The Golden Gloaming

Lining the Brae at the back of the croft are ancient trees, mostly Sycamores, but with a scattering of Oaks. They stand like guardians casting cooling shade across the track. Rolling away from the trees are the fertile strips of land which have fed the villagers of Plockton for generations. Caught in the soft golden light of the gloaming, the trees and the crops seem to be illuminated from within, the whole landscape shimmering with soft light.

Photographers around the world delight in the soft light of the golden hour, just after sunrise, and just before sunset. However this far north they are the golden hours, with the sunlight barely leaving the sky before it rises again in the morning. This twilight, or gloaming, casts a surreal inner glow across the land, creating a long liminal space between day and night. Neither one nor the other, this is a time caught between the normal rules of light and dark. This is a time where nothing is hard and fast, and truth itself has soft edges.

Late into the evening, maybe around 11 O’Clock, these trees were still humming. I sat with my back against a trunk and gazed up into the golden branches, filled with invisible bees. I could almost feel the vibration of the collective hum reverberate deep with my chest. The air around seemed to shimmer with the voices of a million wings singing into the slowly fading light.

In this space where the real and the unreal twist and weave their threads together, anything is possible. Nothing feels surprising, because from this in between space creativity bubbles out. The inside can be found on the outside, and the outside slides in between the gaps. It can feel like taking a bath in golden inspiration with myth and fairy tale feeling as real as science and numbers. As above so below, sing the birds, as the sky falls into water, and the grass climbs into the air.

Golden buttercups turn to milk
Folding sunlight inwards
Closing the door of day.

Find more photos of the Golden Hour at this weeks Photo Challenge

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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50 Responses to The Golden Gloaming

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  4. kz says:

    these look beautiful… almost dreamy ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. ladyfi says:

    You turn nature into art! Just gorgeous.

  6. spiritual explorer says:

    I really love your “invisible bees”. Early this morning I was walking in a forest, near Susten, and the air was very warm and still. My attention was attracted to a tree by the noise the leaves were making. The leaves were rubbing against each other in a very gentle breeze that seemed only to affect this one tree. It was as if the leaves were the wings of millions of butterflies and the noise was the butterflies beating there wings together as they warmed in the morning sun. This reminded me of your bees. It made me think that beauty is not just what my eyes see but also what my heart feels.

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  8. frizztext says:

    I like your bath tube filled with sky and clouds!

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  10. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    A warm bath. The first photo looks almost like a tropical island, so hilarious and delightful. Your photo’s always change me a little. Have a good day dear Seonaid.

  11. Memory Catcher says:

    Beautiful photos!

  12. Life&Ink says:

    These are gorgeous images. Absolutely gorgeous. They look like paintings. Great work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. So I can look forward to daylight at 11 pm in August? Wow!
    As usual, you perceive the magic and describe it to us with your inspired words. You are a true nature poet….

    • Wow, what wonderful praise, thank you. I like the title nature poet, I might hang onto that ๐Ÿ™‚
      As for sunset in August I’m afraid by then the days have been shortening for at least 6 weeks, and we are halfway to the equinox in mid September, when day and night are the same length. So still a long evening but the gloaming light will last maybe until 9:30/10:00 ish……

      • That’s good enough for me!
        And I am not overly generous with my praise, BTW. I really do appreciate your writing, the depth of it, the beautiful metaphors, the sensuous flow of the words and always look forward to reading and enjoying your posts.

      • That’s so lovely to know….that reading it gives similar pleasure to the process of putting it together. You write beautifully yourself so I am especially honoured. Knowing that you look forward to my posts is great motivation ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Words and photos combine into something wonderful – again. I love the tub…

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  17. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I feel the same as Pairodox, you have more than your fair share of talent! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Fabulous again Seonaid – words and photos – love the bath, looks quite tempting ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. Ok … now you’ve done it … wonderful images AND wonderful WORDS (usually it’s the prose that really hit me). Let’s review (in no particular order of preference) … liminal, gloaming, brae, and croft. I have heard the first two but you’ll have to define the last two for me. That’s not to say that the feelings so inspired by this post didn’t inspire and strike their note – they did. I particularly liked the vivid description of the bees … we moved a couple of hives here on the farm this week and upset their inhabitants in doing so. They were not happy and their displeasure was reflected in the deep hum which permeated (and still permeates) the farm. Lovely photos … lovely post … thanks for the treat. D

    • Oh yeah … and the fact that it was still light at 11PM! Crazy. D

    • David what lavish praise, thank you. I’m so happy to hear that the images live up to the words ๐Ÿ™‚ they are beautiful Scottish words aren’t they?
      Brae is a gently rising slope, or a stretch of rising ground or hillside. In this case it’s the upper track of the village halfway up the hillside, running behind the houses and providing access to the fields. Croft is the type of farm in this area, made up of strips of fertile land, and traditionally it provides sustainable living for a family. It’s protected under Scottish law with all sorts of special rights and rules, as its the traditional way the land was used in the Western Highlands and Islands before the clearances. The National Trust tries to help keep it alive in places like Plockton.

  22. Amy says:

    This really is most time of the day! It’s so beautifully presented in your post ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Angie says:

    Seonaid, they’re all very beautiful! They’re like paintings, I wish I have the ability to take pictures like that. My special favorite is the one with the tub. Great gallery! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks so much Angie, it’s the light which makes them beautiful, so I’m sure you could have caught some similar shots. That tub always makes me smile……I have quite a few shots of it under different conditions and times of day and year ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Angie says:

        It’s my pleasure. I’ll have to learn more tricks and experiment with lights then. Looking forward to seeing some those shots too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. milaiski says:

    Oh golly. These are so lovely! I wish I had your eye for texture and skill for exposure. :))

  25. Jean Alaba says:

    Your photos are stunning! I need to see more, hence a new follower. Glad I stumbled upon your blog through the weekly photo challenge! Cheers

  26. Mona says:


  27. Tina Schell says:

    What a lovely post Seonaid! I especially like the first photo, and your commentary is just beautiful. You really brought your scenes to life!

  28. Still have Plockton on my list of places to visit. Lovely photos. MM ๐Ÿ“ท

    • Thanks Mick, its a beautiful place to photograph…..I sometimes feel I have my camera glued to my eye while I’m up visiting, as there’s so much inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

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