Tuesday 30 July 2013

A New Blog

It is still very much a 'work in progress', but you can have a sneaky peep if you promise to come back in a month or so, by which time I hope to have rather more for you to see....I am working on a photo collection, featuring a few of the thousands of images that Sue and I have taken on Skye since we have lived here.

I will have mentioned before that most of my photos are published on www.geograph.org.uk where they are all geo-located and nearly all have some words of description. Geograph images also turn up on Wikimedia (among other places) and are archived by the British Library.  My profile page is at: www.geograph.org.uk/profile/20032.

But I see no harm in picking out some favourite images and also publishing them on a blog, plus of course, here I get the chance to include Sue's images, which she was supposed to be posting on our business page on Facebook - but she never finds time to do it...!!!

So - to preview 'Skye In Pictures', it is here: pictureskye.blogspot.co.uk, and if you like what you see, please do re-visit soon.

Sunday 28 July 2013

New Look for Skye Calling

It's raining today, so with not so much to do, I started fiddling with the settings for this blog. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I managed to delete all the customised layout that I had previously created, and now I find that as it was all created years ago, I can no longer get it back or even re-create it.

So - we now have a new layout to get used to. It's based on a Google Blogger template. On the whole, it seems OK, though I am struggling with the various customisation options, some of which don't seem to work. And there does not seem to be a way of displaying the photos in a post as a gallery, which I think is a shame. I'll keep playing, and see if I can improve things a bit.


A bit more fiddling has put things almost back as they were, so I think we'll stick with this layout and colour scheme for the time being. Us oldies are a bit resistant to change...!!

Sunday 21 July 2013

Why Visit Skye?

There’s probably almost as many reasons for visiting this wonderful island as there are people who come here. In this post, I will suggest just five of my reasons why a visit to Skye should be on your list of ’50 things to do before I die’.

Probably the most popular reason for visiting is to see the Scenery. I have thought for a while now that one doesn't just ‘see’ Skye – one ‘experiences’ it’. The experience includes absorbing the sensory input that no photograph can show – the silence, the freshness, and the very atmosphere that makes Skye so special. 
How can I choose just one picture to illustrate Skye scenery...? 

The Weather plays its part too. Most of us may prefer to be out when temperatures are high and the sun is shining, but swirling mist or a sprinkling of drizzle are more frequently experienced here than warm sunshine. The weather should not be loathed and despised, but should be challenged and embraced as an ethereal and essential part of the Skye experience.
No caption necessary!

Then there’s the History and Culture. Storytelling has been a vital element of family entertainment for centuries, so legends have become intertwined with truth to the extent that one cannot rely on any tale that is told to be the entire record of what actually happened. It might not be too difficult to discount stories of angry giants throwing stones into the sea to become islands, or monstrous creatures rising up out of the lochs to lure maidens to their deaths, but ‘true’ stories of disasters, triumphs, battles and shipwrecks probably also contain far fewer grains of truth than the storyteller would have you believe. And it is still happening today - Skye is a great place for the spreading of rumours!
Will we REALLY be getting a new supermarket here soon...? Rumours have been circulating for years now!
What IS true, however, is that there remain many visible records of Skye’s human past dating back thousands of years – there are Neolithic burial cairns and caves, Bronze age souterraines, (underground passages), Iron age duns (small castles), Viking canals and boat nausts (docks), and countless ruins of buildings, dwellings and walls of indeterminate age. Almost without exception, these relics remain unfenced and open for exploration by any visitor who finds them. For me, there is no way of feeling closer to history than standing at the stone entrance to a man-made structure that has stood unchanged for four thousand years.
Tungadal Souterrain - the entrance is the dark hole approximately in the centre. Although partly collapsed, a tunnel still extends several metres into the hillside. No-one knows what souterrains were used for.

And that brings us to Photography. It would be sheer folly to visit Skye without a camera. Not only will you be totally spoilt for choice of subject matter, but the clean-ness of the air, brightness of colour and constantly changing qualities of light all combine to provide both professional and amateur photographers alike with endless opportunities to fill up memory cards surprisingly rapidly.
The cold Cuillin

My last reason would be Walking. Skye makes you want to walk, explore, and see what is round the next corner or over the next hill. That’s because no matter how lovely the scene you see now, the chances are that when you have walked a little further, the scene will be even lovelier. The freshness of the air (or the rain…) may bring a visible glow to the walker’s face, but invisibly, the mind also benefits as the walker breathes in the essence and beauty of Skye.
Don't you long to know what lies at the end of this track...???

Friday 12 July 2013

Shed Roof Sparrows

This is one of the Roskhill Barn sheds. It must have been party time in Sparrow-land. There's a few more on the lawn, and a couple on the bench. Tweet tweet!