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Monday, 5 January 2015

Calm before the storm?

Sun setting behind Ward Hill on Hoy
We are, apparently, forecast storm force winds at the end of the week, so I think today was the calm before the storm.  I made the most of it and went for a wander just before sunset.  Days are short this far North at this time of the year.  Sunrise today was at 09.02 and sunset at 15.32, giving us just 6 hours and 29 minutes of daylight.  But the days are getting longer, each day a couple of minutes, and oh those minutes matter!

Anyway here are a few pictures from our walk (yes of course Button was there too)....  She waited patiently while I stood and took photos of the old buildings.... It looks as though there is a light in the window of the old buildings but it's just reflected sun!

The sky was magnificent today....

And the sun warmed the old stones of these old houses.

This chimney is a bit precarious!

Looking through the window, up the hill towards the Manse....

With the cow parsley stalks still weathering the gales.

Just below the buildings are these shells embedded into the soil. I thought they were just blown there from many years of gales, but local archaeologists say they are in fact part of a midden (rubbish tip) probably from the old farm which was here in the 18th Century. The photo above looks onto a wall of the old house.

Stromness Golf Course bathed in late afternoon sunshine

Starlings on the roof of the old byres, getting ready to roost for the night. They'd been feasting on all the seaweed washed up in recent weeks.  Lots of grubs and flies to eat!

And looking up the hill at the old school with the Hoy Hills in the background....

And the sun turning the sky molten orange...

On our way back we looked into the henny house to give them some supper.  Neighbour, S, had been round at the weekend to help give the henny hoose a good clean for New Year.  She did all the hard work of mucking out while I scrubbed feed and water buckets and nest boxes!   The chickens are very happy with their nice clean bedding under the perch.  Though it won't be long before that is strewn all over the place!


  1. Lovely photographs, Sian and glad the ladies appreciate all the hard work.

    1. Thanks Irene - they're even keeping it tidy - for now!

  2. How funny! You over there call it Cow Parsely and we here in the States call it Queen Anne's Lace. I love your photos!

    1. OOoh that's interesting. I can see why you would call it that. We call it cow parsley because the cows love it so much and will stand with huge stalks hanging out their mouths. My old pony loved it too :-)

  3. The sun turning the skies orange was such a beautiful photo, a real delight.

  4. Such gorgeous photos, though I always find the sight of old, abandoned houses rather sad. I can't help thinking of the people who once lived there and wondering what life was like for them back then.