Author Archives: Annie O'G Worsley

About Annie O'G Worsley

I'm a mum of four, gran, writer, crofter & Professor of 'Environmental Change'. I now live on a small farm (known as a croft) by the sea in a place surrounded by the ‘Great Wilderness’ mountains of the Scottish NW Highlands. I was a full-time academic, a geographer, but I decided to go feral and follow my dream of living a smaller, simpler, wilder life. I have always loved wild places. As a child I was inspired by tales of Trader Horn (my great-great-great uncle Alfred Aloysius Smith) told to me by my mother. Trader Horn spent his life wandering, mostly in Africa. I too, love stravaiging (Gaelic for wandering) and spent time in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea as a young researcher, living with tribes there. Although I spent years researching and teaching university students about environments, processes and habitats, I am discovering much, much more exploring the wilds around me. In moving away from scientific writing, I have rediscovered my wilder self and have a much deeper, truer understanding of nature than I ever had before. My work is published by Elliott & Thompson in a series of anthologies called 'Seasons' and I am currently writing a book about this extraordinary place. I continue to write academic papers with my research colleagues but I am developing new skills including landscape photography and painting. And of course, I still love to wander.

The tumbling of summer and midge mayhem

The recent spell of weather was unusual and impressive: four weeks without rain, four weeks of bright clear skies and sunshine, and four weeks of heat, real Mediterranean-style heat. Warm air whispered of far-away places while slow moving currents scribed … Continue reading

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Fire and fury (and cuckoos)

On Saturday morning a surprise landed on the lawn as I knelt gardening. A cuckoo, his livery as blue as the waters of the Inner Sound rippling with currents of platinum-grey and violet, his abdomen a striped T-shirt. His “Cu-ckoo” … Continue reading

Posted in environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape history, nature, peat bogs, Scotland, Uncategorized, wildfires, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter blues and the magic of light

So much happens in midwinter, not just the mayhem of a family Christmas but out there, beyond the walls and windows, down by the shore, in the fields and in the woods. Apart from the preternatural (and for me much … Continue reading

Posted in birds, Christmas, clouds, coasts, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, family, ice, landforms, landscape, landscape photography, midwinter, mountains, nature, nature writing, north winds, peatbogs, photography, Rainbows, Scotland, sea, Skye, snow, solstice, storm, Storms, thunder, Trotternish, weather, wilderness, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

North winds, ice veils and winter loss

Southerly winds at this time of year often seem angry. To reach us here they must be funnelled through the narrows between Skye’s Cuillin mountains and the heights of Knoydart to then sweep past Applecross. Bursting from confinement at the … Continue reading

Posted in death, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, landscape photography, nature, nature writing, Scotland, sea, Skye, snow, storm, weather, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whale bones and wintry wilds

Snow appeared on our mountain tops with the back-turning of clocks, just as it usually does, so now days are constricted, confined at each end by swift sunrises and swifter sunsets. Each incremental diurnal shortening can almost be tasted. To … Continue reading

Posted in birds, bones, coasts, death, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, landscape, nature, nature writing, otters, photography, Scotland, sea, Storms, Uncategorized, walking, weather, whales, wilderness, wildlife, wildlife encounters, winter, winter weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Limestone homecoming and olive trees

For a few years I took groups of university students to Mallorca. It was both a privilege and a pleasure; hard work but great fun. Through fieldwork we investigated the island’s mountain and coastal landscapes and tried to piece together … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, beaches, Formentor, karst, limestone, Lluc, Mallorca, Mediterranean, Mediterranean holidays, Mediterranean vegetation, olive groves, olive trees, rillenkaren, Serra de Tramuntana, terraces, university teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dog biscuits, ravens and the end of summer

Over the last few days high tides and a scouring north westerly wind whipped up coffee coloured foam and piled it high. Gusts carried salt and globules of froth to stick on my cheeks and glasses. Gone are the sand … Continue reading

Posted in beaches, birds, coasts, encounters with wildlife, environment, experiencing nature, holidays, landscape, nature, otters, photography, Scotland, sea, Skye, summer, wilderness, wildlife, wildlife encounters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments