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Sunday, 26 March 2017

British Summer Time!



Yes it's that time of year when the clocks "Spring" forward an hour. Whoo Hooo! Sunrise at 06.56 and sunset at 19.39.   And the sun came out and the wind dropped and I was a very happy bunny today!

Here are a selection of photos from the day.....  above - a lovely sunset.... the sun has moved from behind the Hoy hills and is now setting behind the Graemsay hill (erm, OK only a small hill, but still).

While in the garden the increased light and warmth is encouraging all sorts of perennials to emerge.... Not bad for end of March, at 59 degrees North/3 degrees W.

Pulmonaria (lungwort) in flower...


Some tiny blue flowers from a Spring bulb I can't remember the name of!


Hardy geranium ( a lovely pink flower on this one eventually)


Lovage......


Crocosmia


Narcissus.....



The willows have fluffy buds,


Really fluffy and leaves appearing too.


More narcissus


Meanwhile Charlie the barn cat was basking in the sunshine in the old barn.


And that sunset again.....


Hoy High shimmering in the pink glow....


And across the West of Graemsay.....


One of my favourite days of the year so far!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A very low tide!



Around the Spring Equinox (or Equilux as apparently it is sometimes now called! Sounds like a detergent) we get very high tides and very low tides.  I could almost walk to Stromness a few days ago!  Um... I didn't try though.  Anyway here are a few photos of my walk *without* Button who was too busy snoozing to come with me.  Above - Stromness in the distance.

See, a hop, skip and a jump and I could be over in Stromness Harbour.



But fortunately the MV Graemsay is on it's way to transport passengers to ensure our feet stay dry.



Lots of sand at Sandside Bay....


And on the way home a chance to chat to the seep in the field opposite the house.


And I did really try and encourage Button to come too but she gave a rather sleepy response of "No! Go away! I have more important things to do!"



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Evening light.....



The days are lengthening now, and there is still daylight till almost 7.  It was a beautiful evening the other night.  A blackbird sang as I went to put the hens to bed. It was accompanied by a wren.  I love Spring.  It's my favourite time of year.

Lovely deep blue skies.  Looking towards West Mainland and Stromness.


And the sun tinged sky and beautiful calm sea.


That way lies Canada!


The other side of Sandside Bay.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Foggy day....



Yesterday was very misty, with the sun breaking through eventually for a couple of hours and then the rain descending with greyness all around.   I loved the mist, casting fantasy over the landscape.

These photos were taken down by the old buildings at Sandside.  Above, the Hoy Hills have disappeared!

Looking towards Stromness, or a castle with turrets, or the land of Unicorns?


The Manse and Community hall have disappeared into the mist, just the turquoise sea in the bay....



And a hazy Hoy High Lighthouse!


What is hidden in the mist beyond?  Be there dragons?


And in case there be dragons, Button is in hiding....


Monday, 6 March 2017

Changeable weather



March weather was most definitely "changeable" with snow, hail, rain, gales and sunshine.  We had a couple of lovely days this last week, then a gale and some hail/sleet/rain.  But everyday we are nearer to Spring so I don't mind!  Here are some photos from the week....

The above photo was taken up by the Community Hall where we were having a meeting with one of our local Councillors and some council officials to discuss recycling on Graemsay.  Most of Orkney already has recycling facilities run by the local council.  But as we don't have a roll-on-roll-off ferry we have, so far, been without them.  But now a plan is afoot to create a stainless steel bin at the pier so that we can recycle cans, bottles, paper etc.

Anyway back to the view..... a bit closer and without the hydro (electricity) pole!


A dusting of snow on the Hoy Hills....


And on the ground around the house....


Meanwhile Button made the most of the sunshine indoors in the warm...


"I'm ready for my close-up Mr De Mille - just don't wake me up!"


Erm....is this comfortable, dear?


And the hens have some respite from their recent incarceration due to DEFRA rules.....



Sunday, 5 March 2017

A concert on Graemsay




It's been a while since we had a party on Graemsay, oooh must be at least 5 weeks.  So it was good to have Jo Philby and Elaine Grieve come out to join us on Friday night and give us a wee concert. Jo sang some beautiful ballads, accompanied by Elaine in harmony or playing the guitar or mandola.  We all joined in with one or two choruses!

Thankfully the weather was lovely and calm for their first visit, so nobody got drenched to the skin at the pier while unloading the gear.  Most of the island were able to attend, and after the great entertainment we had time for a bit of supper before they had to head back to the boat to Stromness.

Above Irene is introducing Jo & Elaine....

And here is a bit o' banter between Irene & Elaine who are old friends.


Jo introduces the evening among her "twinklies" - loved those lights.  I want some!


Elaine having a few words as she's about to play the mandola, an instrument she had made especially for her.  Oh and boy can she play it!


Jo singing one of her haunting ballads


And a final song...


It was a lovely way to spend an evening, and I'm glad it was a beautiful night to sail back to Stromness after their first visit to Graemsay!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Film of Stromness


This year the wee town of Stromness celebrates 200 years of being a "Burgh of the Barony".  Here's a film on the Visit Scotland website you might like.

Click here