Loch Ossian, Scotland by Judith Parrott

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I took this photo from the edge of Loch Ossian on the north-eastern edge of Rannoch Moor, Scotland. There are no roads in to the loch, but a train-line cuts across the moor, and I disembarked at a tiny station onto the deserted moor. The loch is a few kilometres walk from the station and there is a remote youth hostel near its shores. When I woke early the next morning I caught sight of the mist rising from the loch through the dormitory window. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera and ran out to the loch-side to capture the stillness of the scene and soak up the wild tranquillity. What I forgot were the midges. No sooner did I stop at the loch’s edge and raise my camera for the shot than a great cloud of midges descended, not just on me, but covering the camera lens and filling my view with swarming insects. I ran in circles to stop them biting and waved my camera around to clear them from the lens. I had to pause to apply the camera settings in swift bursts then run around waving my arms again to shake off the settling midges. By the time I could grab this hurried shot the mist had risen to reveal the absolute stillness of the day. I flew back to the sanctity of the hostel laughing at the ridiculous spectre I must have made for those still lying in their beds gazing sleepily through the window.

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