Drawing and Painting

I’d been meaning to do this for a while, so as the sun was coming out and the working day was nearly done, I chucked it early, grabbed my pack and headed up the Kilpatricks to go and look for a rock.

The road to Overtoun was a river, fast running and several inches deep. The pot holes were completely hidden, and even at the speed I was moving, very sudden feeling on the suspension. But, the trail was dry and the sun was warm.
There was a few showers floating around, I could see them once I gained height, and I did get caught on the fringes a couple of times over the next few hours, but it was light and cool, it felt like a summer shower. Winter is dead.
I hope the little tadpoles have come through unscathed, I’ll be watching their progress.

I wound my way through the crags, found a neat little scramble up onto the terrace and contoured to the top and then to the side of the reservoir. I circled the edge and followed a wall up to a familiar viewpoint. Ben Lomond is thin on top, the comb-over of snow is failing to disguise the passage of time, but Loaigh and the Crianlarich twins are doing better, still good unbroken white on the upper slopes.
The colours are changing though, the grass looks like it’s needing a visit to the salon to gets it’s roots done. Green is spreading upwards into the pale yellow as new growth forces its way through.

I took a forest trail, well it’s trackless, but there’s no trees there if you know what I mean. Instead there’s a hallway of thick moss which is a spongey joy to wander down.
The sunlight sparkled through a few gaps in the branches, dappling my hall carpet, as a light mist rose from the ground through the beams of light. The hills were waking up. Birdsong was all around, and as I sat quietly with my flask, the calls crept closer. I wish I knew who all the different voices belonged to.

I meandered for ages, crossing my own track at one point too. It was glorious, and it was thoughts of dinner that had me descending into soft light as the sun rolled towards the Cowal skyline.

The stone? It was close to where I thought it was, and I sat beside it for a while taking photies and having a cuppa and a snack.
It’s a Neolithic cup-marked stone, the cups or indentations, ground-out five thousand or more years ago by who ever lived here in a land still coming back to life after the desolation of an ice age.
I touched the stone, I don’t know if I was expecting something or not, but it was just a stone, warmed a little from the sun and rough to the touch.
Moss is growing in two of the cups, it looks like nature its claiming the stone back.
I wonder if there’s a message for us as a species in that.

19 thoughts on “Drawing and Painting”

  1. Great mini-adventure. Your local hills look like mine, just tiny pockets of stubborn snow, hiding from the sunshine.

    The message? The stone should learn to roll if it doesn’t want to gather any more moss?

  2. Roll the stone? Given where it’s sitting, I’m surprised the locals haven’t burnt or eaten, it never mind rolled it.

    The chunks of snow that are left are really thick too, winter’s just not wanting to give up.

  3. The urge to touch these things never goes away. Even after nearly twenty years of dealing with such ‘monuments’ professionally I still feel myself unable to resist the odd prod. It might be the climber in me, but I rather suspect it’s something else.

  4. Yeah the ‘odd prod’ is something you gain when you become a teenager…

    Seriously, bimbles like this are so rewarding. I live in Edinburgh(I know,I know)and visit the Pentlands 4 times a week. Its an outside gym for me 3 times a week, a 4 mile circuit when i’m jogging along the tops and feeling like i’m flying above the city (well floating). The other time I cycle 20miles and stop and bimble. look at the sky and the colours of spring start to burst through. I always marvel how i’m sat in such tranquility when theres a busling city just over the hill

    Its a great start to the day and only an hour or two out of it. Leaving you charged and ready to tackle whatever it decides to throw at you.

    Sorry I think I just went off on one. Better get out for a jog!

  5. I can understand the attraction of such things as a profession More-On, to quote Tom Baker’s Doctor Who “In order to know where we’re going we have to know where we’ve been and work forwards”. Touching is connecting as well, more than a book can ever offer.
    It’s something that I’ve neglected in the Kilpatricks, so we’ll be having a burial ciste, a chambered cairn and more coming up!

    Slippery Slope, it’s the Kilpatricks that keep me going. I know just how you feel on your Pentlands jaunts.
    There’s freedom, and a surprising amount of “wilderness” here, in bad weather you can lose yourself very easily. The distances aren’t great, but tracks are few and the terrain is difficult, so it keeps your attention. Plus the skyline to the north is Ben Lomond, the Arrochar Alps and beyond. Brilliant.

    I should have a Kilpatricks meet, folk’ll think I’m making all this up.

  6. Excellent – archaeology, trips and gear all in the one place. I might even be able to keep your site up on screen when I’m in the office as I’ll be able to claim it’s work-related research, not just feeding my imagination and gear habit.

    Anyway, another vote for local jaunts for reviving the mind and body.

  7. More-On, I do try to make this place work on more levels than just black and orange :o)

    Hendrik, I took so many shots last night of the views and the light on the moorland and the like, but when I got back, the odd close-ups were the only ones I still liked and fitted my mood.
    Maybe sometimes it’s just nice to look down the way!

  8. After a few wan daes in the pentlands I am a fan but have not had the grit to revisit outwith the comp ! Shame as it has awesome MB routes !

  9. That was a great post, I love potters like this with lots of looking and seeing. Old tress and antiquities all have to be touched, it must be the Celt in me and the Gaul in you!

  10. It’s surprising how much history there is to find out there. I was looking at just how much stuff there is to see at the Tyndrum lead mine, so I can see a wee diversion up there at some point!

  11. Had an Ex-GF who could never understand (but always moaned as i let go of her hand!) why i felt the need to touch crags/boulders etc as we walked past them…! (Note the ‘Ex’ bit!)

  12. That was something we were talking about at the weekend was the “feel of the rock”.
    I guess you understand or you don’t!

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