I took advantage of a quick trip to Lochcarron this afternoon to take a walk up the south side of Strathcarron to the old dwellings at Arineckaig. This was my first time up as far as this, although I have seen these old buildings many times from the Balnacra road and promised myself I would visit one day. The light was at times excellent today, and at times flat and overcast with rain showers threatening throughout my walk. When the sun did peep through the gaps in the clouds the effect was wonderful, highlighting the early autumn colours in the landscape. The above view was taken on my way back to the car and I just managed to catch the sun on the trees around Arineckaig Lodge, showing off the varied shapes and forms of the different tree species really nicely. The looming clouds provided a lovely dramatic backdrop, contrasting marvellously with the illuminated foreground.
I love trees, especially as a photographic subject. Whether it is close-up shots of the bark or leaves, twigs and the like, or wider shots of specimen trees, or just woodland habitat, they never fail to provide variety and lots of opportunities, especially at this time of year. Today was one of those days when the light was behaving well, sometimes, and the following are a few shots of trees from my walk.
The above shot was taken looking north-east up Strathcarron from the deserted settlement of Arineckaig. There are the remains of several old dwellings that at some point in time have been abandoned, or possibly cleared - I do not now the local history. There is good land here whihc despite being poisoned by sheep grazing and neglect appears to be fighting the onslaught of rushes, in parts at least. This is yet another location among the many across the Highlands and Islands where people used to live in greater numbers than they do today. Yet there is demand for croft land and affordable housing, and still we continue to see over-grazing by sheep and deer and decent land being neglected when it could provide for more families. One wonders what it will take for our society to see the potential benefits of taking a different view of what our future can look like, where people work in harmony with nature to provide a sustainable future for both. That is certainly not what I was seeing today and the echoes of the community that lived here once upon a time were loud in my ears as I took the following image of another empty house.
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer with his own part-time consultancy business and I work as an estate manager for a national conservation charity in Scotland. I am based in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Scotland, just next to the Isle of Skye.
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