Two perspectives on Hebridean calm

We’re in the middle of a mini-spell of dry, sunny and calm weather – which makes a change from an autumn which has so far been marked by a surfeit of rain and persistent gales and otherwise high winds. This morning saw barely enough wind to make the grasses lean and a clear sky which, in combination, made the bay free even of ripples of movement and which lent the water a milky sheen, a suggestion of and almost an absence of colour. It was a return to the best days of high summer.

Here, looking north-east from the kitchen door steps, and echoing this site’s new header pic (although this was taken to catch the reflections of late afternoon sun) we have Eabhal and Ruebhal in the centre of the frame (and the Dark Island turbine) but what is taking centre stage is the sea, streaked blue and translucent in the shallows of a retreated, but just off a neap, tide (with water levels low but a high tide line) and with a texture starting to be shaped by a growing breath of wind. The turbine, pointing south, and a sole oystercatcher at the bottom of the photo provide the only movement.

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Some three and a half hours later than the noon at which this photo was taken, and a short bike ride mostly finished, I stopped at Loch Bi just at the Aird A’Mhachair side of the Ard na Monadh road, with the sun due to set less than 40 minutes later and offering photographers full golden hour mode. A little cloud cover offered both a way of catching the sun’s rays as well as a means of allowing me to point the camera at the sun, with a stronger wind providing ripples across the water of the loch – mostly freshwater but with a component of salt water provided by very narrow channels funnelling through from Loch Sgioport – and lending it the creased look of silver cigarette packet paper.

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After so much rain and wind, days like these – and there a couple more yet to come – provide essential points of recharge, both for nature and for ourselves, anchoring us into a sustaining reassurance of calm amidst the headlong tilt at the senses presented by the hammeringly persistent rain and wind.

4 thoughts on “Two perspectives on Hebridean calm

  1. what a stunning picture that second one is!! I really like the softness, almost blurred effect, of the clouds at the top and a perfectly level horizon!!

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  2. Thank you! I’m always pleased when I get a horizon line ramrod-straight (which doesn’t happen so often). Especially important when taking pictures around water!

    On the clouds at the top, I have to confess that I can’t explain the soft focus other than that it must be a degree of movement in the wind. The photo was taken at ISO250, so any sort of movement is likely to provide a degree of blur. But it does also highlight the stillness, and the calm, of the water.

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    1. Thank you! I got a bit lucky and was there just at the right time. Nearly missed it but just glanced up at the right time, slammed the anchors on and backed the bike up. Taken while still perched on it, too 😀

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