Nearly confrontational in their stance, these sculptural shapes reared into view as we scrambled up off the road in Glenachulish (Gleann a Chaolais) to make a photograph of the curving mountain amphitheater in snow.
Like a pair of outsize dream catchers, or the skeleton wheels from some long forgotten wagon, these bleached and wind weathered roots twine and pierce and weave amongst themselves creating stags antlers and the roots of magik spells.
Fall back a mile or so, and the start of this Glenachulish path begins in a completely different manner…….
Enclosed and thickly cloistered with dark green Spruces, this Bavarian style forest track winds slowly up through the Conifer Plantation, and with its tantalising glimpse of snowy crags through the gap, evokes a powerful sense of the 19thC German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich in its atmosphere and scenery.
However tightly they form ranks however, these Firs and Spruces can still get taken unawares, and with the recent heavy winds and funnelling wet snow, there are several overnight casualties to negotiate along the route.
There is ever present however, is a strong sense of redemption.
Standing like sentinels, these guardians of the Glen are continuously reaching upwards towards the mountain tops. Round each new corner, a little bit higher, a new view and another inspiration is presented.
There is something quite painterly about the light today, and the snowy scoop of the glacier scoured ridge presents perfectly against the foreground of dark green conifers. It could easily be a scene in the Canadian Rockies or a picturesque Alpine cirque; but it’s the Scottish Highlands, and it’s perfect.