Lone Tree on Rannoch Moor
Lone tree on Rannoch Moor. In August 2000 when driving up the West Coast of Scotland in a hired motor home, I spotted this lone tree growing precariously out of a rock. Sat in the back of my motor home was my 7 month old daughter Niamh. She had enjoyed the journey, spending her time as
7 month old do, by covering her head with a cloth, probably the ubiquitous muslin square that becomes essential to new parents, then pulling it back again. She was smiling at my reaction to her watching her in the rear view mirror.
I pulled up at the side of the road and wandered over to the rock. Something made me want to mark that time in my life. I knew one day I would revisit when she was older and be able to bring back those memories.
My usual way would have been to photograph the tree and rock but somehow this time I decided to go back to the motor home and take a knife.
I carved my daughters initials into the tree. N.E.W Niamh Ellen Woollard.
Fast forward to October 2015.
Heading back to a holiday just north of Fort William, and once again Niamh is sitting in the back of my car. No hiding under cloths at the age of fifteen but now lost in the sounds coming out of of her headphones.
Once again this amazing tree caught my eye. To be honest my memories told me that it was further north, but once again I was compelled to stop. This time I took my camera rather than a knife.
In those 15 years was my carving still there? Would it be legible? Was the branch even still attached to this lone tree on Rannoch Moor?
Take a look at the pictures below
The years had been kind to my carvings. Still beautifully legible and they had aged perfectly. The flaky skin of the silver birch provided amazing textures to surround my daughters initials.
I may never carve initials in a tree again, but doing so provided me with a reason to go back and who knows, one day, a reason for Niamh to go there and show a future generation?