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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A wander round a field....



I own the land behind the house which a neighbouring farmer uses for summer grazing, or as this year - cutting for silage and hay.  Once the grass is cut short it gives me a chance to go for a wander and get a different viewpoint.  So here are some photos of my wander the other day!

Below - it's unclear what this building was originally - it was certainly a home - there is some theory that it was built for the men working on building the lighthouses.  The end nearest the shore was certainly a workshop.

This was definitely a former home.  Maybe 17th or 18th Century?  It's now teetering on the edge of a low cliff....


Old farm machinery also teetering on the cliff!


Looking across the bay to Garson.....
Among the cow parsley and buttercups....


West Mainland through the rushes...



Hoy High light....



Back of Sandside... a lonely silage bale awaits collection....

Looking across Graemsay - Community Hall middle distance. Hoy Hills in the background.

The old steading (byres and sheds) of Sandside... Manse in the background below the Hoy hills.


Sunday, 2 August 2020

At the beach.....



I love spending time along the shore.  It's very calming (well OK I don't go when there's a gale or a storm!).  I particularly love it at high tide.  It feels like proper sea-side.....  above the beach below Sandside.

Arctic terns - they have been nesting further round the shore, but get cross when folk get too near (understandably).  I love hearing them screaming overhead.  Though sometimes they object to me being in MY garden... sigh.


A fine day for a bit of fishing....


And the tiny white shell among the seaweed is a groatie buckie (local name for a tiny cowrie shell).  I had friends visiting from Orkney Mainland so we always have to head to the beach to look for groatie buckies...


I found 4, T found these, and C also found a handful.  Not a bad hour.


Yarrow growing at the top of the pier...



Boat safely moored....


I mentioned friends visiting.  I am still being very cautious regarding meeting people.  Although shielding/cocooning has come to an end in Scotland I am continuing.  No cases in Orkney for some weeks, but Orkney folk are visiting South and abroad, and tourists are in Orkney and on Graemsay so I am just being ultra-cautious because I can be.  Anyway I AM meeting folk outside.  Friday was a glorious day, so warm.  My friends walked up from the pier and I greeted them with bacon sandwiches - something of a tradition.



And.... homebakes were provided by friend T!  Brownies and date cake.  Yum!  I had baked some welsh cakes, and also provided a light lunch.  It was a lovely relaxing day and good to have a proper catch up with friends. And no I didn't eat all the cake that weekend - most are in the freezer to be rationed as a treat!




Saturday, 1 August 2020

Sunny days....



We have had a reasonable Summer so far in Orkney.  Very changeable, but that is Orkney! A couple of warm sunny days, then rain or mist, and it's been quite breezy.  But I have been able to get outdoors most days so that's been really good.

Wild daisies around the front of the house.


And around the side of the house, wild daisies and buttercups...
 

Meanwhile in the garden...



A late flowering star allium, and behind an annual Mallow against the old stone dyke.


My elderly Henny Penny who is sadly declining, and getting quite demented but rocking it every day still!  Loves to steal food!



In one of the old sheds are two blackbird fledglings.  The blackbirds at Sandside have been really successful this year which is great. They are one of my favourite birds.  There are also wagtails that have a couple of fledglings, Robins and Wrens too, as well as spuggies (sparrows) and of course the Starlings!


A panorama from my field.  Hoy High light on the left, home in the middle, old buildings at Sandside on the right, Hoy hills as a backdrop.


Bit further round....


Meanwhile Button either sleeps in the sun, or a bit of shade or on her "day bed"!


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Sunsets and windows....



I love sunsets and I love seeing the landscape through a window...so here are a few photos of just those!


My evening view from the conservatory




Sometimes I do actually get up off the sofa and go outside to take the photo. Haha!


And a view to the front of the house (facing South)


And yes, I have this in the window which basically says "No entry - isolating due to COVID-19". There is one at the back too.  Largely to keep folk away as sometimes tourists to the island knock on the door for info or something and I am still shielding so really don't want folk doing that.  I do meet folk outdoors but at a very great distance!




Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Random photos from last week....


Sunset at the old lighthouse pier at Sandside, creels stacked ready for use.


Above the old lighthouse pier....


Heading home


Sometimes I'm too lazy to get off the sofa to go outside to take photos.... haha!



Glowering sky above the sunset....


My little heat seeking Princess....


When not soaking up the sun she is on her pedestal as befits a Princess...


Silage bales in the field


Big skies - big clouds...



Reflections...



Yarrow....



I had my first socially distanced visitors this week.  We stayed outdoors, and it was such aglorious day we wandered down to the coral beach and there was quite a haul of groatie buckies - though I only found 4... (not pictured)


My guests take groatie buckie hunting very seriously.... sometimes they are hard to find, and other times they just throw themselves at you (apparently - I have yet to experience that!).  But here is one presented nicely on the seaweed!



Guests brought along homebakes too!  Date cake and brownies..... Most are in the freezer to be carefully rationed...


Flowers in the garden...


Evening Primrose.... (the yellow one)


Self heal - self sown in the borders.  I'm delighted!


Hens.... hmmm white hen on the bottom perch is causing me some concern.  She must be between 9 or 10 years old, is blind in one eye, and going senile.  She is happy though and eating, and loves to feel the sun on her back and still goes out with the others.  Unfortunately she doesn't always manage to find her way home so I have to go out each evening hunting for her....


Here she is -Henny Penny.... saying hi to Button.  She's become very bold and cheeky in her dotage.


She loves rootling among the trees...


And here she is with Pesky Hen who is equally cheeky....


But when all the others are already on their roost for the evening, she is still wandering about.  Spot the hen.... yes half way across a field... I had to go over and collect her and gently carry her back to the hen house.  She mumbled and muttered the whole time! She is all bones under the beautiful soft feathers but she also feels very warm!


And some days are headless chicken days!