Initially I was a bit wary of the deep dark water as I slowly rowed to the centre of the loch but the fear soon left as I became absorbed with the surrounding scenery. I was inspired by the winter colours and textures of Beinn Trilleachan rising steeply to the sky.
I felt small and insignificant as I glided quietly passed Ben Starav. I felt a little cold and vulnerable in the dark shadows, but I never once felt that I was somewhere I shouldn't be. I was slowly awakening and accepting the fact I was now in a new element and it existed only for me to discover.
Words cannot express my delight when the seal appeared from nowhere. Behind him the beautiful backdrop of Ben Cruachan reached all the way to the sea and then reflected back to the sky again. The seals movements caused ripples on the mountain's surface that made me wonder if the scene before me was real ..or was I dreaming.
I stopped rowing and let the inflatable drift gently in the ebbing tide. As if by magic, my boat slowly spun round twice then the two white swans appeared. I expected the white rabbit to appear at any moment now .. but I guess he was too late for his important date. Glancing at my watch I realised time hadn't stopped, it was in fact now lunch time.
I rowed over to the sandy beach at Rubha Bharr, where I landed and had lunch. It had taken all morning to row and drift the five miles from the head of the loch. I decided it was now time to try out the little outboard engine.
The outboard burst into life with two pulls of the starter chord and I motored lazily back to the car parked near the old pier. I felt great. I was no longer a virgin on his maiden voyage. Sadly, the old pier is no longer there. The wooden posts have been taken away. A sad loss for the sunday photographers of this area.
June is one of the best months to photograph Glen Etive. Thats when the Rhododendrons around Lochan Urr are in full colour.
They tend to grow everywhere and even the islands in the loch are covered by them.
However I do confess that it is the late Autumn months that inspires me most. The browns and yellows tipped with white are my favourite colours.
And the falling sound of the waterfalls is music to my ears.
I now know why William Wordsworth wrote of Glen Etive ....
This Land of Rainbows spanning glens whose walls,
Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists
Of far-stretched Meres whose salt flood never rests
Of tuneful Caves and playful Waterfalls
Of Mountains varying momently their crests