highlands national park

Stakkholtsgjá is a well known gorge in the Thórsmörk area in the Icelandic highlands. But just next to it and most of the time overlooked by visitors is a beautiful ravine that´s much worth the visit. Surrounded by steep cliffs with a small freshwater stream at the bottom


Good Morning from Scotland 

Loch Achray by Andy Belshaw
Via Flickr:
Sunrise over a misty Loch Achray.

The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. The plaque near the viewpoint reads as follows:

“At the beginning of the eighteenth century, to the inconvenience of both travellers and local people, there was no point at which the River Dulnain could be crossed when it was in spate, and burials at the Church of Duthil were often delayed.

Brigadier-General Alexander Grant of Grant, Clan Chief, commissioned John Niccelsone, a mason from Ballindaloch, to build a bridge at Lynne of Dalrachney. Built between May and November 1717, the bridge was paid for out of stipends of the Parish of Duthill.

Its parapets and side walls were badly damaged in the 18th century and again in the famous flood of August 1829, giving the appearance it still has today.”

Sources: Instagram and scotlandinfo.eu

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is one of my favorite places in Iceland. It is over 500 meters above see level and the land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lake. The area is mostly undisturbed and because of the cold climate in the Nature Reserve the vegetation’s growing period is only about two moths every year and the formation of soil very slow so parts of the area my look just like the moon. But I love the desolate wilderness and tranquillity and the wide open spaces

Artist sought for Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Autumn is arguably the most beautiful time of year in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

The perfect inspiration, perhaps, for an artist? Parks Canada hopes its national park can provide just that, and is now seeking an artist-in-residence for up to six weeks this fall.

“They get to be part of the park," said Lori Burke, the general manager of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, which is partnering on the pilot project. "They can go and explore and spend some meaningful time with their creativity.”

The residency is at a house in a “beautiful” spot in Inginosh at the base of Franey Mountain, O'Hearn said, which is one of her favourite hikes. Below Franey Mountain is Clyburn Valley, known for its meadows and hardwood trees.

“Certainly an environment to inspire some creativity,” Burke said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this process.”

The one stipulation, aside from the actual residency, is a willingness to engage with the public during the creative process or during a showing of the finished work.

“That’s an important component of this,” said Burke. “It’s not just about the creative practice; it’s about visitors to Parks Canada and to Cape Breton, and locals, being able to interact with and explore their own creativity with the artist and learn more about their creative practice and be inspired by the park.”

The program is a first for Parks Canada in Cape Breton, but it has been done in other parks, including Gros Morne and Terra Nova in Newfoundland, and Gwaii Haanas in B.C., according to Maria O'Hearn, Parks Canada’s external relations manager in Cape Breton. 

The Cape Breton residency is open to artists in all creative media.

“That could be weaving, it could be pottery, it could be painting, it could be photography,” said Burke. “We haven’t put any boundaries on that, and it’s open to locals, national and international artists.”

The residency is slated to begin Oct. 25, and Burke acknowledges time is short. She said artists who apply should submit a CV, details of previous exhibitions, 10 to 15 images and a statement of what they intend to do.

Applications for the residency, which includes an artist honorarium, can be found on the centre’s website.