Nice day in the Highlands yesterday: gorgeous scenery plus sunshine.
Here is Mary Frances with the River Ness behind her, looking downstream to the city of Inverness ('Mouth of the Ness'). The river is barely 20 km (c. 12 miles) long and is the only stream to drain Loch Ness.
Loch Ness is mysterious, but I have long since disabused myself of belief in Nessie, at least as a dinosaur-like monster. As a child, I was enthralled with the concept of a large, cryptozoological creature in its depths. But the lake is dark and deep (maximum depth: 227 meters or 745 feet). It is by far the largest surface freshwater body by volume in the United Kingdom and holds more water than all the freshwater lakes in England and Wales combined - about 7.5 cubic kilometers or a little over 6 MAF.
Here we are at the southern end of Loch Ness:
Just a few miles down the road, we encountered Ben Nevis, the highest (1344 meters or 4408 feet above msl) peak in the British Isles. It's the one to the far right, summit in the clouds.
Finally, on today's journey to to Scotland-England border I encountered this plaque honoring the great James Hutton, in many ways one of the founders of modern geology. His famous unconformity is on private land and unable to be viewed safely, but below the plaque is a picture from Wikipedia. The vertical graywacke is topped by the nearly-horizontal Old Red Sandstone. Hutton realized that the graywacke had to be deposited nearly horizontally, then uplifted, tilted, and eroded before the Old Red could be deposited atop it.
Hutton is also celebrated for the concept of uniformitarianism although he did not call it by that name. The original concept has since been modified.
I was unprepared for this treat; I erroneously thought that Hutton's work was on the west coast of Scotland.
A surprising, wonderful weekend!
"The solid parts of the present land appear in general, to have been composed of the productions of the sea, and of other materials similar to those now found upon the shores. Hence we find reason to conclude:
1st, That the land on which we rest is not simple and original, but that it is a composition, and had been formed by the operation of second causes.
2nd, That before the present land was made, there had subsisted a world composed of sea and land, in which were tides and currents, with such operations at the bottom of the sea as now take place. And,
Lastly, That while the present land was forming at the bottom of the ocean, the former land maintained plants and animals; at least the sea was then inhabited by animals, in a similar manner as it is at present.
Hence we are led to conclude, that the greater part of our land, if not the whole had been produced by operations natural to this globe; but that in order to make this land a permanent body, resisting the operations of the waters, two things had been required;
1st, The consolidation of masses formed by collections of loose or incoherent materials;
2ndly, The elevation of those consolidated masses from the bottom of the sea, the place where they were collected, to the stations in which they now remain above the level of the ocean." - James Hutton, 1785.