Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Liquid Sunshine

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).

33 comments:

Rachel said...

I think your Rainbow Cow was keeping the fairy gold for herself!

An American friend of my father's once said "We don't have weather in America, we only have climate - it doesn't make such a good topic of conversation!". He had just gone over the Horseshoe Pass in a blizzard, mind you!

Melody said...

Some seriously stunning scenery! Wow ~ right down to the last rainbow! BEAUTIFUL!

Judy S. said...

Great photos! We have lots of liquid sunshine here in the PNW also. And a tiny bit of heather, too.

Mary Ann said...

Love the photos of the rainbows.

Lisa said...

Love the Rainbow Coo! Looking forward to seeing her come to life through your deft hands!

Oh, how your photographs take me back! I'd go back in a heartbeat. Even for the 4 seasons in one day, which I experienced when visiting there too!

Margaret said...

I'm transported when I read your Scotland posts...back to the week bit I saw in May 2007 and forward to more when I go again in a few years' time.

Karen said...

Susan, I just discovered your lovely blog! What wonderful pictures of Scotland; I especially like the rainbow pictures -- gorgeous!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh Susan ~ How absolutely wonderful to have seen that fantastic double rainbow so close!!!

Great photos of a beautiful country.

Thank you for sharing with us.

FlowerLady

Lee said...

Great photos! Your rainbow pics are amazing. Have a wonderful trip.

Miriam said...

Wow, I have never seen a rainbow so close either! Beautiful!!

Here in Melbourne we get four seasons in one day too....often!!! Lol

Looking forward to seeing all your embroidery.

Leeann said...

We have four seasons in one day in New Zealand too. Unless of course we a having a drought like last summer.

margaret said...

you have some wonderful photos to remind you of your trip to Scotland, you certainly saw lots of different places and lots of different weather! Seriously your photos are a delight to see, you should consider entering some especially the cow with the rainbow into competitions.

Jacqui Galloway said...

Love the photos. They bring back very happy memories of our many trips to the West Coast. Jacqui

Elizabeth Braun said...

Lovely shots, thanks! Scotland is a terrific place, as is the far north of England, and I could quite happily move to either if I ever had to.=) I love the accents too.

Years ago, I also got a shot of the fabled end of the rainbow. It seems the proverbial pot of gold may also be buried by the bench just opposite our old block of flats (apartment building)!!=)

Elaine said...

Glad you had a wonderful visit to my home country! Now you know why we talk about the weather all the time! I am off out to get my "messages" in a minute too!!

PS did you make it to Aberdeenshire for a 'fly cup and a funcy piece?' (quick cup of tea and cake!)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I can only imagine what you saw and felt in this beautiful setting. I can just feel you absorbing all it's beauty and serenity.
xx, Carol

Shirlee Fassell said...

We saw a double here a few weeks ago... Nothing like this one of course so I showed my husband your fabulous pictures .... it took me forever to get my iPad back! Loved your great shots!

gracie said...

Thank you for sharing wonderful pictures....

Vicki W said...

I love photos of rainbows and yours are amazing!

Gerry Krueger said...

I loved scotland and the skies and sea...I could easily live there or in Ireland... but Susan WHERE ARE THE SHEEP????

Cathy said...

Spectacular photos! Especially that rainbow!

Cathy ♥

linnyt said...

What a lovely place! Thanks for sharing the photos and experience. I was completely transported for a few moments.

lei said...

These photos are breathtaking! Thank you so much for sharing.

Createology said...

This is such a magical adventure you were able to enjoy. Liquid sunshine and rainbows and cows and green hills and...absolutely breathtaking! The wonder of Nature no matter where we are in this world we call home. So amazing to see your photos and "feel" your bliss...

liniecat said...

What a wonderful post with stunning pictures ! delightful!!

soundslikewish said...

I can see that you are having a wonder-filled life. I've read your blog posts for the past few months and always enjoy them. Love the coos.

biddie1031 said...

WOW! Your wonderful travelogue of the land of my maternal ancestors out of this world! Thank you for sharing.

Did you write earlier that you'd gotten a point-and-shoot camera for this trip? What camera did you use for these amazing landscape shots?

Meg van den Berg
Easton, MD (who thinks of you every time I use my special Hari Kuyo needle book!)

Louise said...

Thank you so much for these photos!

Catherine said...

Your pictures a amazing!! What a fabulous trip and scenery ~ of course, the best was the double rainbow and the cow guarding it! Thank you so much for sharing!

shirley said...

Your photography is stunning.

Denise said...

As usual, I so thoroughly! enjoy your blog! Scotland is so beautiful, thanks so much for the pictures! Have you read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon? It's an amazing journey!

Elizabeth said...

The British Isles remind me so much of the pacific northwest . We called the drizzle liquid sunshine there as well and rainbows of such brilliance and hills so green were very common. It looks like you had a wonderful time and you have kept up with your wonderful photography!! I am anxious to grab a few moments soon to go back through your Scotland posts!!
Big Hugs!

Wendy said...

Such beauty in your photos of your surroundings. The double rainbow is just glorious! How special to see a rainbow up close and personal like that. My husband and I had an experience with one in TX once. It was a breathtaking experience to be sure. I have always wished we had a camera with us at the time.

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