Black Wood of Rannoch

Etching of the Black Wood aside Loch Rannoch, Scotland by John George Mathieson (LEO Design)

Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork.  So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by).  Let me share a few of them with you.  Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020.  On the whole, I have little to complain of.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.

The Black Wood of Rannoch is a surviving remnant of the massive Caledonian Forest, the ancient rainforest which once blanketed most of the Scottish Highlands.  This parcel lays along the southern shore of Loch Rannoch in the Highlands (which can be seen in the etching).  The forest was once lush with Scots Pines, the indigenous species that took-hold after the last Ice Age (around 7000 BC).  The Caledonian Forest appears in multiple works of literature, including as the site of the Twelve Battles of King Arthur.  Over the millennia, through woodcutting, grazing and climate change, the large forest has been reduced to spotty vestiges.  Foresters have been actively propagating and planting Scots Pines in an attempt to preserve the species against aggressive invasive species.

This print, which I found at Alexandra Palace in London, was etched by John George Mathieson (active 1918-1940).  Mathieson exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art.


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