Sally and Rex Ross fell in love with Dornoch and the Northern Highlands in 2008 and 2009. Sally writes: “We traveled every highway, by-way, and back road of the Northern Highlands following the light. And we were constantly met with surprises: rainbows, dark clouds, and shifting sun light; one hundred red deer watching us, highland calves, and seals; expanses of pine, peat, and heather; waterfalls and great, crystal-clear running rivers; the hand of God on a silent blue loch; a tiny croft house surrounded by the immensity of land and sky.”
And at night they returned to Dornoch, now a home away from home in Athens, Georgia, USA. They played golf at Royal Dornoch, Struie, Brora, Bonar Bridge, Tain, and Strathpeffer. Rex marched with the Ross Clan in Tain, and Sally, with friend, Sandra, walked Ben Bhraggie, Struie Hill, Big Burn, and Dornoch beaches. Sally and Rex enjoyed services at Dornoch Cathedral and the yearly pilgrimage to Croik church; meals at the Eagle Tavern, Sutherlands, the Coffee Shop, the Castle, the Royal Hotel (Tain), and at home in Camore; Saturday night pipe and drums and dancers in the town square; and Highland Games in both Dornoch and Tain as well as the Black Isle Show.
They enjoyed all of this after Rex had a double lung transplant in May 2005. He had snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, walked St. Andrews and Carnoustie, cooked hundreds of elegant meals for friends, enjoyed the U.S. West and New England, and could have done anything he wanted with his miraculous new life. He chose Dornoch and the Northern Highlands where his heart was always full and his life felt complete. This book is dedicated to his memory.
I have always been a photographer, but creating fine art photography has now become a passion and a path to learning and personal expression. My work is often described as painterly, an effect I strive to achieve through my eye as an artist, my sense of composition, and my knowledge and use of the camera as a creative tool. I have come to understand that the central theme of my work—and my life—is to live and to create art that “soothes one’s soul.” Most of my art occurs when I am walking outdoors. When I travel, I am overwhelmed by the beauty and wonder of everything: views, people, animals, grand sights, and tiny details. My travel series include Scotland, China, Italy, Australia/New Zealand, Zion National Park, and New England, as well as Georgia and the US South. It is harder to recognize beauty in the commonplace of my daily routine at home in Watkinsville, GA, but with my camera, I have come to see differently in local settings as well.
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