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Thursday 28 October 2021

Harking back to September


Hmmm yes I got a bit behind with blogging..... anyway..... these photos are from the sandy beach at Sandside.  I usually walk on the coral beach as it's nearer, more accessible and Button is with me.  She frets if I go too far on the sandy beach.  There's an invisible thread that won't allow her to go further than a certain point..... and as I am rarely alone on the walks I don't often get to scramble up and down the sand dunes..... so here are a few photos from back in September.....  Above looking back to the house, lighthouse and old pier.  A couple of neighbours quietly fishing on the shore.

The sea rocket was doing well above the tide line.  

The marram grass holding the dunes together.... just....

But the sea is eroding the land annually.  Some of the methods used to try and prevent more erosion - stones stacked in wire gabions to protect the main road on Graemsay which lies just above here.

Calm seas.  On the left the tip of Graemsay on the right the tip of Orkney Mainland.

Gloriously clear water....

Stones and sand on this beach, no coral and few shells.  It's like there is a traffic control system - shells to the left, stones to the right...... well I suppose naturally there must be for it to happen! 


The croft of Quoys nestled neart he shore.

On the left the old concrete method of trying to prevent erosion and on the right - stone gabions added more recently.

Rocky shore.....

Before the gales flattened the dry stems...

And the road home.... put the kettle on Button!

Wednesday 27 October 2021

More of the same really.....


Cloudscape over Stromness.

Rain showers over Stromness!

And Graemsay.....

Looking across Burra Sound to Hoy.....

Hoy Low light on Graemsay, Stromness Outertown across Hoy Sound.

Morning light....

And across Sandside Bay the sun sets behind the Hoy hills... Autumn is here....

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Button, hens, garden


Some more photos taken earlier this month.  There is still a bit of colour in the garden with late flowering perennials and shrubs.  It's been very mild and in the sheltered spots some plants more associated with summer have kept on going too.  Others, sadly, got blasted by the salted wind and won't come back till next Spring. Ah well that's Autumn....

Most of the above (apart from the Hebe and NZ Cabbage plant) have been battered into submission by the wind now.

Asters made a good show and kept on going as they have been quite sheltered.

This shrub mallow is also still doing well at the end of October.

Achillea merging with the lichens on the old stone dyke

And one or two bees still foraging.....

Lots of berries to feed birds (and mice!)

And this autumn flowering potentilla glowing in the late afternoon sun....

On blustery days the hens can now be found among the rosa rugosa in the shrubbery at the back of the house.  Just a short dash from their henny house.

Though on sunny days they venture round the front.  Button wisely stays above ground level when they are around to avoid pecky beaks!

This is Flumffer, an elderly hen.  In the summer she badly injured her leg and just generally flumffed around in and near the door of the hen house, using her wings for balance.  She carried on eating and drinking, and enjoyed basking in the sun so I just kept a watching brief.  Now she's mostly fully recovered but with a slight limp.  However the other hens have cast her out of the flock and are absolutely horrid to her if she tries to join them.  I'm at a loss what to do, but for now I just keep an eye on her and makes sure she gets access to food and water and returns safely to the henny house at night.

I've made her a nest box above the ground so she's reasonably safe from the others and she seems happy to roost here at night.

As for Madam Button, when the weather is fine she's happy to sit outdoors, or on the doorstep - thereby being both in and out at the same time!

\Or even being proper outdoors with a spot of hunting for mice in the hen house....

On blustery days she just sleeps her way through it all! (Now I'm retired I may be joining her this Autumn!)

Monday 25 October 2021

Random out and about....


These photos are from earlier this month.  I've not been out and about much, though the weather for October in Orkney has been amazing.  It's been mild, not very windy, though wetter than for some time.  Life is pretty quiet for me at the moment, which is probably no bad thing!  There has been a spike in Covid-19 cases in Orkney recently, the result of increasing social events indoors etc.  So I'm being very circumspect on where I go.  Anyway these photos were taken on a trip to the Orkney Mainland.

Above is Hoy High lighthouse, with the Hoy hills beyond. And again below, with Sandside next door...

And here is Hoy Low peering round the corner at the Western end of the island.

Sailing into Stromness harbour

Out at Birsay on the West Mainland - bit of a breeze so the surf was up and over the causeway to the Brough of Birsay tidal island

There is a small tea room out at Birsay that does wonderful food (especially Cake!) and overlooks the bay.  It's been really good with Covid-19 protection meausres and I've felt reasonably safe going there for lunch so it has been a favourite haunt.  Cattle in the field and nice rollers on the shore.

Sunday 10 October 2021



On Friday I had a friend visiting for the day. It was lovely to catch up on news and spend time together.  The weather in the morning was unpromising with thick fog, but it cleared in the afternoon and in any case didn't stop us rootling about on the shore!  So just a few photos of a visit to the coral beach.

Sun shining on the land just outside Stromness

The sea was so calm, the seaweed just gently swaying back and forth in the ripples of the tide.

One of the mooring rings on the old lighthouse pier.

Treasures from the shore....

Groatie buckies (UK 1p for size) - tiny cowrie shells, much prized (though not uncommon) in Orkney.

We had a replacement ferry on a couple of runs.  This is a new to Orkney ferry and will be on service between Westray and Papay Westray, two of the more Northerly Orkney islands.