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Monday, 7 August 2017

Field, Sky, Sea

Looking to Sandside
Late Summer is a busy time for farmers who are gathering in silage, haylage and hay as winter feed for livestock.  On Graemsay there are 7 crofts or farms on the island. All have sheep, 3 also have cattle. Some hard feed needs to be bought in but most farmers try to get enough silage etc for the winter.  The sheep stay out in the fields all winter but cattle generally come into the byres to save the ground. Otherwise they poach the fields with their hooves in wet weather and the grass won't grow so well.  Also many breeds of cattle aren't hardy enough to do well outside all winter.

As for the rest of the working population, some like myself work from home, or are retired. Some of the farmers have other jobs as well either on Graemsay or off the island.  There are a couple of holiday homes too where the owners come and stay for a few weeks at a time.

Anyway back to cutting the grass in the fields for silage.  My field behind the house is let on a summer grazing rental to a neighbour who often uses it for silage or for late grazing for cattle.  This year he has cut it for silage - well the good bits!  It's about the only time I "walk the bounds" of the field as normally the grass is too long and the ground too rough.  But yesterday was a glorious warm summer's day so I went for a wander around the boundary.  Here are a selection of photos from that wander.

The photo above was taken by the Community Hall.  It looks down the "main road" to Sandside bay, with the house and steading at the end and Hoy High Lighthouse behind.  Some other fields "at Sandside" have also been cut ready for making into bales.

This was the field being cut one evening as the mist came in.....

Then looking over the field towards Mainland and Stromness the next morning!

Looking back to the steading (byres) at Sandside and over to the Hoy hills.

It is believed that some of these ruins were originally built for the lighthouse workers - at the end is a workshop.  Lovely blue sky and sea!

A bit of a panorama shot which distorts the actual landscape but I quite like the effect!  Hoy High lighthouse, Sandside and Hoy Hills.

Vetch - wild flowers growing in the field margins.

Low tide!  Looking towards Stromness.

Hoy High lighthouse

You will have to look REALLY hard but there is a skein of geese in the cloud.....

Hoy High lighthouse - designed and built by the "Lighthouse Stevensons

A close up of the "light"

Looking back towards Sandside and the Hoy Hills.

A thistle!!

And to finish another panorama - looking across to Hoy and over to Stromness


  1. Great summer scenes. Love the cloud formations.

    1. Thank you! The clouds are just wonderful aren't they!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, Sian. I thought back of our glorious day in Graemsay. I took a very similar picture of Sandbank to yours here. This is all very useful for me. It's almost like interviewing you, as if you knew my questions in advance. :D
    Love, Erzsebet

    1. I'm glad you had good weather when you visited Graemsay! It was so lovely to meet you both too. And feel free to ask any questions!

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