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Gruinard Mist

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Taken from Gruinard Hill, the view is of Gruinard Bay looking across one of its three beautiful beaches, which has pink sand from the Torridonian sandstone. The mist held the coast that day although the sun was shining down, it really did give the area an eerie feel. Although this area is known for its outstanding beauty it also has a dark side.

Gruinard Island is a small island located in Gruinard Bay, which is about halfway between Gairloch and Ullapool. In 1942, during World War II, the British government took over Gruinard Island and tested what may have been the world's first anthrax bomb. It was used to test the vulnerability of Britain against a German attack and to check on the feasibility of attacking Germany with a biological weapon.

About a dozen sheep were taken to the island, and bombs filled with anthrax spores were exploded close to where groups were tethered. The sheep became infected with anthrax and began to die within days of exposure. After all the tests were completed, British scientists concluded that a large scale release of anthrax spores would thoroughly pollute German cities, rendering them uninhabitable for decades afterwards.

Concerned about spreading anthrax to populated areas, the government stopped the tests on Gruinard in 1943 and closed the island to boat and air traffic. It was also noted that several other local villages may have been infected.

Subsequent decontamination attempts on the island were unsuccessful due to the durability of anthrax spores. As a result, Gruinard Island was quarantined and remained a no-go area for many years afterward. Visits to the island were strictly prohibited. Starting in 1986 a company was paid half a million pounds, and a determined effort was made to decontaminate the island, with 280 tonnes of formaldehyde solution diluted in seawater being sprayed over all 520 acres of the island, and the worst-contaminated topsoil around the dispersal site being removed. A flock of sheep was then placed on the island. The flock remained healthy. On April 24, 1990, after 48 years of quarantine, the then-junior defence minister, Michael Neubert, visited the island and announced its safety by removing the "Landing is Prohibited" signs. In its place, a small plaque was lain at the foot of a simple sculture. It read: For air, stone and the equilibrium of understanding. Welcome back Gruinard.

Camera:Canon EOS 300D
Lens:18-55mm
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Gruinard Mist
Username:dalischone dalischone
Uploaded:1 Sep 2007 - 3:15 PM
Tags:Gruinard bay, Landscape / travel, Scotland, Wester ross
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Votes:34

Comments

graeme34
graeme34  7 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2007 - 3:16 PM

Superb!

Graeme

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kencbr
kencbr  8 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2007 - 3:17 PM

nice capture

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dawnmichelle
dawnmichelle e2 Member 7dawnmichelle vcard United States
1 Sep 2007 - 3:18 PM

Beautiful shot. The intro was was wonderful as well.
Dawn Michelle

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hotfusion1000

Lovely photograph and an interesting narative. Thanks for posting and well done.

Peter

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KBan
KBan  9457 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
1 Sep 2007 - 3:21 PM

great colours Trace
keith

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dalischone
1 Sep 2007 - 3:29 PM

Many thanks everyone for your lovely comments and encouragement, very much appreciated.

Tracy

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jaktis
jaktis e2 Member 1081 forum postsjaktis vcard Sweden
1 Sep 2007 - 3:59 PM

Lovely blue tones

Peter

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Snapper
Snapper  93738 forum posts United States Minor Outlying Islands3 Constructive Critique Points
1 Sep 2007 - 4:01 PM

Strong deep blues are nicely balanced by the warmth in the foreground grass and the faraway beach, and I don't think the shot would work so well without them. Was this taken on 22 August by any chance as we had similar fog at Lochinver and Oldshoremore that day?

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ChristineL
1 Sep 2007 - 4:19 PM

a really interesting story and a new one to me. I knew they did tests, but not where.
A lovely view with great colour and the mist makes it even better,
Chris.

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jmw58
jmw58  8 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2007 - 4:48 PM

Lovely image Smile

Julie

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dalischone
1 Sep 2007 - 5:51 PM

Many thanks everyone for your lovely comments, very much appreciated.

Tracy

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fentiger
fentiger e2 Member 13915 forum postsfentiger vcard England22 Constructive Critique Points
1 Sep 2007 - 5:56 PM

This is a great landscape Tracy well composed with a good range of attractive colours. Well done

IMO though I think you could improve the image by removing that bit of fencing (by cropping or cloning) in the bottom LH corner.

Albert

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thefatcat44
1 Sep 2007 - 6:04 PM

gorgeous colour - off there myself in October - I will be happy to get an image half as good

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dalischone
1 Sep 2007 - 6:15 PM

Many thanks Albert and Doug much appreciated.

Albert thanks for your advice, I tried cropping it out but it just didn't look right to me, if I'd tried to clone it out it would have looked a mess - lol Smile

Tracy

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JN_CHATELAIN_PHOTOGRAPHY
1 Sep 2007 - 7:06 PM

A stunning photo with the deep colours, mountains and the mist. Very interesting accompanying information. JNC

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simon butterworth

Very eloquent and informative, oh and the picture is pretty good too!

Simon

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dalischone
1 Sep 2007 - 11:16 PM

Many thanks Jean Noel and Simon, your comments always very much appreciated.

Tracy

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rhion
rhion  1035 forum posts United Kingdom
2 Sep 2007 - 10:18 AM

That is a stunning photograph Tracy - magical with that mist.
Thanks for the write-up too, I wa aware of the first part (tagic story it is too) but the bit about the plaque etc was news to me. Adds a lot to it all.
Richard

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kinfatric
kinfatric  9550 forum posts Scotland9 Constructive Critique Points
2 Sep 2007 - 12:59 PM

aye the things they do Tracy, but alls well now.....hopefully. Nice layers in the shot

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emefbee
emefbee  8116 forum posts England
2 Sep 2007 - 1:10 PM

Breathtaking. Thanks for the info too. The world was as mad then as it is now!
Matt.B.

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dalischone
2 Sep 2007 - 2:19 PM

Many thanks Richard, Kin and Matt for your comments and encouragement, very much appreciated.

Tracy

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trissie
trissie  8 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2007 - 5:29 PM

A beautiful capture and a very interesting story.

Trish

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dalischone
2 Sep 2007 - 6:25 PM

Many thanks Trish, much appreciated.

Tracy

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csr
csr  7 England
2 Sep 2007 - 11:05 PM

Looks fab nice one
chris

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dalischone
3 Sep 2007 - 1:52 AM

Many thanks Chris, much appreciated.

Tracy

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chrissd
chrissd  8304 forum posts United Kingdom
3 Sep 2007 - 6:26 AM

nice, worth an RC
chris

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User_Removed
4 Sep 2007 - 6:56 PM

Such beauty from such a horrific past

victor

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dalischone
4 Sep 2007 - 8:12 PM

Many thanks Chris and Victor, much appreciated.

Tracy

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MickS
MickS  9 England14 Constructive Critique Points
11 Dec 2007 - 8:45 PM

Watcha Tracy,
excellent capture of a difficult subject, well, I always find mist to be difficultSmile
best
Mick

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