Chasing rainbows on the Isle of Skye

It had rained in the night, but the sky showed signs of clearing.  Setting off along the road to Broadford, a rainbow danced on the moor above the Black Lochs.  It became a day of chasing rainbows.

Some appeared as broad blocks of colour that painted the mountainside, others as graceful arches, rising high into the sky. We looked on, transfixed by the alchemy of light and water transformed into an arc of colour: magic, quite literally, in the air.

We saw seven in all as we traversed the enchanted landscape of druid groves and marshes, moorland and reed beds – at times climbing high, at times skirting the sea edge where the glowing amber, deep carnelian and yellow ochre of the seaweed lay against a black shoreline.  The vibrant colours of autumn, of stunted birch, warped ash, and gnarled oak, paraded against changing skies of charcoal, slate and dove, then clearest blue.

At Elgol, lobster pots piled high, we took in the view of the Cuillin, their distinctive ridges and peaks still shrouded in cloud.

Weather improving, we took the road back and made our way over to Ord.  The warm light of the late afternoon picked out mussel shells on the beach and fronds of green-grey lichen on the rocks.

Through the shifting light, past and present merged and parted, like the tide gently lapping at the shore.

That night, a shooting star struck across the clear sky, so close, I thought I heard it fizz.

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