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Stenness Stones – Orkney

Stenness standing stones, Orkney landscape photography

Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney.

The Stenness stones, along with the Ring of Brodgar form part of the UNESCO world heritage site known as ‘the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.’  From Stenness, Brodgar is within eyesight and about a 5 minute walk to the north.  The Neolithic chambered cairn, Maeshowe, is also within visible and also a short walk away.

Even though the stones are man made, their age makes the appear as just another element of the Orkadian landscape.  Something that is just ‘there’ as you drive by in a car or are looking out the window of a bus.  Covered in moss, struck by lightning, and standing among grazing sheep,  simply ‘there;’ part of a living land.

Stenness standing stones, Orkney Neolithic site photo

Ring of Brodgar – Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland, stock image

Winter dawn at Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland.

In December, the sun has little strength to rise very far above the horizon this far in the north.  The winter days are short and the nights long, only to be reversed in a few months during the endless days of summer.  Such a contrast of light at dark that I never knew growing up at a more mild latitude.  No wonder that the sun played such an important role in the lives of the ancient peoples of this barren land.

It is always a strange feeling for me to walk amongst something so old.  To think that these stones have seen some 5,000 winters, and will probably see another 5,000 more;  it helps to put things in perspective about the importance of our ‘achievements.’

South Ronaldsay, Orkney

Orkney travel stock photograph - Old boat sits abandoned in Barn, South Ronaldsay, Orkney

Staircase in abandoned derelict building, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland

living room of abandoned house, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland

Abandoned house, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland.

I wonder what stories these old walls could tell.  Once it was probably the center of a large farm.  Times changed and the old ways lost their charm.  The young generation left home for the glamour of the city.  No one wanted to live on the edge of the world anymore.  The house sat alone, empty.  The paint faded.  The roof caved.

Ring of Brodgar – Orkney

Ring of Brodgar standing stones, Orkney, Scotland - Cody Duncan photogapher

Ring of Brodgar standing stones, Orkney.

Sunset panoramic photo Ring of Brodgar standing stones, Orkney, Scotland

Winter sunset behind Ring of Brodgar stone circle, Orkney