Monday, 25 April 2011

a walk to Loch Ternait

Back again at Ardtornish in Morvern, we took a walk to Loch Ternait and Leacraithnaich Bothy. Jim and I last walked here 9 months ago, just 7 weeks before Angus was born, a time when we visited Staffa, and revisited the lead mines of Strontian a place where I'd made work many years ago.

Ternait too, is a place of memories from my childhood, though the bulldozed track that easily leads to the loch is a rather brutal scar on the land. But with the work that's happened in connection with the hydro scheme (damming past the outflow of the loch and diverting water through a pipeline) mud and silt has been dredged up on the track that has made the passage of wind on the surface water behave in an extraordinary way. Jim and I documented it on my digital camera, and this is the result.

In the middle of the loch lies a tiny crannog that used to house a shelter.

"Those accused of crimes from Lismore or Mull or neighbouring places, if they got permission from the Chief of Ardtornish to reside forty-eight hours on the island, were free from any liability to punishment. The island was thus a sanctuary – hence name Tearnait or Tearnaech Inaid, “place of safety”."

Loch Ternait from Leacraithnaich Bothy
The crannog can be seen towards the left of the image above (once zoomed in) as a greenish patch on the loch. Another place of safety, the  tranquility of the well maintained bothy seems to be constantly under threat from the forces of commerce, with the massive Glensanda Superquarry just visible from it's door. Still, it's a great spot, with summer water levels revealing sandy beaches around the fringes of the loch. It remains to be seen how the water levels will alter in future though once the hydro scheme is completed, and whether the beaches and indeed the crannog may be lost.

Map of Loch Ternait showing the crannog.
Leacraithnaich lies on the West side of the loch. 
Leacraithnaich bothy interior

the real death star

Mimas, photographed by the probe Cassini
Mimas, one of Saturn's moons is the smallest object in the solar system to be round due to the pull of it's own gravitational force. It's impact crater Herschel (named after the moon's discoverer) is 81 miles across, it's walls approx 3.1 miles high, and it's central peak rises 3.7 miles from the crater floor (Mt. Everest is 4.1 miles high). The impact on this moon must have been immense as there are fractures on the far side that may have been created from shock waves from the impact traveling through the body of the moon. Often thought to be the inspiration for Star Wars' death star, the crater was in fact discovered after the creation of the film.

Herschel crater

the Death Star from Star Wars

Thursday, 14 April 2011

rough sea

A great image from some landscapes in a recent post on Susan Hiller's dedicated to the unknown artists of 1972-76.

Fred C. Palmer of Tower Studio, Herne Bay, postcard, 1913

Friday, 1 April 2011

rime frost

the chairlift today, in Glencoe, courtesy of the SAIS.
...wondering if this is an April fools joke, it's so bizarre.

...postscript: it was an April fools prank.