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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Sunny Sunday

In the small hours of this morning we had thunder and lightning heard above the roaring wind. Now it's gale force winds and hail. I was planning to go over to the Orkney Mainland to do some shopping, but have decided, due to weather, to stay warm and cosy and work instead! Our wee ferry is still running but I don't fancy braving the dash up and down the pier with shopping.... Winds are due to calm down later in week for a short respite so I'll go "to town" then. Welcome to Winter in Orkney!  However, despite it being Tuesday, thought I'd share some photos taken on a lovely autumnal Sunday, which was gloriously sunny with blue skies! Above is Graemsay - the grey hills in the background are on the island of Hoy.

Below - seaweed building up along the shore. Excellent fertilizer for the garden!

Some of the many old ruined buildings that are on Graemsay (and many other of the Orkney islands). This building had a forge on the end nearest the shore. But it's slowly slipping into the sea now.

The shell beach - and here are the buildings from the shore side....

The black bird in the middle is a Shag - it's a seabird but doesn't have oiled feathers like other seabirds so has to stands with wings outstretched to dry! If you click on the picture to make it larger, you may be able to make out 3 wind turbines on the horizon of the Orkney Mainland. Part of Orkney's renewable energy programme.

Here are some Oystercatchers also enjoying the Sunday sunshine! (They don't catch oysters as far as I know so not sure why they are called that!).

Here are H and E enjoying a paddle in the sea. They live on a neighbouring farm and were exploring and looking for shells.

The hens and the cockerel hopeful of some scraps from me I think!  The numbers of chickens have been reduced in my absence. Some of the adolescent cockerels have been "dispatched".  Still lots of hens left though so need to find new homes for some of them!

The beautiful flame coloured flower of Monbretia (also known as crocosmia). This grows well in Orkney and I have several clumps in the garden.


  1. Thank you so much for identifying both a shag and a montbretia for me! I've never known how to tell the difference between shags and cormorants before now (puerile giggling apart). And Montbretia is one of those plants which I know I'm supposed to know, but could be Amnesias for all I knew.

    Weather is a bit excited today even here. We have our first serious snow on the hills too!

  2. Tee Hee - the local field club provided much amusement recently when it wittily titled one of it's talks as "How to find a shag in Orkney in Winter"! Joking aside - the only way I can tell the difference is because of the wing drying behaviour. Snow on hills! I must look for photos.....

  3. Such lovely photos and interesting information, Sian. The abandoned buildings all over the Highlands and Islands are a evocative reminder of a vanished way of life.

    I too didn't know the difference between a shag and a cormorant, but Montbretia was one of my mother's favourite flowers so is firmly embedded in my memory.

  4. I would love to explore those old, abandoned buildings.

    To me, your island seems like a magical place.

  5. Perpetua - I've always loved monbretia - a gorgeous blast of strong colour in the autumn, before the greyness of winter!

    Sybil - I love exploring old buildings too. I see from your blog that you too have embarked on an adventure! I look forward to reading more about YOUR life too!