Mountains, Clouds and Lochs

Loch Garry cloud burst Scotland.JPG
We packed up and headed North again on Monday. Those of you who have been following for a while will know that we are heading to the West coast village of Plockton, but the route there is stunning, no matter how many times I drive it. Each season brings something new, and the clouds and sun are never the same twice, giving us a magical show played out across the mountains. Once we’re over the Cairngorms the scenery opens up into a wonderful display of lochs, glens and mountains, and I thought I would share a few of the views we passed in soft evening light. The first one is taken looking up Loch Garry, not far past the commando memorial.

Loch Loyne sunburst Scotland.JPG
This beautiful sunburst is taken just round the corner, looking back up Loch Loyne. It’s a fresh water loch which always seems to have some stunning lighting and cloud effects over the mountain layers falling away behind it, but on Monday it was breathtaking. The atmosphere of clouds, mist and shimmering water weaves the air of mystery and awe which is so abundant on Scotland’s West coast.

IMG_Loch Clunie Scotland clouds and mountains.JPG
Not far round the next corner the sun was piercing the clouds above Loch Clunie, to give us this beautiful light show over the water. The rays of light bursting through the clouds gives such a beautiful sight that you can’t help sighing with pleasure all along the edge of this man made reservoir.

IMG_Glen Shiel Scotland clouds and mountains.JPG
Then we head into the beautiful and atmospheric Glen Shiel where the ghosts of countless warriors lie just beneath the heather and peat. It’s a beautiful peaceful Glen on a warm summers day, but when the clouds gather and light drops the spirits come out to play.

Loch Alsh Scotland evening light and clouds.JPG
It’s not far now as we pass along the mainland side of Loch Alsh, looking out over the water towards the mountains of Skye. The clouds begin to split and patches of blue sky appear. The sun lays a trail of sparkling stars in her late light, and the soft green hills welcome us back. Another beautiful drive, which can only remind me over and over that no moment, no sight is ever repeated. All we can do is to drink in life as it unfolds around us, giving us moments where it seems as though the divine might just have opened the clouds and touched the earth. But if we don’t stay awake we might miss the whole beautiful show.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like 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 run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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71 Responses to Mountains, Clouds and Lochs

  1. The nature beauty of Scotland has never stopped me to be amazed. You capture it beautifully in your writing and photos. I wish to visit Scotland again someday! I am sure I will 🙂

  2. Su Leslie says:

    These are beautiful shots, and remind me how much like Scotland the South Island of NZ is. No wonder so many Scots settled here! I hope you had a wonderful time away. 🙂

  3. Wow, I abosolutely love these photos, Seonaid. I wish I could climb into my screen and pop out on your side! Have a magical weekend.

    • The soft evening light spilling through the clouds gave us some beautiful effects Marion. This journey always lifts away the small worries of life and opens me back into nature and her wild splendour…. Happy to have you along any time 🙂

  4. One of the most beautiful places on Earth, and you have captured it so perfectly – both in images and words. I feel so peaceful! We didn’t manage to get up north this summer but these pictures are making me yearn for a journey before the snow sets in.

    • It was so pretty in this late summer light Kellie, and the roads were quiet making for a relaxing drive. We’ve been so greedy with the highlands this year….our fourth trip 🙂
      You have some wonderful travelling adventures ahead of you this autumn…can’t wait to hear about it and see your photos 🙂

  5. poppytump says:

    Ahh … have not been around very much the past couple of weeks, when I see posts like this I know what I’ve missed 🙂
    Absolutely dreamy Seonaid .

    • Dreamy is a great description of this space filled with mountains, sparkling water and layers of history waiting to be noticed 🙂 lovely to see you back….I’ve not been around the blogosphere much myself……life was pulling urgently at my sleeve!

  6. ladyfi says:

    Wow wow wow – stunning!

  7. Colline says:

    Love the photos you have shared with us.

  8. Rachael Charmley says:

    A lovely reminder of why I love Scotland so much. Thank you.x

  9. Suzanne says:

    Wonderful photos of a truly beautiful part of the world.

  10. yes the divine definitely came to earth in your words and pics – what a wonderful tour you are having

    • Thanks Laura, it really did feel like a treat spilt from heaven onto earth. We’ve had a wonderful trip and I’m only now catching up on comments and others blogs…..not to mention the backlog of unprocessed photos on my hard drive 🙂

  11. Beautiful place and photographs….:)

  12. Lucid Gypsy says:

    There’s a small section of a drive I do about once a month and when I reach the crest of the hill every time I’m mesmerised and last time I just cried with joy. Your drive would be the same (on a larger scale) it’s just beautiful Seonhaid.

