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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Earlier in June....




In the Winter little happens so there's not much to blog about, in the summer life gets so busy I don't have much time to blog!  Anyway here are some pictures taken at the beginning of June. Bit of a random set of sunsets, evening light and a few of Stromness....

Down on the shell beach....



Thrift on the old stone pier....






Sandside pier....



Sandside Bay


Sunset from the garden...


The sunset afterglow....



On another evening.... from the back door (see the gutter!)




Stromness waterfront....


The Hamnavoe ferry sailing off to Scrabster....


Complete with Viking....


Monday, 24 June 2019

Buttercups, sunshine, damselfly and flowers



It's been another gorgeous day today though a wee bit breezy.  I took a run round the island in the car. The Buttercups are looking glorious.  Above looking towards Hoy High and Sandside.

Looking over towards Garson, and Stromness on the Orkney Mainland.



Wind and rain forecast this week so I took more pix of the garden to remind me what it is supposed to look like!

Thalictrum, geranium and crocosmia. Mist rolling in behind!


Lupins, chives and astrantia


Astrantia close up.


Allium with columbine (aquilegia) behind.


Sculpture by local artist...


Some parts of the garden are distinctly feral..... and are preferred spots for Madam Button!


And..... salad leaves - spinach, lettuce, rocket and cress.


And the most beautiful thing of the day..... a (possibly female or maybe young male?) blue-tailed damselfly up at the Graemsay quarry!


Sunday, 23 June 2019

Evening light



Yesterday was lovely and warm and calm.  The evening light was beautiful.  I took a walk round the garden to take some photos of the borders as wind and rain forecast tomorrow and sadly things will get battered.  The light on the sea was beautiful.  So here are just a few pix of the evening light. 

Cow parsley in the silhouette above - it's only just in flower here, about a month behind that in the South of England or the Channel islands where it has now "gone over".

Sunbeams on the sea.... tide is out...


Looking over to the Orkney Mainland from Sandside....


A corner of the walled garden...


One of the borders.....


I love the lichen on the walls....


Another border....


Hopefully not too much damage from the wind and rain forecast... the joys of gardening in an exposed location...

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Solstice



Yesterday was the Summer Solstice - the longest day.  I'm not sure it feels like summer much of the time.  The weather in Orkney, as in most of the UK, has been changeable to say the least.  Though we have had some lovely sunny days.

Yesterday I arrived back from a visit to family in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands.  Yes I know - we are a bit spread out across the Britain in our family!  At least this time I got there! Last year I broke my foot at the airport in London on my way to visit them and had to stay in London for the week! 

Anyway on my return this year I managed to witness a glorious summer solstice sunset and enjoy the "simmer dim" (where it barely gets dark at all during the night).  Here are a few pictures which don't really do it justice, but still....

Above, sun setting behind Black Craig at 10.30pm.

It was lovely to return home to sunshine and be able to sit in the conservatory for the evening.  Swallows flying around and the sound of Oystercatchers in the air...


12.30am......




And at 1.30 am... (thanks Button!)


A neighbour picked me up from the pier when I arrived home (left my island car at the house to save taking up a parking space for a week).  She took me to see the new arrival on the island.  A lovely little Belted Galloway bull calf!  Awww!  Mum was very protective so I didn't get the best photos.  Will have to try again soon while he is still cute.  Though to be fair I think the adults are gorgeous too.




I enjoyed my holiday away but it's good to come home too - especially when there is sunshine!



Scuttling of the German Fleet in Scapa Flow, 1919



Yesterday there were commemorations in Scapa Flow on the 100th anniversary of the scuttling of the German Fleet.  A number of German navy personnel lost their lives. They are buried in the Naval Cemetray at Lyness on Hoy and remembrances were made there. 

There's a link to a BBC News item

And to an animation of the 1991 scuttling of the fleet

The Scapa 100 Facebook page also has some interesting info

Monday, 3 June 2019

Sunsets and the garden.....



We've not had the best of weather lately so sunsets are a real treat.....  Even if it is the sun just peeping through the clouds....


And lovely cloudscapes too.....


Painterly skies.....


Meanwhile Hoy was under the duvet.....


But it made waking up to sunshine even more special....


Button loves snoozing in the sun but when it was a wee bit breezy she managed to combine snoozing in the sun with shelter.... on the doormat!


But the garden has responded to all the rain showers and is growing rapidly now after several very dry weeks.  The earth in one border was like sand it was so dry....


On one sunny day Button joined me for some shade under the gooseberry bush!  (I was weeding, she wasn't...)

Everything is very green but slowly colour is coming into the borders...



Columbines, red campion and... a black and white cat....


I love the columbines.... so pretty and dainty yet surprisingly robust.  And best of all they self seed!





Chicken fencing to stop them getting into the fruit and veg patch.  Actually mostly fruit.  I was too late so save some of the gooseberries as many of the ones off the lower branches were eaten by the hens!  But at least the blackcurrants and strawberries should be safe.  And on the pallet will be various salad leaves.  I've cut down on the rest of the veg grown, though I do plan to grow carrots further up the garden hopefully high enough off the ground to avoid carrot fly.


And a random picture of our ferry delivering some cargo.  As we don't have a roll-on-roll-off ferry, any cargo has to be craned on an off.......