The Loch around Linlithgow Palace was drenched in low golden light, and the shadows flowed like dark ink on the water. Bathing in the suns gold were impossibly graceful clusters of white feathers. Royal swans, as elegant as ballerinas, delicately accepted food at the waters edge. They dripped beauty from every quill, their heads on slender necks turning to gaze towards us.
Beneath the glittering surface, dark secrets drifted in the hidden currents. Ghosts and shadows past haunt this loch, where Royal Queens were birthed and betrayed. They tugged at the swans feet, pulling them back towards their tales, myths from a golden age still rippling in the water.
Were these elegant beauties descendants of the royal children, cursed by a jealousy ridden stepmother. Doomed to float into eternity on these cold windswept waters, winter after winter. They gather close, and there’s warmth and affection in their gestures, and in their haunted eyes. Too beautiful for this world they swim towards the light.
It’s so bright it blinds our eyes, and in the commotion of feathers they’re gone, through the veil and into the otherworld. In the stillness and space they leave the flows liquid gold.
We see a gateway, it’s form revealed by two trees and their shadows. Light pours through into this world, carrying stories as wild and beautiful as the swans. Tales filled with love and betrayal, and the beating of human hearts. If you listen softly you might catch its threads fluttering in the chill wind of the turning year. Here the beautiful Princess Mary Stewart was born, her mother looking out across these waters as she nursed her new born babe, centuries ago.
The dogs pull me back into the present with their hot breath and insistent noses. They have tales of their own to weave, running through the fallen leaves and the long shadows down towards the waters edge. Tales of today and the warm scent of soft animals. We turn and follow the leaf strewn path into the future, feeling it roll out under each footstep. The dogs lead us forwards with their wagging tails and boundless enthusiasm for life, and the past dissipates in soft receding echoes.
I know and love this special place; so many times I have watched the sun set behind the palace. Your pictures are lovely and great story! 🙂
Thank you, it’s such a special place, and the swans add their own magic. Aren’t we lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world 🙂
YOur pictures of the swans is absolutey beautiful, great shots! 😎
Thank you, lovely to hear you enjoyed looking as much as I enjoyed taking the shots 🙂
The golden light and those graceful white swans with their orange beaks are pure magic. I can see how you were drawn into their spell.
It was a very enchanting afternoon….and the swans are just so ethereal and so beautiful. I find my thoughts drawn away to otherworldly tales whenever I’m in their presence 🙂
This is such a beautiful post! I adore the swans all lined up, looking in the same direction. They almost look like they are waiting their turn for something… too cute. Your photography is just beautiful.
Thank you Caitlin, what a beautiful comment….the swans and the light were very cooperative that day 🙂
Love the magic and air of mystery created by your writing. I was spellbound. Those swans are so majestic and timeless, and certainly do “drip beauty from every quill.” I can see that your dogs aren’t really into quiet meditation. 🙂
I’ve started a new blog to replace my hammock lady one. Here’s the link: http://anotherday2paradise.wordpress.com/
Thanks so much for the link to your new blog….I was wondering why you had disappeared from my reader 🙂
You’re absolutely right about the dogs…..mindful enthusiasm is more their meditation style! Wonderful to hear that my post had you spellbound….job done 🙂
That golden light on the water is so serene
I was really entranced by the golden light, and looking at those photos today reminds me how cold it has got suddenly 🙂
It doesn’t look cold in the photos, quite the opposite, but of course you are now well into winter as we sweat it out over here
Stunning photos! We must go back to Linlithgow, it’s a magical place. I think on a day like that, with such a beautiful veil between day and night, it feels easy to slip back into the past!
Beautifully put Jo….and I have a tendency to slip back anyway….it’s the romantic in me 🙂
Yet another sojourn in a beautiful place. Thanks for taking us along. Sigh. D
My pleasure David.
You have woven your magic again with words and pictures. Those poor Children of Lir..I have always thought that story very beautiful but sad.
I love the idea of weaving magic with words, and the Tales of the Children of Lir has always fascinated me. There is something very otherworldly about swans 🙂
a week of rare late sunshine last week….warp up warm this week for the chill that is to come for us all!
