I touched where the earth moved

Category: Wendy's Wanderings 15 June 2012



I need to apologise to you all for the lack of my ‘Wanderings’ over the last year… My mother was unfortunately diagnosed with terminal Cancer and I looked after her in her home down in Devon, life stopped. But she is at peace now and I am working at picking up the pieces…  Expect some whacky pictures and sewing projects over the coming months based on pictures from the field which now, I am enjoying even more than before.

I touched where the earth moved

David’s recent throw away comment led me to do some reading. "Scotland has some of the oldest rock forms in the world along with Scandinavia and Canada.  How come?"

High volcanic activity 3 million years ago caused the north Atlantic to open up separating what is now North America from Scotland. The lava forced the earths’ plates to open pushing old rocks from beneath upwards. Throughout history geologists have learnt much from looking at the rocks and fossil finds. They discovered that over 300 million years Scotland had travelled 5,600 kilometres from the equator. With the movement of the land and changes in the climate came evolution in the landscape and subsequent fauna and flora.

Here in the NW of Scotland near Lochinver the hiker finds themselves standing on the original earth's crust, forced up to the surface over time from a depth of 20 kilometres (get your head around that!) and it was about 500,000 years ago the last ice Age (there's been 17!) that glaciers carved out valleys, formed mountains and later lochs at Mount Suilven and Canisp.

It's very humbling to know on this epic walk towards the foot of Mount Silven that we are standing on some of the planets oldest rocks over 1 billion years old formed before any planet or animals existed let alone mobile phones!

From our picnic spot on Loch Fionn edge in the sun the sound is calm and still. We look up at the blue sky and frothy clouds, a sense of peace prevails. But what is that we hear in the distance? A sound approaching at speed, leaves whip up, sand like that from a past desert that was once here blows past. It passes as quickly as it approached. From our sheltered cove, all starts to return to calm the lochs ripples still again.

A hint of the passing of time where we feature as less significant as a speck of sand… We are nothing within the history of this magical place.

Mount Suilven, Sutherland, Scotland


Soon afterwards the sound of a flock of geese fly overhead. We can always hear them before we see their distinctive V flying formation en route to Iceland or the Arctic. They could save themselves a journey and stay here, its very wild and beautiful!

Nearby at Knockan Crag a geologist has kindly polished a beautiful stone purported to be part of the very plate that lifted when the earth did move away from North America. I touched it and I can quite honestly say it was good for me!

As I have said before, abroad is not always where it is at... We have so much diversity within our own country to be explored and enjoyed. Whatever and whenever your nemesis, enjoy.


Reflections of trees through the reeds growing in Loch Druin, Suardalain

Lichen on rock, Scotland

Tadpole and frogspawn on the loch's edge
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