It has been a rainy summer and it seems it may turn out to be a wet, wet, wet autumn too. This made me think of Scotland, where there is beautiful weather too, don’t get me wrong. On last summer’s journey we got to see lots of stone circles and one of them was this, the Sunhoney, a recumbent stone circle in Aberdeenshire near the village of Echt. There are some good photos of it in that link and some journal entries too.
We parked our little car at Midmar Kirk which has a magnificent recumbent stone circle in its churchyard amid the Christian headstones. It’s not authentic, not in its original form as it has been landscaped as somebody put, but you get a good idea what a recumbent stone circle is: a mood calendar of a kind with one stone laying on its side between two fag-like ones. They are typical to north east of Scotland and are often on good farmland. It was fascinating to see the old and the new cosmologies mingled together in Midmar Kirk’s churchyard.
From there we walked westward (I’m rather sure it was westward) along an overgrown road flanked by old elm trees that kept the rain out, then followed a paved road for awhile before arriving at the foot of the little hill that has the Sunhoney on top of it. We didn’t see any paths leading to the circle, and we hadn’t found one on the map, so we crossed the fields (the first harvest of hay had been collected, so we didn’t harm the crop) and climbed several fences to get to the stone circle. The Sunhoney is surrounded by a set of trees and a bank of stones. And cattle. They kept a keen eye on us. I’m glad we didn’t have to walk through their pasture. They seemed to be a lively bunch of young bulls with not enough to do.
I did mention that is was raining, right? By the time we got to the circle our hiking boots were wet. They just couldn’t handle the amount of water, the ground and the vegetation were so saturated with it. Even with the rain gear on it felt wet, but we were much better off than the two fellows that came by as I was sketching beneath an oak. They had an umbrella. Much good when most of the wetness gets to you from the waist high vegetation. Felt sorry for them, but they did seem to think it was worth it. And apparently there was a proper path leading to the circle from the other side of the hill.
But had we found it, we would have missed an adventure: the elm street, the deer dashing past our eyes, the four-horned Jacob sheep and a pile of stones that might be what remains of a third recumbent stone circle underneath an electricity pylon. And it would have been less of an adventure without the rain.