The very first Scot we met was the Customs Agent who welcomed us to Scotland and checked our passports.
"Are ye ready for the weather?" he asked.
We laughed and told him that we had bought waterproof everything before we came...I had even bought a waterproof camera bag.
That's when he said, "Aye well. If I can see my two feet in front of me, it's a sunny day in Scotland. Have a nice trip."
We laughed and walked away and boarded the bus that would take us to Edinburgh. It was raining at the airport but the sun was shining fifteen minutes later when we reached town.
By far, weather was the most common topic of conversation with each Scot we met.
I lost count how many times someone told me that Scotland was the only place where you could experience all four seasons in one hour.
Evidently it's true because last Sunday the Scotsman newspaper reported: SCOTLAND experienced all four seasons in one day yesterday, as the first storm of autumn swept across the country, bringing chaos to the country’s roads.
Having spent two weeks driving all over Scotland and its Western isles, I can honestly say that the weather in Scotland puts on a fabulous show.
Experiencing weather in Scotland is like watching a cinematic, high-def movie complete with sound effects, wind tunnels and pelting rain. It changes minute by minute and provides a never-ending spectacle of visual delight.
Scotland's weather is one of its greatest assets.
And the winds that blow off the Atlantic provide fuel to the sky and water...blowing in rain clouds one minute...
And sunshine the next...
Honestly, I could have stood in one spot and the weather would never disappoint.
The picture below shows me looking to the right as I stood waiting for the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig...
And here's the view I got to my left...
What a palette of blues and grays. I was never bored and could stand and watch the changing landscape for hours on end.
The colors created by the play of light and shadow were fabulous. Gray days made the greens of the hills appear even greener...
And the angle of the setting sun, left the hills all in shadow while the light played with the clouds in the sky...
But it was our tour guide on the Isle of Skye who refused to complain about the mist and drizzle, instead calling it "liquid sunshine".
It was liquid sunshine that made the grass so green and the flowers so beautiful. And it was liquid sunshine that brought the rainbows...
We saw rainbows everywhere. I was lucky to photograph the one above.
More often than not, I couldn't get my camera out quickly enough to capture them, having to be satisfied with the bittiest glimpse...
It wasn't until we were settling down for the night in our rental cottage near Drumnadrochit...
That we got the greatest gift of liquid sunshine ever.
It was a double rainbow in the field just outside our house.
This time it wasn't fuzzy or far away. We ran outside to the fence to get a closer look.
This time we could have walked the 30 yards or so into the field and touched it. Or so we thought.
But the fields belonged to the cows. They made that very clear.
So we just stood back and watched the spectacle in wonder and amazement.
And Jim was smiling from ear to ear and he said, "Now I can see why people would think there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow."
Because it looked to us as if a leprechaun had put a pile of stones just over the spot where the gold was buried.
And the cow didn't have a clue.
Or did she?
It was the first time in our lives that we had been so close to a rainbow let alone one that was so rich in color and dimension. We recognized it for the gift that it was.
So now we're back in the bonnie state Maryland, the state with the highest rate of pre-mature deaths due to long-term exposure to air pollution, and back to reality.
I am having a great time recording my trip in my travel journal...though embroidering is slow going. Today, I'm finding a home page for the Rainbow Cow or should I say, the "Rainbow Coo".
It's not every day that liquid sunshine douses a cow.
See you next time. I'm off to go for my messages (*wink).