Gruesome Gash at Rockhall Park & Gardens …

Rosshall Park and Gardens is reputed to be an exceptional example of Pulhamite work in Scotland.  Although originally owned by the Rosse Family back in the 13th century, the variety of trees planted around the walkways were added by Glasgow Merchant Peter Murdoch in the early 18th century, and the Pulham & Sons exceptional Rock Garden was commissioned by James Cowen in the 1870’s,  how they would turn in their graves to see the neglected state of the estate!

Cormorant... drying wings

Cormorant… drying wings on White Cart

I chose to enter the park from Pollock where sign posts boasted of a River Walk to the gardens.  It was terribly overgrown, which in itself is not too difficult to navigate and nothing a little cut back wouldn’t fix, however there was rubbish everywhere!  This was not a pleasant stroll and much of the flora, fauna and wildlife was missed as priority had to be given to where you placed your feet…

Where the Cormorant was ...

Where the Cormorant was …

… Okay, so it was a little treacherous I thought, but they will have taken care of the Rock Gardens, after all the Pulhman’s were commissioned by the Queen for their expertise in creating garden walks of art …

Huge thanks go out to the two school girls who pointed me in the right direction, since the map board was non-existent and covered in pointless, illegible graffiti …

Start of the walk into the wonderful Rock Gardens ...

Start of the walk into the wonderful Rock Gardens …

… Doesn’t look so bad!  Optimism risen I confidently walk on …

Ah, the wonderful trees planted by Peter Murdoch I assume ...

Ah, the amazing trees planted by Peter Murdoch I assume …

… there is clear evidence on either side of the getting slippery path that there is a foundation of beauty that has aged into a bit of a monstrosity due to neglect …

The Boating Pond? ...

The Boating Pond? …

… I can imagine the inspiration this may have provided in it’s hayday, but it appears a little un-loved…

Entering the exceptional Rock Garden ...

Entering the exceptional Rock Garden …

…This is truly heartbreaking!  How can something that was once the talk of Victorian Britain become so ignored?  This is officially a listed part of the estate? …

Looking at the old changing rooms ...

Looking at the old changing rooms …

… was this really a place to swim, with the changing room caves at the back?  I would describe further but it really is more of the same wonder as to how and why this estate has been destroyed.  Instead, I would like to document the little things that have stood the test of dilapidation as there were still parts of the walk that peaked interest and provided an element of visual beauty …

Like this rock!

Like this rock!

… Covered in white mites this igneous rock is a visual and discursive masterpiece in itself.  Basalt, lighter in weight than it looks and curiously placed in an area absent of volcanic activity …

Wild Raspberries ...

Wild Raspberries …

… Nothing like a garden gone wild to produce a multitude of these juicy fruity goodies.  Enjoyed by myself, the dog and also a fellow dog walker who boasted making great raspberry jam.  There are also red and black currents if you look through the overgrown weeds and trees …

Mallard Duck & Moorhen Chick at the pond ...

Mallard Duck & Moorhen Chick at the pond …

… This was indeed a pleasant sight, regardless of the warning sign, with a little tender loving care this pond could be transformed into a thing of inspirational beauty …

Evidently the park is popular with kids and youths ...

Evidently the park is popular with kids and youths …

… Overall, it appears the original design of the pond, boating area and swimming area still holds firm regardless of the years of neglect and the foundations are still clearly visible.  How strange it is that we have groundskeepers for the many golf courses strewn all over our country and yet the conservation of our educational, inspirational and recreational areas are considered unimportant? …

Foundations of original design ...

Foundations of original design …

So how do we get this party started?  There is a friends of Rosshall Park site listed in the references.  We could also educate our children that parks are more than the little well-kept play-parks, after-all there is so much more to see …

Waterlily at the pond inn need of care ...

Waterlily at the pond in need of care …

… and next generations may provide a fresh perspective on this well evolved area.  In addition to the exotic flora and fauna and the variety of wildlife putting the area to good use there is a rich history in the buildings and surrounding area …

The old Boiler House ...

