Saturday 18 August 2012
A day out.....
It's been a glorious day, with sunshine, blue skies, HEAT, oh yes and fog and a thunderstorm. Welcome to Summer in Orkney! The day started very misty on Graemsay. I could barely see up the road as I drove to the pier. But once in Stromness it was blue sky and sunshine.
A beautiful spider's web with drops of mist upon it at the kitchen window this morning.
I was meeting up with some friends on the Orkney Mainland to head out for a picnic as a birthday celebration for one of us. We'd had trouble settling on a date that fitted with everyone's schedule, then of course the vagaries of the weather. So we'd decided on today, come what may. In the event it was one of the best days of the summer.
We headed out to Birsay and had planned on a short walk before a picnic lunch (note the jackets - we didn't need these later in the day but you always need to be prepared...). The wee dogs enjoyed the walk too.
Then we heard thunder, saw some lightening and a storm appeared to be heading towards us.
As you can see from the picture the sky looks quite black and dramatic. So we curtailed our walk and sought shelter in S.'s camper van for a cup of tea. But the sky soon cleared and as you can see here - sun and blue skies returned, and the temperature rose.
So it was out with the picnic tablecloth and food and then relaxing in the sun. We thought we ought to walk off our lunch so wandered along the shore. I'd put some sun-screen on, but even in just a tee-shirt was feeling way too warm (about 21 degrees C/70F which is hot for Orkney!). I was glad to find a shady spot when we got back. Then I could see a group of folk looking out to sea and so wandered over to see what the excitement was. A Minke Whale swimming just off-shore!!
A couple of our group wandered off for a walk to the Brough, while the rest of us preferred a slightly flatter walk. The Brough is full of history as it has the remains of a settlement dating back to the 5th Century AD. But it is only accessible at low tide, so you have to watch the tide times as there is nowhere to stay if you get stuck there!
The geology is fascinating too. There's a dark band running along the sandstone clearly visible in this photo. Clearly tells of some sort of "volcanic intrusion" (or whatever the geological term is!).
All too soon it was time to head back to Stromness where I had time for a quick cup of tea, then heading back home on the boat. A lovely day out and definitely a "memory day".
And on a weather note.....the wind has got up and is rattling the windows!!