Rock Layers

There’s a place, along the South East Coast of Scotland, where the rocks have been folded in soft red layers. The folded rock has then been twisted and turned, until the layers lie at strange and unusual angles to the earth. Lying at the oceans edge these soft layers have then been washed and rubbed by countless tides, so that spaces have been scooped out of the solid rock. The results are visually stunning, so surprising that you can’t help stopping and staring, curious about what you’re seeing.

Some of the spaces are so large that you can climb inside the rocks and rest looking out across the ocean waves. Far away over the horizon lies Norway, and it’s snow frosted rocks, but here out of the wind it feels warm and safe. The pink sandstone has been eaten away by the wind and the waves, and all that’s left are curved smooth layers which seem to ripple under your touch.

Between the carved caves, unusual statues rise up into the sky, their faces searching the clouds for answers. Lying among the rippled layers are dragons and men from ages past. Preserved in the weathered sandstone they cast eternal eyes across the earth. In ages past men worshiped here, feeling the powerful forces which shaped the rocks, and which whispered secrets round the cave walls.

The sacred shapes are reflected in the still clear pools of salt water gathered at the rocks foot. The pools gathered gifts, offered with wishes to this powerful place. A salt water chalice, gathering dreams and hope, reflecting eternity back to us.

Just around the corner a secret cove lies hidden among the cliffs. The soft rocks have caves and tunnels hidden within their folds, and a secret path through the rocks themselves leads out and up towards the cliff top. Scattered beneath the layered rocks lie crumbled pieces, broken off long ago and polished by the rolling sea. You can sense the size of these cliffs by looking at the dogs exploring the pebble beach.

There is something magnificent and utterly grand about these cliffs, these deeply layered rocks, and their tunnels and caves. The scale leaves you feeling small, but the textures and shapes invite you in to explore. Hidden in small holes you’ll find rocks and shells, which roll eternally around the edges, making the holes a little larger with each passing tide. Hidden among the cracks you’ll find caves and dead ends with surprising scratches and angles, where sound bounces in strange shapes around you. It leaves the senses dazzled and stunned, this place of red layered rock. The whole process of shaping the earth is revealed here, among the timeless winds and waves, and their beautifully shaped stones.

See more layered posts here at the weekly 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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42 Responses to Rock Layers

  1. poppytump says:

    Looks a truly lovely area to explore and make connections with the past Seonaid .
    Those little cottages ! Imagining stormy nights ….

  2. Wonderful rock layers, Seonaid. i love the mention of a secret cove. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The interplay of water, wind, temperature, and shifts in the earth itself creates endlessly intriguing and unique shapes. The “soft” folds of the rock create their own mood and raise so many questions about how they came about…

  4. Jo Woolf says:

    Wow, these are stunning! I love finding rocks like these! The natural ‘carvings’ are amazing, and so is the colour.

  5. joshiphotoeye says:


  6. Tina Schell says:

    Good choice Seonaid, don’t you just love the wonders of geology?! I especially like your closing shot – beautiful!

    • Thanks Tina, I love geology, nearly read it at Uni, the way that unimaginable layers of time are held and shown to us ๐Ÿ™‚ They say it was born as a science here along Lothians coast!

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Much like some of our Devon sandstone, I’d feel quite at home there!

  8. pommepal says:

    They are stunning, nature in all it’s glory

  9. Enigmatic they are, in colour and formation. I especially like the one with reflections in the salt water pool. Your words and your photos always make me want to go there…you certainly live in a beautiful part of the world!

  10. Lynne Ayers says:

    Nothing beats Mother Nature.

  11. Your photos of your gorgeous country are spectacular. The fourth photo with the reflection is just beyond gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  12. restlessjo says:

    Beautiful images, Seonaid! I especially love the reflective one ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I love your housewarming card. Should have known you’d be a good artist too!

    • Thanks Jo, it was hard to capture that reflective shot. The tide was coming in quite fast and I didn’t want to get cut off, stranded out on the jagged rocks, but I couldn’t get quite as far back as I would have liked! Oh well, I’ll just need to go back another time ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Paula says:

    Unlike Amy I would not be scared of these magnificent rock formations. This is a breathtakingly beautiful sight. Loving your photos, Seonaid and your narrative ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Beautiful, beautiful scenery … as usual. It seems you are still pretty warm … but perhaps it is the buffering influence of the ocean. Again I say you live in a very haunting and lovely part of the world. And again … I say I envy you. D

    • Thank you David, I would have liked better light for this shoot, but you get what nature gives you ๐Ÿ™‚ it has been a mild autumn until today when the first proper frost was glittering on the lawn this morning. But daytime temps are still up around 8 or 9 degrees….fine as long as you have the right clothes on!

  15. Amy says:

    Its layers are very unusual, it’s kind of scary…
    Incredible photos and wonderful description.

    • The rock shapes are really stunning, it was hard to do them justice with the camera, and getting an idea of scale into the shots was difficult too. Some of the caves were really eerie and left me feeling a little disturbed, but it’s a beautiful place!

  16. Beautiful layers of the Earth itself. Such stories are hidden in these fragments of days gone by.

  17. What type of camera do you use ?!!

    U’re photos are as beautiful as the descriptiveness

    also the location



  18. colonialist says:

    Utterly stunning – and a lot surreal. The imagination can certainly run riot with those.

  19. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    What a lovely place and description. The stones seem so alive.

  20. Maria M says:

    Great images. I love the crinkled look of them, like elderly people with hundreds of exciting stories to tell, you have fed my imagination, and I’m supposed to be cranking out the nanowrimo challenge.

  21. marob23 says:

    Seonaid, some wonderful pictures of twisty rocks – I love it by the sea when you see these shapes , really makes you feel a connection to millions of years ago – if that makes any sense at all !
    I spent a couple of weeks in Devon this summer visiting my sister and walked along a section of the Jurassic coast ( A walk back in time ). ๐Ÿ™‚

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