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Lichen stones with no names

P1030182Uist’s burial grounds stretch over ancient sites, raised up on green mounds with long horizons out to sea.

The kirks at Kilmuir and Clachan Sands that once shared the space are in ruins now, or gone completely, and it’s been a long time since a new grave was dug.

There are no names or inscriptions on many of the stones; no maudlin sentiment. They’re just rough field  rocks entwined in shrubby grey lichen.

Their simplicity is their charm; that, and the mystery of the long gone lives they mark.




14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful!

    April 27, 2014
  2. twoscamps #

    HH, it is wonderful to take part in your travels. What a strange and beautiful scene! We have a similar lichen in our forests that we call “old man’s beard”. I’ve never seen it on stone.

    April 22, 2014
  3. The stones are beautiful in an eerie sort of way. I’ve never seen lichen, as long and shaggy as the lichen on the stones. I don’t think that we have that lichen variety around here.

    April 11, 2014
    • I thought it was unusual too Sheryl, so looked it up. It’s called fructose lichen and in the UK it’s only found in the western Highlands of Scotland and in parts of Wales. Don’t know about the rest of the world!

      April 11, 2014
  4. Those grave stones are simply amazing in their thick coats of lichen! I’ve never seen anything quite like that.

    April 9, 2014
    • I hadn’t either, and I’ve wandered round a lot of graveyards all over the world.

      April 11, 2014
  5. Loving your commentary and photos, my family is from Unst in the Shetlands, it looks very similar.

    April 8, 2014
    • I was in Unst last year, Lloyd and to me they feel very different; Uist is gentler, more feminine while Unst’s beauty is in it’s boldness and strength. I recommend you visit them both!

      April 8, 2014
  6. Nancy, still loving your turns of phrase. Glad you’re on the move again and we have the possibility of more from you.

    April 7, 2014
    • Appreciate the feedback, Scott. I’m hoping to combine work with a nomadic summer in the camper, so I’ll do my best to share my view of Scotland.

      April 8, 2014
  7. Inspiration for a Sci-fi novel!!

    April 7, 2014

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