Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Autumn Light In The Highlands
Driving down to Perth for a Mountaineering Council of Scotland meeting late one afternoon last week I was struck by the beautiful light as I left cloud-covered Strathspey and began the climb up to Drumochter Pass. Momentarily the clouds dissipated and the low sun shone below the drifting remnants turning the moorland and hillsides golden brown. The dusting of snow on the summit of The Fara, a long hill running alongside Loch Ericht, sparkled and the sky had a lustre not seen in summer. The whole landscape glowed. Stopping to view the scene I wandered up a bank away from the car and the road, a cold wind belying the apparent warmth of the light. A few minutes later I was back on the road and the clouds were sealing the sky, cutting out the light and returning the world to a harsh, dull greyness. By the time I reached Drumochter the summits were in cloud and any sense of enchantment in the landscape had vanished. Many hours later, crossing Drumochter at midnight on my way back north, snow was falling, flashes of white streaming through the headlights towards the windscreen, a different sort of magic. These moments of storm and light, snow and sun, are one of the facets that make the Highlands a very special place. Sometimes the beauty is overwhelming, even from a car.
The photo shows the late afternoon light on The Fara, with Dalwhinnie to the left. Photo info: Ricoh GR-D, f8@1/160, ISO 64, raw file converted to JPEG and processed in Photoshop Elements 5.