Weekly Photo Challenge – Humanity


Syre Church, Strathnaver, Scottish Highlands

The nominated topic for this weeks Photo Challenge is the bold subject Humanity (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/humanity/).  A title that embraces every aspect of human life and death.

So in this year where we remember those who went off to fight in World War I, 100 years ago, I thought it would be fitting to highlight their sacrifice.

Syre Church as you can see is a simple church, it reflects its position in one of the remotest parts of the Scottish Highlands, sparsely populated then, as it is today with just the odd Highland Croft…a few small family groups.  In 1914 it was an area just recovering from the Highland Clearances when Croft after Croft was forcibly evicted to create large Sheep Estates.  Yet when the ‘call to arms’ came the young men from this tiny community rallied to the call, went off to fight and never came back.  For the families it was the second time they had seen their innocent families irrevocably ripped apart. Read into the above what you will, dig deeper into the story of the Clearances, reflect on the futility of war…what ever your thoughts or views…..it is Humanity at its best and worst.

13th September

© David Oakes 2014

Ramshackled………….but still in use

Easdale Lumig

Full of character and most probably able to tell many a tale…. “Ramshackled” is perhaps the best word to describe their charm.  Patched against the elements these Highland Barns have stood for many a year…..I wouldn’t like to guess just how many years, dare I say centuries?   Despite their outward appearance they were still in use when last seen.  Walk by them and you feel as if you are walking in history.

Located on the shores of Loch Hourn, by the village of  Corran, at the mouth of Glen Arnisdale,  North West Scotland.   A wild location so you can be very sure they have endured the very worst of weathers, and no doubt will continue to do so for many more years to come.

27th March

© David Oakes 2014

The Oddities of our Weather ….

Easdale Lumig

The vagaries of the weather have always thrown up some interesting and sometime strange lighting which is perhaps all the more startling in the mountains.  The above was a snatched shot late one afternoon as the sun was dropping towards the horizon, no second chance, even this opportunity was a surprise after what had been one of those rainy Scottish days were the cloud was for the greater part down to sea level!

The location is the Five Sisters of Kintail. Loch Duich is the body of glistening water and Glen Shiel heads off to the right. For those who know the location they will know that East is to the right and West to the left.  It is very late afternoon and the sun is settling to the west yet the lighting, odd as it is  reflecting colour from the clouds, looks as if it is actually coming from the East…. lighting up the eastern facing slopes of the Five Sisters.  The break was short lived and by the time we were back to Morvich, the village you can see by the Loch side, rain was once again heavy and cloud descended like a heavy blanket.

It also left me frustrated….if only one could have anticipated the light what a magical shot you could have captured.

11th February

© David Oakes 2104

Not so Tranquil today…….

Disc One

This is Scourie Bay when last visited in the summer.  Today it will be far from tranquil.  Whilst storms are lashing the whole of the U.K. the very North West of Scotland seems to be getting battered the worst.  The Met Office tells us that a very deep depression is centred possibly just above Scourie with cyclonic winds of over 90 mph predicted plus of course heavy rains and some snow.

It is always hard to balance in ones mind the calm peaceful ambience of a place with the toil and turmoil of a winters storm…….whilst it is easy to say that they are used to winter storms on the North West coast of Scotland, it makes them no less dramatic or dangerous for those living there.

Location: Scourie Bay, Scourie, North West Sutherland, Highland Region, Scotland.  Whilst  Scourie is now considered just another small West Coast village, all be it one of the most beautiful, it was once the stronghold of Clan Mackay a fighting clan of some historic significance and distinction.

23rd December

© David Oakes 2013