Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Stories....and the Sun!

Walking down the track to Camas... in the sunshine. (Until today, we had not seen the sun for over a week.) Children carrying a block of peat used for fuel at the outdoor centre. On the hill above, a wind turbine provided power for the centre.
We listened to stories along the way, of peat and granite, of kelpies and sea monsters, of fences and fisherwomen.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Pilgrim's Prayers

Pinned to a wooden cross, prayers for healing offered at the service this evening in the Abbey. A lone candle burns, a symbol of someone's prayer offered in love and faith. How many prayers have been spoken, written, cried, sung, or silently offered here in this space over the centuries.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Cloister Pillars

Carvings of plants and birds adorn new pillars.
Testaments to the beauty of the natural world.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Pause a Moment

A bench tucked in a quiet corner of the cloisters.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

In the Field...

Out and about on a misty Saturday afternoon at the end of September.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Beach Bubbles

Greenish foam washed up on the beach at Port Ban. What is it?.....Plankton! All life in the sea is dependent on these microscopic plants and animals.

The small stone tower sits on the Bay at the Back of the Ocean where I saw three seals bobbing in the waves today.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

One More Jellyfish...

Can anyone identify this jellyfish from the beach at Coll? It was a little larger than my hand and reminds me of a lion's mane!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Feall Beach, Coll

For the first day of autumn, one parting photo of the beach on Coll where I walked last week.

Monday, 21 September 2009


Feall beach on the island of Coll...I've never seen so many jellyfish, all stranded at low tide.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Island of Coll

A magical island of hidden beauty. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Red boxes on the island of Tiree! This lonely mail box is practically right on the beach and the phone booth is just across the road. Kite surfers were out in the bay along with the windsurfers that Tiree is famous for.

Pudding House

Back from a few days on the islands of Coll and Tiree. Both of these islands can just be seen from the north end of Iona on a very clear day.

This 'pudding house' on Tiree overlooks miles of sandy beach at Gott Bay. I saw several of these distinctive homes with only the mortar painted white. They are called 'spotted' or 'pudding' houses!

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Nunnery

Open to the blue sky; windows to another world.

Sunday, 13 September 2009


Anna MacLean, Prioress of Iona, died in 1543. Buried under the walls of the nunnery, her carving now rests protected from the elements in the quiet of the Abbey infirmary museum. How peacefully her hands are joined in prayer, as the angels gently hold the pillow where her head rests.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Hills of Heather and Hints of Change

Hills of heather looking towards Columba's Bay. The flowers are already fading as autumn approaches and darkness creeps in earlier each evening. It is already dark now by the time the Abbey bells ring seven times at ten to nine for evening worship.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Stone Labyrinth

At Columba's Bay, just above the beach, an invitation to enter the labryrinth.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Columba's Bay

The pebbled bay where Columba and his disciples landed their coracle in 563AD. A place of new beginnings. Toss a stone into the bay to symbolize what you want to let go of, and pick up another to carry with you to represent what you want to hold on to.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


A morning at the north end. Light and shadow reflect the changing moods of the island.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Memories of Spring

On a gray, stormy morning like today it is good to remember the warmth and light of the spring. I met this little lamb in April on the Iona golf course. Perhaps she was inspecting the greens.

Monday, 7 September 2009


Most visitors to Iona never see the only statue of St.Columba. Here he is standing at the back of Bishop's House looking over the sea to Mull.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Griffin's Tale

MacKinnon's cross displayed in the infirmary museum of Iona Abbey.
See how the tail of the griffin carved near the base turns into a wonderful plant scroll.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


The national emblem of Scotland is one of the flowers carved on the north range of the cloisters of Iona Abbey. Legend has it that 800 years ago, a barefoot invader stepped on a thistle in the dark. His yell of pain alerted the Scots to the advancing Norsemen and so the battle was won by Scotland and the thistle later became the symbol of the nation.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Viking Runes

I learned a new alphabet this week. During an afternoon studying the Vikings with the eight students at Iona primary school, I discovered that Viking runes are easily carved symbols. On the left side of this grave slab in the Abbey museum it reads "Kali, son of Olvir, laid this stone over his brother Fugl." The carving is from around 900AD.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Morning Sun

A photo taken just after my early morning swim at the White Strand of the Monks.

Fairy Circles

Mushrooms I discovered in the grass at the north end of the island. Once I looked closely I was surprised to see half a dozen circles growing close together. Apparently there is a celtic myth that you will be transported to another place if you step inside the ring. I carefully walked around each circle...I am content to stay here on Iona!