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Thursday, 28 July 2016

More skies....

Interesting cloud formations the other week....  Each sunset is different!

The garden is a bit neglected due to holidays, work and being unwell.  So the daisies have grown up round my favourite bench outside the front door.  I sit here for a cuppa during work breaks.  I rather like it though :-)

The big daisies are such happy flowers....

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Continuing the theme of photos taken near the house..... there are a few cows with young calves in my field (it's a summer grazing let, not MY coos!).  I love watching the calves play together. They are just like any group of kids. Haha!  The other night I watched them from the conservatory window... Hoy High light was lost in the mist again!

I love this wee chocolate coloured calf!

So pretty!

All peacefully grazing....

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Other Orkney Blogs

I've done a bit of "housekeeping" on my list of blogs to the right of these posts.  There is now a list of OTHER Orkney Blogs.  We're a creative lot in the isles :-)  They are a mixture of photographic and writings of life in Orkney. All giving different perspectives on life in Orkney.  Enjoy!  And if you discover any more let me know!


My hens are more "free living" than "free range".  They are only ever shut in if the weather is extremely bad or I need to keep the cockerels from crowing outside windows when guests are staying! So mostly they come and go as they please. No natural predators on Graemsay, no foxes, badgers, stoats etc so even a hen with chicks is relatively safe - as long as she keeps guard from crows and gulls!

When mowing the grass they turn into real drama queens, scuttling around squawking but at the same time rushing to get the insects that fly up as I mow, or eat the cut grass.  Such silly things!  Above is the back of the house and the rather overgrown shrubbery! The hens use this as shelter in winter and summer. So they usually have a protected "run" whatever the weather.  The old flagstones were dug up from inside and around the house when it was renovated 16 years ago.  They are wonderful but blooming heavy so haven't moved since!

Here they have rushed to eat the first cut grass....

Their henny hoose is at the end here.  The building belongs to a neighbour but he did it up for me and lets me keep my hens here. He wasn't impressed when I'd shown him pictures of fancy wooden "arks" for poultry, fearing they would be blown Westwards in the first gale!  He was probably right as that happened (sadly) during the hurricane force winds in the 1950s which decimated the poultry industry in Orkney.

Big Ginger challenging my wee John Deere tractor mower. Yeah right Ginge! Not so bold when it has the engine running!  Fear The Deere! Ha!

And of course if I'm late with delivering breakfast (which I have been this last week) the girls are knocking on the door.  This lot look as if they're trying to work out how to get in through the cat flap!

And here comes Tallula (Shetland Black hen) with a friend or two to join in....

The young brown hen has her first chick on parade.  I don't interfere much now. I used to try and "help" the hens, but they know what is best!  Mostly the hen will keep the chick in the byre for a few weeks, and only take the chick out into the long grass for short periods.  But once all the feathers have grown they can move pretty fast themselves and the hen then brings them into the henny house to feed.  The other hens can be really rough with a young chick, peck it, step on it etc, so the hen seems to know by instinct to keep it separate till it can fend for itself.  I have two chicks but not sure whether they are male/female yet....sigh..... no more cockerels PLEASE!  Desperate to get rid of the three I already have!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Sun dog!

The other night, while curled up on the sofa with Button, I spotted a sun dog. No, not a labrador playing abound the sun, this is a meteorological phenomenon which is a bit like an upright mini rainbow (er without the bowing effect).  It was to the right hand side of the sun so "after" the sun and seen as a portent of bad weather.  It seems it was correct as we had a big storm the next day!

If the sun dog is "ahint" (behind) the sun, like all "good" dogs should be, then it foretells good weather - apparently.  Anyway these aren't great pictures but it was a lovely display to watch.  I love the big skies here.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Who stole my energy!

Bah!  Clearly my immune system has taken a battering, what with the food poisoning while away, then a cold has turned into a chest infection. So I'm proper poorly though recovering now!  Chest infection wasn't too severe but as I have reduced lung function due to a scoliosis and asthma, even a cold is a threat.  My breathing is a lot better now the medication has kicked in, just need to find some energy! But, I'm taking it as my body's way of saying REST so I'm trying to!  Anyway here are a few photos taken during July to keep you entertained!  Above is a sunset shot of Sandside Bay, Hoy High ligthhouse, and Sandside (my hoose!).

This was taken from up the West end of Graemsay looking towards Stromness with the MV Graemsay ferry setting off for Hoy.

And the black specs are coos (cattle) up on the hill at Western Horn.

And though we've had a pretty settled summer, we've had our share of cloud and mist.... but the island retains her beauty whatever the weather :-)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Home again....

Had a lovely time away meeting up with friends and family. Unfortunately got food poisoning while away and have returned home with a cough and cold. Sigh. However Button was well catered for by the "relief staff" in my absence who also seemed to have a good week in Orkney (I had friends come and stay while I was away).

No photos of trip South as it was mainly about being sociable and visiting folk.  However - above are lavender fields in Kent.  You could roll around in the lavender.  Oooh bliss!  And I bought some culinary lavender and essence so hoping to make lavender shortbread etc.....

And below - a wee damsel fly (magnified!).  This is a blue-tailed damsel. Several darting about on Big Sis's pond in Guernsey.  We have them in Orkney but you have to be more alert to see them and know where to look!

Once I regain some energy normal service will be resumed....