niamh tries to get my attention!

Niamh tries to get my attention!

From the

Lake of the will o the wisps

Lake of the will o the wisps

 somewhere close to Tir-na-nog

I am starting to make my own brushes for photoshop in order to do a few fantasy type art photos. It’s a process and I’m experimenting more with effects in this genre.

The Out of Fairylanders (and Monochrome Madness)

Does the poetry of sunlight and colour speak to you

shining web

or do you prefer the will o’ the wisps and fire fly torches  that emerge from the dark shadows.

(And my submission to Leanne Cole and Laura Macky‘s Monochrome Madness week 33)



The fairy glen of Rosemarkie

The fairy glen of Rosemarkie

fairy's glen mono


I don’t know how to do a poll but if you want to tell me in a comment the fairies and I would love to hear your opinion.   Thanks to Cardinal Guzman here is my poll!!

autumn arrives resplendent on the west coast

I’m home,  and after a period of mourning for lost green landscapes, old castles, cousins, Irish pubs, the highlands and wild moors (not necessarily in that order) I woke up once more to the beauty of my own allotment of the magical garden.

The  golden mist of autumn trundles in off the strait of Juan de Fuca, emptying  her swollen pockets of the spawning salmon,  great herons and weaving spiders, as she passes over  the waters of the cove and into the multi hued trees on the shore.

The days have still been mild and the nights cool but the rains and storms are coming!  Wellies and brollies stand ready at the door!! In the meantime I love to get lost in the bright morning mist.

Autumn Dreams

And here is a misty path in both colour and monochrome!  Which do you prefer?















 and I’ve entered this post into the Daily Post’s Weekly challenge Dreamy  on WordPress

and check out my previous posts for my journeys in Scotland and Ireland

What is beautiful to me – Cee Neuner’s Challenge

Cee Neuner’s Black and white challenge-

I have just returned from another visit to Bonny Scotland and Ireland, and family there .  Oh, the light!!! It is truly a photographer’s dream. Here are a few photos (I have a kazillion and more of these two beautiful countries)- but these are of the wonderful town of Old Edinburgh.

  What is beautiful to me:

 Edinburgh, my love

Edinburgh  my love monochrome

Scotland’s beautiful light

our bobby

the story of wee Bobby

I’m not sure if children in North America today read this true story (Greyfriar’s Bobby)  but he is known as “our Bobby” in Scotland.  He lived in Grefriars,  Edinburgh in the mid 1800’s and is an example of  poignant loyalty and devotion that surpasses understanding. He is  buried next to his owner, “Auld Jock” in the kirkyard.

edinburgh street

walking through the streets of Edinburgh (infrared


princes street gardens

Princes Street Gardens

Click on the journeys and travels tab on the top menu for more magical views of my Scotland and Ireland!

Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

(no photography allowed inside)

Along with the standing stones and stone circles that mark the Gaelic landscape in Scotland, another place of great mystery is Rosslyn Chapel. As anyone who has read “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” or “The DaVinci Code” knows, the chapel supposedly contains many secrets and treasures hidden by the Knights Templar (or their successors)  in secret passageways. The most precious of these was said to be the holy cup of the Last Supper.

The Gael


It isn’t too far from Edinburgh by the Midlothian city bus, and although I’ve visited before, my excitement still mounts when I see the signpost announcing Roslin village ahead and knowing that Rosslyn Chapel is nearby. Rosschurch

The church was built by William Sinclair, a son of the Earl of Orkney, in the 1400s.  The Sinclairs original name was St.Clair revealing the Norman connection to the family. William who was considered a ne’er do well by his father was never a Knight Templar. The knights had been dishonoured and disbanded by Pope Clement long before, in 1312. William’s grandfather Henry, “may” have been a member of the order and is thought to be buried in one of the crypts under the chapel.   A prior William Sinclair is also buried there. He was killed in a battle in Spain while attempting to bring the heart of Robert The Bruce to the Holy land for burial.

st catherine wheel

St.Catherine’s Wheel

The Chapel’s facade and interior are fantastically and ornately carved with strange symbols and sculptures that are said to contain secret meanings, maps and messages. One of these sculptures is of St. Catherine’s Wheel. St. Catherine was the patron saint of the Sinclairs but many believe the carving to be representative of the Rose of the Knights Templar.   According to one custodian of the chapel,  all these stories and conjectures always conclude with the phrase “it is almost certain” which really means that it is not certain at all.

Nevertheless the chapel has long been associated with both the ancient Templars and the Freemasons of today which has fueled the secret society theories.

The Knights Templar  themselves had a long, controversial and colourful history. Though they began in  spiritual idealism during the Crusades,  they amassed great wealth in the Holy Land, became known for their excesses,-to drink like a Templar was an adage of the day- and were eventually disgraced, and  accused of heresy and sorcery by the church.  Their order ended with the execution by burning of their leader and Grand Master, Jacques de Molay in Paris.  It is said he died defiant, condemning both the pope and the church!

To date no treasures or secret passageways have been found – and the Holy Grail remains a mystical ideal, but the chapel endures as a fascinating and mysterious place- and a most intriguing tale!!

Photography is not allowed inside the chapel but down in the lower sacristy leading to the crypt  a kind custodian turned his back to let me quickly snap one.

I am still feeling quite fatigued and disorganized and trying to catch up with notifications and emails.