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.

One hour, one shower, altered perspective.

Along this small frisk of marginal land, sandwiched between high mountains and deep sea, an old path has been re-established by our footsteps. For me it has become a prayer walk, a cleansing-of-the-mind pather, from croft home to sandy beach … Continue reading

Posted in beaches, clouds, coasts, encounters with wildlife, environment, landscape photography, nature, nature writing, photography, Scotland, sea, Skye, storm, weather, wilderness, winter, winter weather | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Sepia, silver and gold: transition to autumn

At last, after a very busy summer, tourist numbers are tailing off.  The main beaches closer to Gairloch are still dimpled with people-trails but locally Opinan’s sands have been washed clear by showers, divots smoothed by the high tides. Now … Continue reading

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Elemental Colours and Inner Sounds (Water Colours II)

I wrote last year about the Inner Sound and the Minch, stretches of sea between Wester Ross on the Scottish mainland and the Hebrides: https://notesfromasmallcroftbythesea.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/water-colours/ Red River Croft looks out over them both but especially where they meet, one running … Continue reading

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Corncrakes and a sea swim

I was a lucky academic; some of my ‘in-the-field’ teaching and research took place in the Mediterranean, and long hot day of geo-fieldwork was often rewarded with a cool beer. Picture this: a glass, chilled for hours in a fridge … Continue reading

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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