Sunlit silver birch

Argus Meadow

The play of light, Silver Birch, Strathspey

The meadow is a wild grassland, an open space amongst the surrounding birch woods.  There are old tumbled ruins suggesting that it was once farmed, or maybe a sheiling where animals were taken to graze during the summer.  Earlier in the summer it was full of wild flowers, now the thistles take their turn.  The long grass is damp after yesterday’s rain, and scores of butterflies flitter around as we walk.  This area is a stronghold for the Scotch Argus.  I make my annual attempt to photograph a few, momentarily at rest in the long grasses or on the thistles, but they are sensitive to my thoughts and flitter away as soon as I am within focussing distance…  Strange looking beetles wave their long antennae, perhaps suggesting ‘tune in… tune in…’

Scotch Argus

Scotch Argus butterfly

The heather is in blossom, purple scent fills the air accompanied by the heady bog myrtle.  We wander on, eyes alert for chanterelles poking through the moss.  I take a side trip through the birch woods up from the path, delighting in the strong shadows and bursts of sunlight through the grasses and bracken, highlighting the silvery-bright birch.

There is a strong energy here, which seems to me to be centred on the ancient tumble of moss-covered boulders on the small hill behind the meadow.  Light filters strongly through the trees, making odd shapes with the mossy rocks, I feel in a mysterious zone, between worlds.  The wind suddenly rushes through the treetops in a whispered conversation of leaves, a sudden tumult, then calm.

Mossy boulders in birch woodland

Boulders in the woods

Wandering back along the woodland path, the sun has gone, storm clouds are piling up dark grey and soon the rain starts.  I am quite happy, just being with the land.

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