Picture This: In Thrall Behind Calton Hill

by Keith Savage · 10 comments


March in Edinburgh is a convocation of gusts, skirls, gales, and winds carousing over Auld Reekie’s seven hills. One by one, I tick off my ascents up their slopes: Arthur’s Seat and Castle Rock, Calton and Corstorphine, Braid and Blackford and Craiglockhart. Of them all Calton Hill is the most peculiar. I wander across its crown, past unfinished memorials and strange obelisks, like an interloper amidst the wrecked memories of an amnesiac. There is romance in that these follies have been left here. Touching flaws. An empty path continues east, winding down the back of Calton Hill. I have nowhere to be; I let the wind guide me.

Back here, Edinburgh opens its heart to me. The hill has grown wild with purple, yellow, and white flowers blossoming in its mane. The eminence of Arthur’s Seat looks over the long incline of the Salisbury Crags onto this vision. The moment reverberates upon my nerves. I feel flush. There are grasses pirouetting in the wind and shadows flitting over these colorful bells silently clanging against each other. I am in thrall to a thing I cannot name. So much misunderstanding. So much left to the overmatched imagination. So much waiting to be blown back into our minds.


MartynNo Gravatar October 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I love it when photos are so good you’re convinced it must have been painted, the way the colour of the flowers just dots the hill is beautiful. Wonderfully framed with an appropriately eloquent accompaniment 🙂

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Cheers Martyn!

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JoAnnaNo Gravatar October 30, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Beautiful photo, Keith. Was this taken in the springtime?

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Actually mid-March. Very cold and windy when I took this photo.

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Addison SNo Gravatar October 29, 2012 at 8:34 AM

The subtle color of the blossoming flowers against the rugged backdrop is incredible. With every new post I read I feel myself getting ever closer to Scotland. As a to-visit destination it is creeping further up the list to the number one spot. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 30, 2012 at 7:03 AM

My pleasure, Addison.

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AndiNo Gravatar October 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM

What a gorgeous shot!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Thanks Andi!

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Traveling TedNo Gravatar October 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

“An interloper amidst the wrecked memories of an amnesiac” – That is great stuff right there.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 25, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Thanks Ted, glad you liked it.

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