ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Sunday, 15 June 2014

OLD THINGS. (15/06/14)

It’s a good day today, not stunning but better than middling. After our early wander and breakfast I decided to look at Bronze age remains. I loaded the rucksack with, tripod, filters, cable release and remembered the camera and a couple of lenses.

If I get out of bed the right side I love the west coast of Scotland. I have to wake up ready for anything. It has some of the worlds oldest rocks, Gneiss is three billion years old and the Torridon sandstones are a billion years old and they lie side by side for me to look at. America and Scotland were all joined up then so I am not sure whether we are using the Texas billion or the British billion. I’ll investigate the matter.

I investigated this.

_MG_2346   Not the sheep; the Dragons Tooth Wall.

_MG_2351   It wanders about in a random way for over a mile. It was built three thousand years ago by Bronze age Britons. That was before the Celts came from India. With their skirts and deep fried Mars Bars.

_MG_2348   The sheep, particularly the young ones are very attractive. Don’t tell the Welsh, they will be up here straight after Chapel with their fan belts and wellies.

On we strolled, the dogs have to be kept on a lead as they tend to run about and there are lots of ground nesting birds here. We passed a superb area of marsh and reeds but apart from a couple of Little Ringed Plover*** and a few Oystercatchers saw nothing but hundreds of tiny frogs. I tried my best to avoid them. I don’t think I stomped on any. Their numbers were of Biblical proportions but though the Bible is old the frogs have been around longer. Not these ones obviously, these were brand new.

_MG_2349 I looked back towards the truck and was only mildly disconcerted to see this cumulus developing an anvil head. I had my cagoule in the rucksack. I didn’t check but did smell it as I was packing.

_MG_2356   This pile of stones is what remains of a Bronze age Broch. I know there are better examples but not within walking distance of here. There is a good one on Lewis and a real cracker of a one just north of Altnaharra. There are two at Altnaharra but the other is worse than this.

_MG_2354   These were massive things forty feet tall and a twice as wide. I am told that this triangular lintel over the door is typical but it is the first one I’ve seen with a door. Bronze age people must have been very small. They must have been strong though. It’s a big lump of stone.

On the way home I followed the coast, I had only walked a mile or so and it was but a deviation of a couple of hundred yards to my right.

_MG_2368

_MG_2372      This is what I carried the gear for. This and because it has cost a fortune and it should be enjoyed and utilised. There is a photograph here but I have yet to find it. This is Torridon Sandstone.

_MG_2376     Almost home, only another twenty minutes and two down hills and two uphills to go.

I have thirty six images from today of birds, froglets and tiny plants. I’ll get sorting as it looks like rain now and it is virtually guaranteed for tomorrow.

Have a really good week.

*** I have some pictures of the Plover. It could well be a Buzzard.

29 comments:

  1. Adrian, I like how you always turn your walks into a 'ramble' (clever eh?)

    Lots of interesting information there. Looks like America made a rather decisive split when it decided to go it's own way?

    That's a mighty looking anvil cloud.

    Wouldn't you make the doors small if you had to put up a lintel like that?

    I reckon those Bronze Age chaps were going to make a pile of those stones but just couldn't agree on where to place the first ones!

    Looking forward to seeing the Plozzard pictures tomorrow!!...[;o)

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  2. That cumulus looks threatening very cool image too. Did it deposit anything nasty?

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    1. No Douglas it didn't go high enough. they go really thin an wispy on the leading edge when they are going to get anti-social.

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  3. Trevor, it's good here the two sweeties next door bicker a bit but Shaun can play a mean fiddle and Ricky is a poppet. He is the one knows about Bronze age stuff. Worth a post on their own are these two.
    I just look at what I saw that caused me to click and write around it.
    America buggered off big style but if you look at a map of the north and south Atlantic then take away the wet bit they do join together.
    It was a big cloud. Did you know the thin streaming out end points up wind....There's a post there all on it's own.
    Brochs used to be considered as fortifications but are now considered by the numpties that know as winter quarters for the bronze age hunter/gatherererers that had started cultivating land. The one at Altnaharra has grain stores inside the walls which are about fifteen feet thick. The walls that is not the bits they popped seeds in.
    Personally being vertically challenged and lazy I'd have made do with a more manageble bit of stone, this must be half a yard cube so at least half a ton.What could they have achieved with a JCB.
    I love sitting watching birds but I doubt I'll ever sort them out one from another.

