Posts tagged ‘Ross of Mull’

Isolation on the Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland is a very beautiful place. The landscape is varied; mountains, sea lochs, forests and wonderful sandy beaches are all to be enjoyed. It is also rich in wildlife and whilst I am not a nature photographer there are times when I would have liked a long lens in my bag. Eagles, otters, red deer, seals and an abundance of bird life are all to be seen if you have the patience and know where to look.

The island is a sparsely populated place and the single track roads with passing places slow the traveller down – the pace of life is just as I like it. Apart from Tobermory, which is the only town, there are a just a handful of hamlets and the remaining dwellings  are well separated. Solitude is easily found on Mull and this feeling of isolation is depicted in the three images shown here.



The first shot is of a single storey cottage in Ardtun on the Ross of Mull. The tall grasses in the foreground have been thrown out of focus, and if you were to crop away the top third of the image you would be left with a very abstract picture and it would be hard to make out the true subject matter. I particular enjoy this effect.




The second image is of a white rendered house, set all on its own at the foot of a mountain range which includes Ben More – the only Munro (a mountain in Scotland over 3,000ft) on the Isle of Mull. Fast moving clouds render the mountain range and the middle ground with a combination of light and dark shadow areas. Waiting for a cloud to darken the immediate backdrop around the lone dwelling has highlighted the mail focal point of the shot and isolation is very evident.



The third image in this short series shows an abandoned caravan of which there are a number on the Island. Surrounded by overgrown grasses, an interesting ‘s’ line is formed by the stone walling and the post and wire fence which leads your eye to the horizon and back again to the caravan. The strong winter winds will eventually destroy what’s left of a now forgotten temporary and isolated home.


To best appreciate these pictures please click on each one in turn to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

Ardalanish Weavers on the Isle of Mull

In the past couple of weeks my wife and I have enjoyed a wonderful time exploring the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland. During our stay in a cottage near Bunessan on the Ross of Mull, we had the good fortune to visit the Weavers at Ardalanish farm, which overlooks a beautiful sandy bay (see the last image). We received a very warm welcome from Kathy followed by an interesting tour of the mill, prior of course to visiting and buying a couple of items in their well stocked shop. They use rich black wool from the Hebridean sheep which are kept on the farm and this is mixed with wool from Shetland and Manx Loaghtan sheep. The mill itself is powered by wind turbines also sited on the farm.

I know very little about the art of weaving but the mill was of great interest; the traditional looms and other machinery, the tools that lay around and the whole process of making such fine woolen cloth, which is then used to make a wide variety of clothing and homeware. Taken from their website I quote “Weaving is a fascinating mix of mechanics, maths, hard work, inspiration, creativity, trial and error and a little dose of magic”. Having seen them at work I can believe every word.

I asked permission to take a few images and I hope they capture something of the process and the place. If you can’t visit personally then do take a look at their website to find out more about the Weavers at Ardalanish.

…. and here are the results of all their hard work –

The weavers work in a glorious location (when the sun shines and the sky and sea are blue) – Ardalanish Bay on the Isle of Mull, and yes the sea really was that colour! This beautiful sandy bay looks out towards the Isle of Colonsay with the Paps of Jura in the far distance. Footprints other than our own were hard to find. I can’t think of a more peaceful, special and simply beautiful place.

Just a taster image of more photographs to come following our trip to Scotland, and in particular the Isle of Mull.