"Do you get much snow?" is a question often asked by gallery visitors. Yes and no is the usual response. Due to it's coastal location, Durness often escapes much of the heavy snowfalls but you don't have to travel far for that to change.
With the forecast suggesting that snow will change to rain in the night, I cancelled (or maybe postponed) a winter wild camping trip in favour of a day of photography at somewhat lower levels. This could be the last chance to photograph in the snow before it disappears overnight and I'm reliably informed that the drive towards Tongue is like a winter wonderland.
Sure enough, having driven over the bridge at Hope the landscape changed quite dramatically. Deep unspoiled virgin snow covered the 'Moine' and added perfect highlights to one or two local plantations. An opportunity for my return journey perhaps, but my main objective was to return to the Moine House, a location I visited in the late summer and which I thought would look amazing in the snow.
And so it was to be. The lochan was frozen, and the entire landscape covered in deep, fresh snow. Ben Loyal stood proudly in the distance looking like a scaled down alpine peak.
As I set up the tripod, the sun emerged briefly highlighting features on the distant hills, and added the final touch to an already pleasing composition.
Venturing to the southern side of the house, the larger 'Lochan nam Meur Liath' was also frozen and provided an expanse of frozen foreground with Ben Loyal in the backdrop and emphasising the vast openness of The Moine. I knew how saturated and treacherous walking can be around here and so treaded carefully, hoping not to sink knee high in bog.
As a stopping off point on such a vast open plain, the Moine House must have been a welcome sight to many a traveller in years gone by. In the total silence I stood and imagined what it would be like living here but also wondering what impact the development of a 'Spaceport' will have on the local environment.
With the light decreasing by the minute, and banks of heavy cloud gathering in the distance, I decided to head home. Trees will have to wait for another time.
Location: The Moine House, OS Explorer 447 GR 518.602
Equipment: Canon EOS6D MkII, Canon 25-104 L Series lens