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Friday, 31 August 2012

Of sunsets, chickens and eggs...

.... or should that be "Of sunsets, eggs and chickens"??!  Above is the sunset last night. Beautiful after a couple of blustery and rainy days.  Though sadly it now sets behind the point of Graemsay, rather than over on the West Mainland. Autumn approaches.  I should rejoice in the changing of the seasons, but we haven't had the most wonderful of summers in Orkney, nor indeed the UK, so it's sad to see the approach of autumn and winter in the sun. Ho hum......

Now to the hens...... I was out inspecting wind damage in the garden today, and of course the girls had to come along too and give their opinion!

I found both these eggs in a nest today.  I think the wee one was laid by mistake!  Although hens lay one egg a day they will have several smaller eggs inside which increase in size before being laid. Not sure what happened to this one!  Sometimes a young hen coming into lay for the first time will lay a small egg, but I've never seen one THIS small!

I mentioned a walk in the garden. It's been a battle this summer what with the cooler temperatures, less sun, and quite a fair bit of wind and rain.  I'll post pictures of the garden in a few days time. But for now here is one of my favourite plants - I've forgotten it's name! But it is just starting to flower. It's a bit like a thistle but not!

And this is a Blackbird - not sure if this is a juvenile or a female. I love the lichen on the garden wall, and there's a fuschia and a willow tree just peeping over from outside the garden.

Meanwhile, Thursday evening is time for the Stromness Sailing Club to take to the water. It was a bit breezy last night so they didn't stray far from the harbour.


  1. Dear Sian, your plant is an Eryngium, or Sea Holly - I'm not quite sure which variety, as I believe there are about 200 plus of them! They're rather beautiful, if spiny, and the largest of them (E. Giganteum, I think, is called 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost', because a lady of that name used to go round gardens and spread the seed without telling the owners, and the plants came up unexpectedly!! Or so I read in Garden News (or Gardener's World) last week. Hope you're enjoying your new camera - it looks like it!

  2. Lovely pictures, as always. I know you're enjoying your new camera. Remember though, that the best pictures come from the eye and head of the photographer. The camera is just the mechanism for transfer.

  3. I was going to say the mystery flower was some species of teasel because of the thin, straight leaves at the base of the flower head. They are rather thistle-like as well.

  4. So I was just wandering around on Blogger just clicking "Next Blog" when I came across yours. I love ANYTHING UK, Ireland or Scotland! You're country is GORGEOUS! I would be very happy there knowing there's a sailing club! And chickens! I have Bantams, Buff Cochins. And they're my babies! I only have two left and they're going on 7 and 8 years old. So I don't get eggs any more. But I would get the occasional small egg. And they laid small eggs to begin with! But it was always a joy coming into the coop in the morning and seeing a couple eggs in a nest!
    Black birds in my area of the US are most annoying! Loud and a great nuisance to other birds. And they're really black!
    Great post, love the pictures!

  5. The advent of autumn after a poor summer is always a bit depressing, Sian, so fingers crossed for a bit of Indian summer for you. Your new camera is doing you proud....:-)

  6. The plant somewhat resembles what we cal Eryngo , here in Texas. Can't tell perfectly well, though.


  7. Hi Sian. Lovely Blog and pictures, I am originally from Scotland and now really miss home so i'll be reading your blog now when I get the home blues :D **New Follower**

  8. Ooh, lovely sunsets, even if they are in their autumn position. I love your licheny wall too. My own garden is absolutely stuffed with 'amnesias' but I think I do recognise the thistley flower as eryngiums. Ours are coming out too - very striking (and probably chicken-proof!). Your egg photo made me chuckle: it reminded me of a photo which T took of you and me on our visit to Graemsay! I'd be the great big round one! ;)

  9. Like you, I'm not welcoming the turn of the season yet. It seems too early this year, plus for the first time both my children are away at university and I'm not enjoying that either. Still, if we get some bright clear autumn days things will look better.

    And yes, you have an Eryngium. They are lovely dried and sprayed gold for Christmas.