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Monday, 6 August 2018

Rain and sunsets....



Yes finally we have had some rain showers.  Still not a huge amount but it's brightening up the garden and hopefully helping the crops and grass grown for feed by farmers for the livestock. Above you can see the Hoy hills under the duvet of cloud.

I love wandering around the garden after a rain shower.  The smell of fresh rain after a long dry spell is wonderful, and the droplets on the flowers are so beautiful.

A rose wearing her jewels....


Grasses sparkling....






Knautia wearing pom poms.....


The verbascum has done particularly well this year and looks lovely covered in rain droplets....


Asters......


And I found a resurgent aquilegia (columbine) which was decimated in the gale in June. Though wisely it is staying close to the ground!


And the droplets accentuate the spider webs....




This sea holly is cloaked in a spider's web AND rain droplets!! Loadsa bling!


Later in the evening the moths were out.  Not sure what this one is, but under the wings are a delicate shade of orange.  Beautiful!


I bought a garden ornament recently made by a local craftsman.  It will move about the garden depending on my mood and where I think it looks best. (Ladies' mantle doing well this season!  This is a new part of a border so will take time to develop)


Erm, Button was unimpressed with the "art".......


Then I think Button decided to do a bit of "nesting"...... Needless to say she didn't do anything useful like lay an egg!






One of the hens rootling about.  Sadly this wee hen died a week ago.  Always sad to lose one of my girlies. 





We'd been down to the beach earlier and added to the collection of groatie buckies (well I did, Button gets bored to quickly to find them).  They are added to the small pile, next to the heart shaped stone.


The sun came out  in the evening so off we went to look at the sunset.  I love the colour the sandstone turns as the sun lights it up.


From down by the old lighthouse pier - you can see the sun is tracking back now the longest day is by.  In the few days since I took these pictures (maybe two weeks ago actually) it has moved a fair bit, but I've missed the sunsets so no pix!


A bit later..... by the sandy beach


And then I turned around and there was THIS! The end of the rainbow *exploding*!  I've never seen a phenomenon like this before!


You can see the rainbow more clearly in this one.....


And then walking home....


And here is a short video by the shore watching the sunset - turn up the sound as it's more for those effects..... oystercatchers, curlew, gulls and the waves....


PS - August is a busy time so I may not be posting so much.  Will do some retrospective posts when things slow down!

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Around Graemsay.....


A few pix from around Graemsay last week...... above looking over to Stromness with the MV Hamnavoe ferry in the harbour.

A slightly more distant picture with one of the old ruined crofts in the foreground.


And a bit closer....


And closer still!  This makes the ruin look as though it's part of Stromness!


The old quarry.  A lot of the stone from here went to build some of the crofts and other buildings around the island.  Now it's home to lots of aquatic insects, and the beautiful damselflies. It's also a feeding ground for many birds. Ah the cycle of life....  And of course local dogs love to swim in it!


Lots of wild flowers at the quarry. I love the smell of this wild thyme.


And the heather is looking glorious this summer...



Looking over to the old school, and the former schoolhouse.  The schoolhouse is a family home now.  The old school uninhabited....


Looking over to the Hoy hills across fields of bog cotton to the croft of Dean.


Closer look at Dean


Meanwhile back down at Sandside and the coral beach....


Good old Scottish thistles!


The old "Lighthouse" pier..... looking to the mouth of Scapa Flow.


The old sail shed where equipment, sails etc for the farm boats would have been kept.


Looking over to Stromness.... the tide is well out!



The sandy beach at Sandside!


And a calm night.....


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Of Rings and things.....



....the stone kind of rings.....  Earlier this month I had a chance to wander around the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness.  Amazingly I managed to do it in between tour buses! Both are very popular for tourists, and locals alike so I treasure the times I'm there almost on my own.  So here are a few pictures.

First - the Ring of Brodgar - the circle is about 104 metres in diameter and the stones vary in height from 7 to 15 feet.  The circle dates from about 2500 and 2000BC.  Only some of the stones remain but it is still very much a circle.  Unfortunately due to the popularity of the site by tour buses/cruise liner buses, as well as others the path around the circle is in a poor state.  So Historic Scotland who manage the site have roped it off to give the path time to recover.  This means you can only walk round the outside of the circle, but it's still a lovely atmospheric walk! And the heather is out to add to the beauty....


A stone with a very human profile....






And the Ring now sits amid a fertile farming landscape.


While the Stones of Stenness now has fewer stones visible, the original diameter was only about 44 metres.


Hmm I realise without people in it's hard to gauge the size of these.  I *think* they are bigger than the Ring of Brodgar, or at least not smaller!


Er, except this one - which has been damaged. Note the buildings in the background - this is the site of the Ness of Brodgar Dig.  There have been TV programmes, lectures and magazine articles about this amazing site. This web site has lots of info about the excavations.  I'm hoping to visit soon.



Hoy Hills sit in the background.....







Here are some schematics of the Stones of Stenness and how they fit into the landscape with the Ring of Brodgar and the Ness of Brodgar dig. (Click on image to see bigger and hopefully read!).