There’s just time to nip to Rendall’s (one of the three shops on the Island) to get supplies. It’s yoghurt I’m after. Plain yoghurt would be great. I could cope with Greek Style. Maybe a vanilla yoghurt would be okay. Something neutral to go with a fruit salad for my friends is what I’m after. I doubt I’ll be lucky; last time I was here the fridge was heavy with yoghurt but it was all coconut flavour. Delicious, but it tastes of coconuts.
I’m in luck; there’s lots of yoghurt in the fridge. There’s a line of large tubs going as far back as the eye can see. They have Raspberry, Cherry and Pomegranate flavour stocked in depth; and no other.
Curlews are called Whaups in Orkney and there are thousands of them here all year round. They’re our biggest wading bird and their calls echo eerily around the landscape.
This Whaup was having a wash next to the track to Noup Head. Perfect for an ‘out of the car’ shot.
Today we visited the Links of Noltland. The chain-link fence has seen better days.
Glad to be alive? Thank a plant today.
The oxygen you breathe, the food you eat and the fuel you burn all came from plants. Any plant to thank in particular? Well, a good start would be Selaginella, the Platypus of the Plant Kingdom. It’s a relative of all flowering plants but has no direct descendants – it’s a survivor that’s an evolutionary blind end – apart from the 700 or so species worldwide. When was the last time you looked at a piece of coal? It is the fossilised ancestors of Selaginella. Selaginella was one of the first plants to develop a system of tubes that transport water and nutrients inside a plant, one of the most important developments in evolution, allowing large plants to evolve.
At the top of Fitty Hill grow living fossils – Selaginella selaginoides – plants which aren’t flowing plants, which aren’t ferns, which aren’t mosses. They’re survivors, separated by 400 million years of evolution.
The common name ‘Lesser Clubmoss’ really doesn’t do them justice.
I wish days like these would last,
And never fade into the past.
Slovenia Breeze – Steve Poltz
Beer, football, conversation, soup, bread, cheese and putting the world to rights. A lovely evening, topped off with a gift of tatties and cabbage.
Tatties so beautiful the skins just rub off. I must remember to give that bucket back.
The slopes of Fitty Hill are alive with flowers and the glorious lilac of Devil’s-Bit Scabious waves in the light breeze. There are the large male flowers and the smaller female flowers of Succisa pratensis all over the grassy slopes.
Species of scabious were used to treat Scabies and other skin problems including Bubonic Plague sores. The word scabies comes from the Latin word for scratch (scabere) which is still in common use in the word ‘scab’.