Click on pictures to see them enlarged in a photo stream. Comments: word verification on to allow anyone to comment but try and deter excessive amounts of spam! I LOVE getting comments!

Sunday, 14 November 2021

A walk to the beach - with Button!

 


I'm delighted to say Button is responding well to her anti-inflammatory meds and is venturing forth a bit more again.  We had our first walk to the beach in some time. Partly due to the weather and partly her reluctance to go that far.  She is still a bit wary going out - she knows she can't run or climb out of the way of the Graemsay bears and wolves - well that's her story....

Across the bay......


A seal popping its head up at the end of the old lighthouse pier....


You need to click on the photo to see a larger version but there ARE seals in this photo on the rocks - very well camouflaged....


Button inspecting the creels for any partans (crabs) left behind.


Calm day.....


Button is less than keen on seaweed....


Wonder what she is thinking?


On the old lighthouse pier....


Rock pools....


Old buildings at Sandside


Slime mould - bit sinister as it can move across the grass.  Common name - Dog vomit slime... you can see why it's so named....


Looking across to Stromness


An another gratuitous picture of Madam Button... who has just brought a mouse in....very much alive and currently behind a cupboard in the kitchen...... bloody cat!  I'm glad you feel up to catching mice but can you NOT bring them IN THE HOUSE!



Sunday, 7 November 2021

November weather....


 There's a lot of weather about this weekend!  One of the many gales we get at this time of the year.  Though the really bad ones are in January and February.  But last night was a bit noisy with winds in excess of 50mph with gusts much more.  The wind direction was north-westerly so it wasn't too noisy for me to get to sleep.  I leave the radio on when it's very windy which helps.

Lots of rainbows between heavy showers. I was out filling up bird feeders when I spotted the one above.

The days are getting shorter now, sunrise is 07.45 and sunset about 16.08.  But there have been some lovely late afternoon skies....



Lenticular clouds forming over Hoy High lighthouse.... I was hopeful of spaceship clouds but they didn't materialise.  Now that would have made a good picture. 


Clouds over the old croft of Windbreck


Big clouds between Graemsay and Stromness


A solitary beast (can't tell whether cow or steer from here!), while sun lights the valley through to Rackwick on Hoy.


Rain showers between Graemsay and Hoy.  Scarratain, a traditional Orkney house with a turf roof on the foreground.


A choppy sea this morning when I went to check on the hens in their wee house!


And finally, Button snoozing.  She's on some medication now as I had noticed she had lost her "spring". She takes stairs slowly and one at a time. She also needs little steps to get onto the sofa and bed, where  before she was up in a single bound  But she will be 16 in January so she's still doing pretty well!  After consultation with the vet she's on anti-inflammatory meds.  Thankfully in a liquid so it gets mixed with food.  She's fine "in herself" - still vocal, still going out, eating and drinking ok.  Just more of a ground-level cat at the moment!   And I can report an improvement even after a week!  Still not springing up, but actively trotting, and even ran across the grass today.  So hopefully she at least feels a little more comfortable.



Thursday, 4 November 2021

Running out of ways to say another random post.

 

Stromness Lifeboat and Hoy High Light on Graemsay
Photo Credit: Richard Clubley

But... here is another random post......

Orkney has been in the news recently.  Firstly with a drone plane delivering parcels from Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland to North Ronaldsay, one of the more Northerly of the Orkney islands.  You can see a YouTube video of it here.....


And then this week on ITV was a programme devoted to the testing and implementation of renewable energy in Orkney.  Sadly I expect you can't watch this outside the UK.  It's an interesting film and Orkney looks great.  However, no mention is made that Orkney has one of the highest levels of fuel poverty and no we don't benefit with cheaper electricity despite all the energy produced locally and fed into the grid.  It's a very sore point with locals.....  Click on the link below to view the programme  (30 mins)

Orkney: Britain's Green Islands

Another photo of Hoy High lighthouse and Sandside, taken from Stromness by Charlie Groundwater, who is out and about on his daily morning walk

Photo credit: Charlie Groundwater

And finally, one of my long time blogger friends writes some beautiful poetry and I always like to share it here.  This time is pretty special as there is one written about Graemsay (and Button gets a mention.  Bless her she's thrilled, well she will be when she wakes up and I tell her!)

