In my post  Cairngorms – Granite and Pine I included one of the many Intimate Landscapes I had managed to capture during my trip to Moray, Aberdeenshire and the Cairngorms last Autumn and said that I may produce a post dedicated to those images.  Well I have finally found time to get round to it with the majority being new releases.
We’ll start with a couple from my visit to the coastal area between Inverness and Nairn at Ardersier, a spit of land which forms a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth and controls the sea approach to Inverness.  Whilst there I visited Fort George and the first image shows the wonderfully coloured sandstone which during construction was shipped across the Firth from a quarry on the north side of Munlochy Bay.  Along with the colour, it was the pattern created in the bonding of the stone that drew my attention as it was of a style that I had not come across before.  So unusual and eye-catching.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 1  Aberdeen Bond

Aberdeen Bond

Moving on from Fort George in Ardersier itself I came across a small community area with just enough room to park and with a vista across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle to view whilst I ate my lunch.  Just along the shoreline were some small stubs of wood protruding from the water probably from an old jetty.  The light falling on the water along with its gentle movement and texture certainly helped to create the image below.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 3  Aberdeen Bond
The last two images both featured man made detail so now for something that could not be more natural.  Along the coastal path returning from my walk to Findlater Castle in many places the path was collapsing along it edges due heavy rain and coastal erosion.  Has I walked along trying to avoid as much of the mud as possible I noticed something I had not seen before as someone had used broken seashells to try to stabilise the path.  Another Intimate Landscape had materialised before my eyes so I zoomed in for a closer inspection and could’t resist capturing the amazing colours, tones, shapes and textures that had been created. Well done to those of you who came up with the idea rather than using the normal commercialised gravel.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 5  Aberdeen Bond

Shell Shocked

Sticking with the natural look my next opportunity came on gaining access to the small bay next to Bowfiddle Rock.  Adjacent to the pathway down to the shoreline is a great expanse of rock with an archway hollowed through to the sea below.  Above the entrance where the rainwater seeped down the rock face, there were some small ferns clinging to the ledges of the rock.  Glistening from the moisture and their vibrant green contrasting against the wonderfully coloured rock provided yet another opportunity not to be missed.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 7  Aberdeen Bond

Life on the Ledge

With two images focusing on manmade details and then two on natures creations we just have to feature one that shows both and for that on my walk along Cullen Bay beach I found a brick panel just lying on the shoreline surrounded by sea-worn pebbles and stones which you usually see on such stretches of sands along the Moray coastline.  I assume some remnant of a wartime structure but I can’t be sure.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 9  Aberdeen Bond

Out of Place

One of my favourites from the trip was captured on the windswept beach at Rattary Head near the famous lighthouse of that name.  I was fortunate to visit at a time of day when the sands were deserted and the majority of its surface was undisturbed since the last tide receded.  This left many artistic patterns still visible like the one below.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 11  Aberdeen Bond

Sand Tree

The next image was captured on my way through to the Cairngorms when I took the opportunity to walk around Loch Kinord a small, freshwater loch at Muir of Dinnet, just north of the River Dee and east of Ballater. Photo opportunities were not as plentiful as I expected but I did manage to find what I thought was a really healthy looking example of what I understand is Horse Hoof fungi.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 13  Aberdeen Bond

Huff Fungus

The two remaining images are from the Cairngorms and the first features a close up of the many amazing time-worn roots that you find crisscrossing the pathways through the forests.  These roots were seen during my walk around Loch an Eilean.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 15  Aberdeen Bond


The next and final image is from Loch Gamhna, a loch close by Loch an Eilean which has so many wonderful views of the Cairngorms in the background but also many opportunities for those of us who enjoy looking at the closer details of our diverse landscape.  In today’s landscape genre images captured using camera movement are becoming ever more popular.  For those not familiar with this technique it involves moving the camera whilst having the shutter open which allows a blurred image to be created.  Well, after all, that explanation here is one I created but not by camera movement but just by opening the shutter when the wind was moving the reeds.
Moray, Aberdeenshire and Cairngorms Intimate Landscapes 17  Aberdeen Bond

Rushing Reeds

So there we are a new series of close-ups from my last photo trip of 2014 and they have now been included in the Intimate Landscapes gallery along with all earlier releases in this Collection. 
I hope you have enjoyed following this alternative view of the landscape and I would be interested to learn which if any are your favourites.