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  4. Fascinating and informative post Adrian.
    Love the coastal shots.

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    1. Keith, were but half of it true. It is a wonderful place for a wander. but as the locals say it does get Drecht. It is more often than not drecht and now and again it gets normal. That is if a Gale full off sleet hasn't decided to pop along.

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  5. Would I be correct in saying, Adrian, that you can only get out of bed on one side?

    Does anyone else see an animal face with big ears in the cloud? It hit me instantly.

    The more West Coast photos the better. I really must have another holiday up the coast I can see daily (almost) from afar.

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    1. Graham according to truck bed situation you would be spot on.
      However if I sleep with my head to the nearside I get out left side first. If I sleep with my head to the offside then Visa versa. I think getting up on the right side is just a way of describing how one feels about the start to a day. It shouldn't be taken literally.
      I was just too frightened to look for faces.
      Come up to Durness for the Mackay Gathering. It is brilliant. It might rain or if it doesn't rain then it will have a sea fret....They call them Whores. Filthy wet things they are but it is only a bit of mist really, nothing to worry or be frightened about.

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    2. Very tempting invite Adrian but it's just before The Wedding and I have visitors arriving too.

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    3. Graham, I'll be working my way back down this coast early September. This bit is pretty level so easy walking and given the right weather it's an interesting place.

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    4. The animal face with big ears is a sheep

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    5. Frances, I still don't see it. At a pinch and squinting I can just about see a cats head.

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  6. Thanks for all that info, it was worth a pound, I am a bad spender. I love the stones, they are superb.

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    1. Bob, it must have been a hard life.

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  7. Can't quarrel with the oldness of most of these things. Looking forward to seeing the frogs if you post their pictures.

    The broch. How do we know it was forty feet high? And what does it mean 'twice as wide' when there's a circle there still - which isn't.

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    1. Lucy, the walls are six to ten feet thick on the ones you can see into. It may have been only sixty feet diameter. They measured all the fallen stones. Many will have been reused in other buildings and walls over the centuries.

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    2. Lucy, the words and music are

      HERE

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  8. When I see your photos it makes me realise how much I miss the sea. You lucky man!

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    1. Frances, It is wonderful on a day like today and Tuesday I should be in an even more spectacular place.
      I am lucky, it's a good job I have the dogs or I might get lonely.

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  9. If there is anything as old as those rocks around here, I'm not familiar with where they'd be. I had to look up cogoule. Is it a jacket with a hood? I like the sea views.
    I'm with GB concerning the cloud. I can see eyes with an enormous nose below them.

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    1. Norma, it's what you call a Slicker.
      It is a grand place. I've always had trouble seeing objects in clouds. I probably need more falling down water.

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  10. When I think how small the total population was in the Stone and Bronze Ages and what daily existence must have been like it seems incredible they spent so much time and effort shifting large lumps of rock about.

    Great shot of the anvil cloud along with some lovely scenery.

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    1. John, I too was wondering where they found the time. I guess they were coerced by priests like the medieval cathedral builders.
      There were at it for over a thousand years so I expect it all took several years.
      It is beautiful up here when the weather is good.

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  11. Wonderful post.. thoroughly enjoyed it. Fascinating region.

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  12. So beautiful you make me dreaming about this place and his colors... the grass, the water, the sky with this beautiful great claud it would be perfect to paint! really great Adrian, thanks for sharing with us

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    1. Laura, it would be a good place to paint. The beauty of being able to paint and draw is that you can ignore the ugly bits. I seem to spend my life trying to avoid getting static caravans and ugly motor homes in photographs.

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  13. That cloud is amazing, I must say I've been paying more attention to them recently particularly in wide angle.

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    1. Jay, it came to nothing. I was hoping for a bit of thunder and lightning.

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