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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Spring.... please?



The temperature is rising v.e.r.y. slowly but it is rising - almost to double figures (in Celsius that is).  And it's not been quite as windy this last week.  And the sun has shone *sometimes* so we can't complain!  Anyway here are a few photos from the weekend.

My poor dear Hellebores have struggled this Spring. No leaves left after constant East winds, but valiantly blooming nonetheless!  Well one of them.  The other one has given up completely I think!


Finally the daffs are flowering!  These have been protected by the trees and the garden dyke so have had a good start.


And the willow trees are in full bud, all fluffy and gorgeous, starting to burst with pollen and fresh green leaves.


These ewes are waiting to lamb.  Very curious of those venturing onto the beach!


Here's looking at ewe!


The tide is a looong way out on this walk....


Earlier Button was snoozing in the sun.  I love how she has her paw wrapped round the window catch!


And more blue sky from the day before, plus fluffy clouds!


Monday, 9 April 2018

Oooops.......



I seem to have let my 10th anniversary as a blogger slip by this year!!  Here was my very first post in 2008 

I've always enjoyed my blog posts.  Some months, indeed years, are more prolific than others but I still love sharing my pictures and some of the stories with you all.  Thanks for "following" me (metaphorically speaking - not physically, that would just be weird!).

Merry Dancers.....



Towards the end of March there were some stunning displays of the Merry Dancers (Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis).  I never get good pictures so ask permission to use others!  Mr T from Imperfect & Tense kindly let me use a couple of his stills.

This is a picture of "Steve" an atmospheric phenomenon seen during an aurora.



And there is this beautiful timelapse taken by David Wishart and shared with permission.  Sit back and watch, it's slow at first but wow when it really gets going!!  I should say that camera lenses show much brighter colours than seen by the naked eye.  But I did see pale dancing green on this particular occassion.  And even if I don't see much colour I can see the dancing!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Last weekend......




....was Easter weekend.  I don't celebrate the religious significance but always think of it as a Spring festival.  So there were chocolate Easter eggs, and of course flowers.  I always try to have some daffodils in the house at Easter as that was Mum & Dad's wedding anniversary.  Neither could ever remember the date but as they got married on Easter Saturday that was always they day they celebrated their anniversary!  So in their memory I have daffs in a vase.


Spring is late throughout the UK and we are all longing for warm sunny days.  But the sun did shine last week and it was nice to be out and about.

There are lambs appearing in the fields too now.


The ewes and lambs are numbered so if they get separated the farmer knows who belongs to which!


This ewe had escaped and was wandering round.  She was trying to look fierce and prevent me getting in my car - she failed. Haha!  How can a sheep with a white top knot be taken seriously?



And.... we had SNOW at Easter!!!  Mostly just settling on the Hoy Hills.



Not that that stopped Madam Button from basking in the sunshine!


Fulmar pairs are back on the cliffs at the pier.  They are fantastic in the air, really acrobatic!



No Easter chicks, but Gimpy (Limpy) hen has been separated from the flock and put in a pen on hard ground.  She had an infected foot and it wasn't healing up in all the mud.  I put her sister, Wheezy Hen, with her for company.  They are both at least 6 years old and generally doing well.  Neither are thrilled at being confined but they are getting lots of extra treats like fruit and veg.  Hopefully when (if?) the land dries up they can both be released again.


Neighbour Sue helped construct the pen.  It is in the old Stable at Sandside where the working horse would have been kept.  So the sides are high, as is the manger.  A former owner of Sue's house used to keep pigeons and she had some frames from the coop in a shed which came in VERY handy as the doors!  Lots of hay, two nesting boxes and two reasonably comfy hens!

And then there was a beautiful sunset that evening.....



Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sunset walk



These photos were taken a week or so ago and already the sun has moved further round as the year turns. This was the first "after work" walk of the year!   Sunset was just about 1800. Today it should be about 18.25.  And NEXT weekend we move onto British Summer Time with the clocks "springing" forward one hour.  Whoo hoo!

Snow and cloud over Ward Hill on Hoy.



The main road on Graemsay!


Reflections of sun in the sea




And of course Madam Button came for a stroll too.  She likes to live dangerously. It's not good for my nerves....

Yes she is teetering on the edge of the abyss.....


And then when I berate her for living so dangerously I get the "What?" look.....



Tuesday, 20 March 2018

A walk to the beach in sunshine.....



I took a walk to the shore (Button remained in the garden sunbathing!).  It was just glorious to be out with no wind, hail, rain or snow!

Above the MV Hamnavoe ferry sailing back to Stromness from Scrabster on the Orkney Mainland. And below, turning to go into the harbour.  Brinkies Brae (the photos in a previous post) can be seen high on the hill above the town.


The low building without a roof is believed to have been a medieval manor house on Graemsay.  Much altered over the years obviously!  But evidence of fire places inside.


Looking back to Sandside Bay


The natural swimming pool by the old pier.


Looking across at Garson


A blurry picture of a startled heron flying off.



A blurry seal enjoying calmer weather...


The old sail shed at Sandside.  The sails for the family yole (small sailing boat) used to be kept in here.  The yole would have been kept in a boat "noust" well above high tide just behind here on the shore.


On the way home....


And crocus nestling safely among long grass and trees by the dyke at Sandside.  Given the weeks of Easterly gales blowing directly onto them they have survived remarkably well!  Brave things!


Monday, 19 March 2018

Around the Spring equinox



Oh joy of joys, SUNSHINE, no wind!  OK still a bit chilly but I even managed a walk without a woolly hat! 

Dear Button doesn't think much of windy days.  Mostly she hibernates too. I love this photo of her with her head in her paws.  Yup I can empathise!


But the days ARE getting longer!  The picture at the top of this post was taken around 5.30am(ish) when dawn was breaking. 

And on a lovely day like today I went Groatie Buckie hunting!  Groatie Buckies are tiny cowrie shells and are often viewed as a great prize.  It's taken me years to develop the knack to find them.  today I found SEVEN!  My biggest single haul yet!!


And some yellow shells in memory of my lovely friend Leslye who died back in January.  She had bowls full of yellow shells around her home and forbade me to pick any on my beach as they were all supposed to be HERS! 



And the daffs (tete-a-tete) are blooming happily now all the snow has gone.



And spring bulbs coming through - tulips I think in this pot!



And the main daff show is getting itself ready with flower buds forming....  Soon time to start clearing away the dead stuff from last year.  I always leave it in winter as cover for insects and for birds to rootle through.