Saturday, July 25, 2015

British Isles #16: Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle looks so Medieval and foreboding perched high up on the volcanic Castle Rock. It looks like one giant stronghold. In truth, it is many different buildings built at different times - more like a small walled town. For me, once I got into the castle grounds, it was less impressive than from afar. It still contains some beautiful buildings and has witnessed a lot of history, but each building now holds a little museum or exhibit - I think something is lost by this. And the place was incredibly busy for the off season. I cannot even imagine summer months here. We aren't used to the crowds, as we are often spoiled by being the only people present in many old castle ruins. Still it is surely a place to visit, with wonderful views of the city. We seldom take the guided tours but here it may have helped us appreciate the value and history of each building. Instead we just made our way around and visited the buildings or exhibits that interested us. My favorite building was Saint Margaret's Chapel, which is the oldest part of Edinburgh Castle, in fact, the oldest building in Edinburgh (from the 12th c.). It is a tiny, plain stone building but inside is an ancient Romanesque chapel with lovely stained glass.

Stained Glass of Saint Margaret in Saint Margaret's Chapel inside castle grounds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

British Isles #15: Bannerman's

Bannerman's Bar was our choice hangout while in Edinburgh. It was just a few blocks off the Royal Mile, at the corner of Cowgate and Niddry Street. A little cavern of a pub with stone arches, little alcoves, a fireplace, and drinks a plenty. There was live music in the front when we visited, but Bannerman's also hosts a lot of live music in a vaulted room in the back. This place was a great mix of modern and ancient, laid back and edgy, traditional and rock n roll.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Painting

Some businesses are already gearing up for Back to School! So in the hot, hot summer sun I painted these two windows. The apple trees even have an air of Autumn to them, but I don't want to rush summer away. And below...a belated patriotic window I painted for the 4th.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wild Blue Wonders

Under this full Hay Moon of July, wonders have been brewing low beneath my gaze, from the great cauldron of earth, decay,and fecund forest floor. I've been finding the most miraculous mushrooms including an Indigo Milky, a blue & edible mushroom! Also some incredibly colored ones that I've yet to identify. The berries are ripening too in their thorny fortresses, here and there and often hiding. These wonders of the natural world so small, so often overlooked, can make a soul swoon with love if only we take the time to look.

Indigo Milky

Indigo Milky
Edible Chanterelles