It’s been such a lovely couple of weeks of golden warm light. Tonight the fire is lit, ready for the chill, tomorrow it’s not forecast to rise above 2 degrees all day….but still sunny 🙂
So much about this post to love. Certainly the photography (I love the last image … and the rest, too – ha!). The thought of a jealousy ridden stepmother and the dogs bringing you back to the present … perfect!
What a lovely comment, great to hear you enjoyed the photos. I love the way places pull me into their history, but thank heavens I have the dogs to pull me back to the here and now 🙂
Dazzling display, Seonaid! I’m trying to ignore my Reader and focus, but this was irresistible. 🙂
Ha ha, I’m so glad it was irresistible, sometimes it’s good to let the mind play a little before it has to concentrate and work for us 😉
specially 3rd and 4th
Thanks Josh, I think the third is my favourite…..something about the delicate look in their eyes, and all that golden light…..but I had a great shoot for all the photos at the loch in perfect autumn light 🙂
The fourth one is my husbands favorite….he liked the way the dark and light areas silhouette the birds differently!
aha…:) soo beautiful
Those backlit pictures are fabulous!
Thanks Fi, I love it when I can catch light like that….I’m drawn like a moth to it 🙂
Reblogged with love on http://www.momasteblog.wordpress.com
Thanks so much for loving this post enough to reblog it 🙂 I’m honoured!
Reblogged this on momaste and commented:
Breath Of Green Air is a blog that I absolutely LOVE! Seonaid is an amazing artist from the UK who takes photos that will transport you. I can’t recommend enough that you check out her blog. Her photos are so rich, and as an additional treat, she usually accompanies them with some sort of home grown fairy tale from her own vivid imagination. These posts are such a treat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! xoxo.
OH the colors! Stunning. I absolutely love when you post photos of your doggies. They look like such fun, furry friends.
Thank you, and they are fabulous…shame I cut Willows head off in this shot! They were having so much fun I couldn’t get them to all sit still long enough for a shot of them all !!
“Too beautiful, they swim towards the light” Your photos and prose are lovely and poetic, poignant. 🙂
That’s such a lovely comment, I was captivated and transported by the beauty of the light and these graceful creatures 🙂
What a lovely meditation on the white swan.
Thanks Suzanne, they were particularly beautiful in that golden autumn light 🙂
Lovely shots – how do the dogs and swans get on ? 🙂
Not too badly, given that the dogs keep a respectful distance. They seem to know who would come out on top if push came to shove, so don’t even go after the bread 🙂
You have captured the spirit of autumn in your photos, Seonaid. I absolutely love that golden light, and the curiosity (or hunger) of the swans. Lovely post. Will you pet the dogs for me? 🙂
I’ve just given them all a stroke 🙂 like you I love the golden light of this time of year, along with the long shadows.
No wonder swans inspired masterpieces like ‘Swan Lake’ and the numerous lovely fairy tales. They are other-worldly creatures.
Lovely pictures, as usual, with words wonderfully woven
It’s amazing how something as beautiful and graceful as a swan can somehow pull us into another world. And don’t you just love that your pups brought you back?
I do, and I love my pups…..they are the masters of mindfulness, of living fully in the moment 🙂
Playfully mindful, they are too!
Thank you 🙂
Fantastic photos and inspiring writings. (p.s. This Canadian hopes to revisit Scotland. Travelling there 5 years ago, inspired my humble collection of poems, ‘Alba Songs’ (posted at http://5wise.wordpress.com). Thank you for bringing Scotland closer! 🙂
My pleasure, and a what a delight to hear you enjoyed the photos and the words 🙂 Your poems are lovely, inspired by beautiful Scotland.
Looks like ‘my’ willow tree at the beginning there! 😀
It is I think…so funny we posted pictures from the same spot at the same time 🙂
Indeed. A wee bit bizarre! 😀
Ha ha! That’s because great minds think alike 😉 Beautiful images and words Seonaid!