Photo Friday: Standing Pebbles in Orkney

Orkney; June 2009


My friend and I were sightseeing around mainland Orkney when we stumbled across this circle of Standing Stones – or rather, Standing Pebbles!

I don’t know who did this but it tickled my fancy as a joyful and creative response to the environment. I could imagine doing this with a child – but equally, if I were feeling playful, on my own.

Whoever it was, it seems likely they were inspired by the nearby Ring of Brodgar (the subject of a post earlier this week). But while 27 of the original 60 standing stones of Brodgar are still standing after 5,000-odd years, this is a far more transient construction.

In fact, since we found the arrangement on the beach at the Brough of Gurness – an Iron-Age site that is an island at high tide and a peninsula at low tide – it was probably washed away with the next tide. And that’s just fine.

Art isn’t always about the legacy.

This post is my contribution to Photo Friday, a weekly blogging event hosted by Debbie of DeliciousBaby Journal. Please visit her site to see all the other entries this week.


Quick link: It’s September 11, a date that is etched indelibly on the psyche of the modern era. Over at BlogHer, Pam Mandel has written a thoughtful piece on how the terror attacks eight years ago have changed travel for so many of us. It’s a great read.

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  1. I love the photo. It gives me a peaceful sensation. It looks like a great place for meditation.
    .-= maria´s last blog ..Photo Friday: Bourton-on-the-Water, the Model Village =-.

  2. Funnily enough, I’ve seen a lot of this in Montezuma, Costa Rica. People obviously do it, but it’s everywhere!

  3. Love this pic. Even though I’m from Britain originally I’ve never made it this far North. Checked out your other posts on the area. Looks beautiful! Somewhere to aim for on future trips ‘home’.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Photo Friday – Fall Colors, Dorset, Ontario =-.

  4. I love “found art” like this on beaches. I’ve taken photos of little stone stacks I’ve found on the beach, a snowman on the beach, a tire that looked like a holiday wreath….
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Photo Friday: We meet Hotdogger Doggone Dave in Chicago =-.

  5. Pebblehenge :)

    Cool find
    .-= Tim Marks´s last blog ..Taking a Photographic Walk around the Detroit Cultural Center =-.

  6. There are so many islands off the coast of the UK, I’d love to visit–these, the Shetlands, the Faroes (not really off the coast, but you know)… Love it! Jealous!
    .-= Camels & Chocolate´s last blog ..Photo Friday: San Diego, California =-.

  7. If this were done by my daughter, she would have her ponies lined up right beside them, neighing to her heart’s delight. Thanks for the imagery.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..Travel Planning =-.

  8. I can imagine the children of the people who built the ring of Brodgar doing this very thing in their time, too
    .-= Kerry Dexter´s last blog ..photographing music: hands =-.


  1. [...] This is the final post in my series on stone-age Orkney. Please check out the previous posts in the series. Part one: Standing Stones and the Ring of Brodgar Part two: Fairy Mounds and Maeshowe Bonus: Photo Friday: The Standing Pebbles of Orkney [...]

  2. [...] You may also like Photo Friday: The Standing Pebbles of Orkney. [...]