Loch Alvie Atmosphere

Loch Alvie Mist

Atmospheric Evening, Loch Alvie

Evening mist at loch Alvie, with only the sound of a few ducks scrabbling in the shallows, and a gentle hiss through the reeds.  I love the impressionistic blending of the sunset afterglow in the misty pre-dark, and the way that distant trees shapeshift, playing with the imagination.

In a recent article, nature writer Robert Macfarlane writes eloquently and poetically on “rewilding our language of landscape”.  His writing is “a celebration and defence of land language. Its fascination is with the mutual relations of place, word and spirit: how we landmark, and how we are landmarked in turn.” How the language we use shapes our relationships with nature.

… we lack a Terra Britannica, as it were: a gathering of terms for the land and its weathers – terms used by crofters, fishermen, farmers, sailors, scientists, miners, climbers, soldiers, shepherds, poets, walkers and unrecorded others for whom particularised ways of describing place have been vital to everyday practice and perception. It seemed, too, that it might be worth assembling some of this terrifically fine-grained vocabulary – and releasing it back into imaginative circulation, as a way to rewild our language. I wanted to answer Norman MacCaig’s entreaty in his Luskentyre poem: “Scholars, I plead with you, / Where are your dictionaries of the wind … ?”

The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape

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