So do take a look here :  Poems along the scenic route

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Harking back to September

 


Hmmm yes I got a bit behind with blogging..... anyway..... these photos are from the sandy beach at Sandside.  I usually walk on the coral beach as it's nearer, more accessible and Button is with me.  She frets if I go too far on the sandy beach.  There's an invisible thread that won't allow her to go further than a certain point..... and as I am rarely alone on the walks I don't often get to scramble up and down the sand dunes..... so here are a few photos from back in September.....  Above looking back to the house, lighthouse and old pier.  A couple of neighbours quietly fishing on the shore.

The sea rocket was doing well above the tide line.  






The marram grass holding the dunes together.... just....


But the sea is eroding the land annually.  Some of the methods used to try and prevent more erosion - stones stacked in wire gabions to protect the main road on Graemsay which lies just above here.


Calm seas.  On the left the tip of Graemsay on the right the tip of Orkney Mainland.


Gloriously clear water....



Stones and sand on this beach, no coral and few shells.  It's like there is a traffic control system - shells to the left, stones to the right...... well I suppose naturally there must be for it to happen! 


Cloudscape....


The croft of Quoys nestled neart he shore.


On the left the old concrete method of trying to prevent erosion and on the right - stone gabions added more recently.


Rocky shore.....


Before the gales flattened the dry stems...


And the road home.... put the kettle on Button!



Wednesday, 27 October 2021

More of the same really.....

 


Cloudscape over Stromness.

Rain showers over Stromness!


And Graemsay.....


Looking across Burra Sound to Hoy.....


Hoy Low light on Graemsay, Stromness Outertown across Hoy Sound.


Morning light....


And across Sandside Bay the sun sets behind the Hoy hills... Autumn is here....




Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Button, hens, garden

 


Some more photos taken earlier this month.  There is still a bit of colour in the garden with late flowering perennials and shrubs.  It's been very mild and in the sheltered spots some plants more associated with summer have kept on going too.  Others, sadly, got blasted by the salted wind and won't come back till next Spring. Ah well that's Autumn....

Most of the above (apart from the Hebe and NZ Cabbage plant) have been battered into submission by the wind now.

Asters made a good show and kept on going as they have been quite sheltered.


This shrub mallow is also still doing well at the end of October.


Achillea merging with the lichens on the old stone dyke


And one or two bees still foraging.....


Lots of berries to feed birds (and mice!)


And this autumn flowering potentilla glowing in the late afternoon sun....


On blustery days the hens can now be found among the rosa rugosa in the shrubbery at the back of the house.  Just a short dash from their henny house.


Though on sunny days they venture round the front.  Button wisely stays above ground level when they are around to avoid pecky beaks!


This is Flumffer, an elderly hen.  In the summer she badly injured her leg and just generally flumffed around in and near the door of the hen house, using her wings for balance.  She carried on eating and drinking, and enjoyed basking in the sun so I just kept a watching brief.  Now she's mostly fully recovered but with a slight limp.  However the other hens have cast her out of the flock and are absolutely horrid to her if she tries to join them.  I'm at a loss what to do, but for now I just keep an eye on her and makes sure she gets access to food and water and returns safely to the henny house at night.


I've made her a nest box above the ground so she's reasonably safe from the others and she seems happy to roost here at night.


As for Madam Button, when the weather is fine she's happy to sit outdoors, or on the doorstep - thereby being both in and out at the same time!


\Or even being proper outdoors with a spot of hunting for mice in the hen house....


On blustery days she just sleeps her way through it all! (Now I'm retired I may be joining her this Autumn!)