    • Isn’t nature wonderful the way she keeps making what is already beautiful breath taking lay magical. There is something special about places we know well, and seeing them in new light or weather is even better than that first time we see something fresh…..for me at least 🙂 I’m slowly trying to catch up with posts after a glorious break away!

  13. gwynnrogers says:

    You live in such a spectacular country and area. I so truly hope you sell your photography, or make it into cards to sell. Your photos are stunning!

    • Gwynn, you always leave me such generous comments, thank you! Nature has surpassed herself here, and this time the drive was just so pretty…..it made me smile punctuated with little squeals of pleasure 🙂
      I don’t try to sell my photos at the moment, but I do make them into gifts for family and friends…..I did a calendar last year, and I’m making a few prints for my mum to take across to her brother in Canada in a few weeks!

  14. Aah, the light, the sky, the horizon – simply beautiful!

  15. Nikki says:

    Beautiful! Kudos to the driver that stopped along the way so you could shoot 🙂

  16. Lynne Ayers says:

    I’m going to have to get out my map and see if i can follow this. We are starting to look at the atlas towards our future trip driving trip …

    • This road is so beautiful that I would recommend it no matter the time of year 🙂
      All these shots are taken north of Spean Bridge, so you can join this road either from the east coming off the A9 at Dalwhinnie, driving right through the Cairngorms to reach it……or from the west coming up through Fort William all along the crinkled west coast of Southern Scotland…..both routes are beautiful, and then you reach this!

  17. icelandpenny says:

    All stunning, for me especially the first few, with molten silver running through the black countryside

    • Molten silver is the perfect description of the shimmering water…..with the colours of day faded into the shadows the light effects are so magical….just a hint of purple, pink and blue Penny 🙂

  18. zark66 says:

    Great, great!!!! 😉

  19. Leya says:

    Stay awake…yes – or we might miss the whole show. This is a fact that can not be said more clearly. Stunning shots and a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. I could go there again any day if I had the opportunity…You live in a dream landscape!

    • Well you will just need to come back….make plans…the spare room is half to being redecorated 🙂 Just a new carpet and bed needed now!

      • Leya says:

        I will be back…next August! I’m going to find out when the tattoo is and I might ask you for help on how to get tickets. And there’s always the hostel we stayed at – no worries! My biggest concern – and wish – is the possibility of walking on the beach some hours with you and your lovely companions (the dogs!)

      • No worries, the dog walk can be arranged for sure…..and for tattoo tickets I would book ASAP……I can probably get them for you, just email me dates 🙂

      • Leya says:

        You are the best !- thank you for the info too. I’ll mail you when I’ve checked everything out. A walk with you is worth the whole trip…didn’t get much time for that on the last visit! If it’s OK I’ will be doing a post with only dogs and a cat from my visit …?

      • Of course 🙂
        Can’t wait to see your photos!

  20. Beautiful … simply, beautiful. D

  21. What a lovely journey you had, Seonaid. I’m surprised that you could keep your eyes on the road. 🙂 How right you are that “no sight is ever repeated.” We would do well to bear this in mind. Thanks for sharing your beautiful views. 🙂

    • It’s hard, but thankfully this time I had driven the first half of the journey…..so this part I could sit back and drink in as husband did the driving, with occasional shouts from me of “stop….you have to stop!”

  22. That light show is always original – wonderful and very envious as usual

  23. boxertreiber says:

    Suddenly there is a great emotion inside me to emigrate 🙂

    • I remember your beautiful images from Skye last year…..once these hills and lochs get into your heart it’s hard to refuse their call. Maybe you need to start planning 🙂

  24. Amy says:

    You really captured the spectacular views of the clouds, sun rays, mountains, river…. Wow!

  25. suej says:

    Wonderful images, Seonaid

  26. Ian Rose says:

    Know the road well Driven it in all weathers Stunningly beautiful

  27. So gorgeous, Seonaid! I emailed a link of this post to my husband. Is this around the Isle of Sky? It’s been an area in our conversations for a couple of years. Thank you for sharing such beauty!

    • This is the road from Spean Bridge on up towards Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye road bridge. It’s way we always travel, coming off the A9 at Dalwhinnie and heading West and North. It never disappoints whatever the weather 🙂

      • Thank you for sharing it! We are on a different continent but we both have visited Scotland in the past. I started following your blog because you lead me to places that I miss, and/or wish I could visit again. When it’s time for us to travel again, we will go, but we like talk/dream about where it might be. Maybe one day we’ll follow your trail. I can experience the energy of it via your images. Thanks again, Ka

  28. Sue Vincent says:

    Magical photos, Seonaid, and beautiful words to accompany them.

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