The old Boiler House …

… Unfortunately being left to ruin and presently sealed up to prevent entry it is being utilized as a bin instead of an example of historical interest.  This is something the park officials may wish to invest in as I did not spot any bins in my wanderings for rubbish or dog waste and it seems this area is used mostly by dog walkers …

Final image ...

Last Visual of the journey …

… I chose this image as it summed up my thoughts about the day.  The Cormorant is a fascinating bird, with ancestors that date back to the Jurassic period.  This estate has been evolving since the 13th century and it was a visual masterpiece appreciated by Victorian Britain.  If this area continues to be neglected it will become lost in time forever.  The amazing walkways are already dangerous to walk on because of the grime, making them very slippy.  There is needless fly tipping which in addition to the overgrowth of trees and weeds make navigation almost impossible. The saddest part is that there are so many wild flowers, fruits, birds, mammals, etc all hidden amid the rubbish.

Thank you Rosshall Gardens ...

Thank you Rosshall Gardens …

… if this was a child there would be an all out witch hunt to have something done about the stupid fly-tippers and the general state of the walkways at Rosshall.  This gruesome gash was caused by a sheet of black glass that had been thrown at the edge of the river walk, my dog was on a lead at all times was not free to wander further than two feet from my side… it is a disgrace.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant

http://www.parksandgardens.org/places-and-people/site/4557

http://www.friendsofrosshallpark.btck.co.uk/HistoryHeritageofRosshall

The Devil’s Pulpit …

Not a place for the faint of heart, we took on the Devil today.   The Devil’s Pulpit is an ancient natural formation, sculpted by mother nature.

As far as the dog would go ...

As far as the dog would go …

P1040829

Mushroom Stone, used by Druids …

The burn has eroded through the soft limestone to create a canyon filled with the judgement of eerie faces, goading you to tread further and further into its secret depths (regardless of the eels which brush passed your legs) through the blood-red water, it rewards you periodically for your courage and fortitude with wee rest points surrounded with breathtaking beauty which inspires further exploration…

Youth

Use a stick to navigate …

… should you choose to venture be aware, health and safety for young children is required.  The surrounding fields do have livestock (not ideal if your dog is not used to them) try to stay on the edge of the field rather than walking through the middle, there will be ticks and midges and they love your blood.  Be respectful and take your rubbish home with you.  Also, if you open a gate – close it.

Time Found In A Desolate Place…

… far from the vision of aesthetic beauty where no scent of fresh flowers is found in the air and no reassuring sound of twittering sparrows is heard to settle that unnerving sensation that consumes the soul within the confines of this desolate place…

 

By JynxzCharm

Slain’s Castle Ruins

… this place does not stand alone, now occupied by roosting crows and sea birds a cacophony of caws and cries accompany the dark clouds above, echoing through the grass-covered floors of the maze of this ex-living space…

 

By JynxzCharm

From the highest point of the tallest tower…

…  a steep climb up the narrow, spiral staircase, walking into a slight chill that creeps over the skin like a million spiders and the sound of waves crashing against the rocks outside, seeking a pleasant view but instead foreboding awaits with every step taken until finally there are no more stairs just a view from the highest point of the tallest tower and a perilous fall for the reckless, all the while to the accompaniment of the unrelenting caws and cries of the crows, goading, hounding, provoking …

 

By JynxzCharm

The view maintains the harshest of themes…

 

… the surrounding area provides no respite, from the clifftop the only safe-haven in sight is that desolate place as even the view maintains the harshest of themes, the reality that nature itself would like nothing more than to tear you apart with every step you dare to take…

 

By JynxzCharm

The danger of the aesthetically pleasing…

 

… the eyes are duped by a beauty, they long to be sated with vibrant colours, but there is a danger of trusting the aesthetically pleasing, closer inspection gives rise to the now familiar dread as the larvae of the midge can be seen ducking and diving through the orange growth at the bottom of the rock pool, the thirst for comfort shall not be quenched here …

 

By JynxzCharm

A rock-vice-like grip …

 

… hold out your hand while traversing the jagged rocks… nature will oblige you with a rock-vice-like grip …

 

By JynxzCharm

A moment of clarity …

… while in the grip of this unknown creature solace is finally found, all memory of the overbearing tragedy that is Slain’s Castle, its persistent war with nature and unfortunate neglect is forgotten, the waves still crash a stone-throw away as a reminder of fragility but here lies the clearest rock pool, a fish peacefully slithering through the water like it floats on mid-air… a moment of clarity ….

