Tried a little astrophotography on Sunday past with my almost ten year old Nikon. A bit noisy but pretty happy with them for a first attempt.
Something I’ve wanted to try for years but lacked the dedication. A clear night was predicted so fired up the 125 and zipped off into the darkness for an attempt at catching the Milky Way. Struggled to get the phone app to get going but we got there in the end, fired off a few shots and back on the old scoot for home. By the time I got back I had what polar explorers of the nineteenth century called “mild frostbite of the fingers” thankfully they thawed out after an hour or two.
Sitting not too far from the foot of Dunsinane Hill is this little circle of stones. Being that Macbeth’s fort once topped said hill, this little circle conjures up spooky images of fantastical beings with a canny knack for predictions.
There’s actually two circles in this area, one to the west and one to the east. Above is the eastern stone with King’s Seat behind, hidden behind the trees to the left is Dunsinane Hill and here’s a little link to an impressive view of the one time fort LINK
The western circle appears to be the more complete of the two, although it was overgrown and a bit swampy in parts. Who knows what lies beneath.
If time has been kind then there can sometimes be markings on the stones, the only markings I could see on any of the stones was what appeared to be a lion.
“Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care. Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.”Witch three
Maybe there’s more carvings beneath the earth, protected from a near thousand years of wind and rain. Or maybe it was just someone wasting some time with a little carving.
Speaking of carvings there’s a little tale that the real Stone of Destiny was buried at Dunsinane Hill and at some point in the 19th century it was discovered and sent off to be given the once over. It vanished.
Another dry day so fired up the little scooter for the biggest test yet a 150 mile round trip into the remote highlands. The original plan to snap some shots around Loch Tay but ended up going the opposite side of Ben Lawers which looks down on the loch.
It was getting to the stage where I was getting closer to the west coast than the east coast of Scotland so I ditched the Milano in a little parking area at Bridge of Balgie and had a little stomp around on foot. This fine fellow of a horse came down to say hello and give himself a good scratch in a fencepost. As soon as I snapped him I knew it was going to be a black and white edit. It’s came out pretty good.
Should say that Glen Lyon where these were taken is actually the longest enclosed glen in Scotland stretching out at 34 miles. Sir Walter Scott described as “…longest, loneliest and loveliest glen in Scotland.” Some excellent scenery, I should really mount the GoPro on the scoot for some video footage of the Scottish hills and mountains rising up on either side.
Here’s a couple more images to go with the previous post. The above Celtic cross I wouldn’t have spotted had another visitor not pointed it out, a decent sized carving at least 8 foot in height maybe more. I’m going from memory so it might be more or it might be less.
The mystical well a perfect circle carved by who knows?
The den floor the rock facing us has the well on top, the stairs in the last post are to the left just behind the criss crossing trees. I think in winter time it might be a more impressive bit of water flowing past.
The top down view of the ancient steps. Makes you think who has walked them before you and touched the walls with blood stained hands after a sacrifice . . . maybe.
Last week someone on a local Facebook photography page had mentioned this hidden gem of a place in darkest Fife, Scotland. The wee scooter has enough juice to get me to St Andrews and a wee top up when I get there because I’m sure I’m going to get lost looking for this place.
I have to stop a couple of times to check the offline maps but eventually I fire past the sign that says Dunino 2 miles and soon a little sign for Dunino church. There’s nothing for miles and it always surprises me how these places of worship keep on going, although this one is reputedly built on a stone circle so perhaps it’s getting a helping hand from somewhere.
A two minute walk past the church into the woods and you walk right down to this pulpit. A carved footstep and the well full of water greet you. I had a poke around in the pool and it feels like there’s a square stone in the middle, although it could be anything.
The steps carved in pre-Christian times take you down into the den, a wee burn(stream) cuts through the floor past the pulpit.
On the floor of the den little ribbons, dreamcatchers and offerings are tied to branches watched over by the fairies and other mystical creatures said to inhabit the area.
In my research before leaving I knew there was a few carvings around the area including a face which I couldn’t find. The Celtic love knot I found by accident and then when turning to my left after taking this photo I find the face looking right at me.
A bearded fellow keeps an eye on the den and looks like he might be a bit of a scrapper judging by the nose. It seems common to leave a coin or two jammed in the rocks, I told myself before leaving “Remember to take coins” as it’s the 21st century I rarely have any kind of cash on me and when I get there I realised that I had chosen to ignore myself and not take any coinage. As there was no Google pay available I’m probably now cursed.
I’ve still a few photos to edit so I may do a part 2 in the next couple of days.
Today I ventured north to the edges of the Cairngorms National Park for the first time in more than a decade. Glen Doll sits not too far from Kirriemuir birthplace of the Lost Boys. . . from Peter Pan that is, not the vampires on motorcycles stalking Santa Carla. A couple of Munros lie in wait for anyone wishing a little Munro bagging. I did them years ago so no need to do them again haha! The above shot was taken coming back out of the Glen, looks amazing doesn’t it? You can picture a drifter from a higher plain trotting out from the woods.
A view of the mighty Driesh. Waking up to a warm Italian sunshine everyday would be a dream but after a while I think I’d start to long for some Scottish scenery. Imagine looking out your window to see this every morning. Green and vibrant in summer but a dark foreboding and unforgiving place in the winter months.
Above the mighty pocket rocket the Lexmoto Milano 125CC, taken on another adventure not as epic as today’s but always good to have a little blast through the country on it. It’s as close to Italy as I can get . . . for now.