Witches’ knickers …

… and other monochromes, from a walk between Portmahomack and Tarbat Ness lighthouse.  To get here, head for Inverness, cross the Kessock and Cromarty Bridges, follow the A9 north, by-passing Invergordon, until a turning right is signposted Fearn and beyond.  We are here because of golf, a ‘research’ trip for Golf in the Wild – Going Home – golf doesn’t get much wilder than this.

It is also a fine place to stay regardless of the golf: Known in Gaelic as ‘Port MoCholmaig’ or St Colman’s Port, Portmahomack can trace its roots back to 800 AD. Today, this pretty fishing village is well-known locally for its picturesque setting. The only village on the east coast of Scotland that faces due west, Portmahomack can enjoy spectacular sunsets. And because it is situated in an area of the Highlands renowned for its low rainfall, the village doesn’t suffer with those pesky West Coast midges! – http://www.portmahomack.org/

A remarkably flat landscape for much of the road towards the tip of the peninsular, it was purpose-built for aerodromes.  More than seventy years after the end of World War II, there is much evidence of the decaying infrastructure that supported RAF Tain.  It is also prime farmland, more reminiscent of the Great Plains than a land steeped in ancient Pictish history.  There are the inevitable too-yellow fields of oil seed rape but also, acres given over to potato crops, much of which ends up in crackly packets of Walkers Crisps.

Once you reach the coastal village Portmahomack, the landscape roughens up such that the golf course is anything but flat which makes for a thoroughly entertaining 10-hole layout at the top of the village. Golf was first played here in 1894 and the current club established in 1909.

Portmahomack even has its own Carnegie Hall which, by happy coincidence, was playing host to Lizabett Russo on the night we arrived.

These photos ignore the golf as I am honour-bound to occasionally entertain the Good Wife/part-time caddie with walks that don’t include greens and fairways:

Witches’ knickers

A shed

Wide open spaces

Oil seed rape.

Tarbat Ness Lighthouse.

Tarbat Ness Lighthouse.


  1. jelleybaby · April 16, 2019

    Great, now I know what Witches’ Knickers look like, the more I see your photo’s the more I am drawn to trying a good Fiji camera/lens combination mostly been using Nikon and Lumix which are good but lack some of the crispness of yours.

    • northumbrianlight · April 16, 2019

      I still have my Nikon DSLR kit but rarely use it. The transformation started with the X100S and then the X100F – just so easy to carry about and use every day. I then wanted the same quality of image with a range of lenses which is how I ended up with the X-Pro2 and that fabulous 10-24mm zoom. If I could only have one, it would be the X-Pro2 – can’t recommend it highly enough.

  2. Pit · April 16, 2019

    Proof that sometimes monochrome b&w makes for fantastic renderings.

    • northumbrianlight · April 16, 2019

      Thanks Pit, much appreciated. Hope all is well with you and yours.

      • Pit · April 16, 2019

        You’re welcome! 🙂 All is well here – thanks for asking. That severe weather passed us by, luckily.

  3. Aviationtrails · April 17, 2019

    Wow! Excellent photos. It sounds a remarkable little place and very remote (part of its charm I guess!).

    • northumbrianlight · April 17, 2019

      Many thanks, glad you liked them. You should head this way – I would love to read some Aviationtrails about RAF Tain. There is much of the old infrastructure in evidence including the original control tower despite endeavours by local councillors to have them removed.

      • Aviationtrails · April 17, 2019

        I believe the airfields conservation trust people placed a marker ‘memorial’ at Tain just recently. It certainly sounds one to go to, especially if there’s a fair bit left. I’ll add it to a very long list! Thanks for the heads up.

  4. J.D. Riso · April 17, 2019

    That wide open landscape…breathtaking. Love the monochrome effect on all of these. Looks like a magnificently wild place indeed. Hope you’re having a delightful spring, Robin.

    • northumbrianlight · April 17, 2019

      Having a great time thanks Julie. Biting northeasterly winds at the moment but at least the sun is shining. All the best, Robin

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