By JynxzCharm

The cosmos of the North Sea …

… the expanding ocean convinces the tide to come in, the safe haven becoming a little more treacherous with every passing minute, the jellyfish rise from the depths and swarm in anticipation of venturing into the vast unknown, sending invitations for entry into the mysterious cosmos of the North Sea with a promise to provide you with all the knowledge of the universe should you choose to step off of that ledge …

 

By JynxzCharm

 

***WARNING:  NOT SUITABLE FOR UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN OR RECKLESS CHARACTERS, THERE IS NEED TO BE HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSCIOUS WHEN VISITING SLAIN’S CASTLE RUINS***

 

Further Information:

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/crudenbay/slainscastle/index.html

http://scottishmarinelifewatch.com/speciesindex.htm

I was blown away yesterday …

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… literally, through the gargantuan Dunes of Forvie. Being the first sunshine seen in Scotland since summer last year, it was worth braving the accompanying sand storm to have a well needed wander. Dressed like an Antarctic explorer I fought through the warm wind (complete with sand) at Forvie Nature Reserve …

… situated a few miles North of Mr Trump’s ‘Great Dunes’, these constantly evolving giants were currently being eroded by the sand, creating rock-like sculptures. Compressed by the flow of the wind, the structures resembled a younger, mini version of the Grand Canyon.

As the wind tore through the grass covering these massive formations my mind was injected with visions of ancient creatures of a forgotten time…  slumbering, so I instinctively lightened my step …

… I had intended to descend slowly, and take in the panoramic views of the extensive bay but the wind at my back forced me to quicken my step to a “Jesus! I hope I survive this” pace and then, after an hour of struggling through this formidable invisible force  (even though I was wearing sunglasses for protection it was necessary to close the eyes), it simply ceased . ..

Sheltered by the wind by these mysterious sleeping giants I sat, hypnotised as the wind ripped and tore at these creatures that remained defiant. The winds meandering through the grass like the fur on a shaggy dog under the hair dryer as I gently stroked them with my eyes. Now and then nesting birds arose for a minute, fluttering madly, struggling slightly and settling back into the safety of the pelt, from the pelt of wind …

… as I sat in contemplation I understood why Donald Trump fell in love with the Dunes of Menie. But why would anyone want to tame them? I think of New York, the massive structures built by Man, hard + cold. Just a brief moment …

… before feeling asphyxiated and returning to where I can feel my inner child breathe again, albeit with traces of sand and dirt and the rare bit of debris to slap me on the side of the head. I thought it best to push-on. The sand was surprisingly firm underfoot, still wet from the long winter and I was starting to curse wearing knee-high walking boots when another gush of wind pushed me headlong to be confronted by the wide expanse of the beach, and greeted by the ferocity of the North Sea. As she roared, rambled and rolled before me, the wind storm raged behind me propelling me Northward …

… with my human intervention I had no choice but to be a part of it, my body creating an obstacle the sand storm appeared like smoke ahead of me, resembling some purifying mist, acting as a prism for the suns rays and creating little rainbows as it slowly filtered toward the outgoing tide where it was swallowed up by the waves.

Free, wild and blessed to be alive.

(Picutres now added, we had a good day in Scotland, Cameras, Wind  & Sand don’t go hand in hand)

Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh 2012

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I had the pleasure of visiting Jupiter Artland last month, above are a few images of what can be discovered on the huge estate with a little exploration.  I found the experience exhilarating, a refreshing walk around the grounds where a variety of art pieces were displaced within the natural environment.

Although I consider the whole experience a recklessly curious wonderland, my favourite part of the full day tour was whilst walking through the Gala Hill Wood.  Sporadically placed sculptures invited both warm and haunting memories from my own childhood as I fell in love with Laura Ford’s “Weeping Girls”.

If you click on the image below you will see the evolution of Laura Ford’s sculpture,  an interesting transition.