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Making Hay

Making Hay

I’m so used to massive industrial barrel-shaped hay bales in Devon that it’s a pleasure to see some hay bales in old-fashioned …

Sails of Sangar

The Sails of Sangar

Evidence of Westray’s long-established drive to harness the energy of the wind is seen in this ancient sail-less windmill at Sangar (Old …

Seals

Common Seals on a Grey Day

Common seals strike ridiculous poses in Pierowall Bay. Apparently Common Seals have a characteristic ‘head-up, tail-up’ posture when they are hauled out. …

Westray Flag

Westray Flag

Despite the wind the Westray flag resolutely refuses to flutter in the breeze. The people of Westray didn’t choose it but they …

Dunlin

Dunlin on the Tide Line

Dunlin are wary birds. As I walk along the Bay of Tafts they jerk in nervous motion and skit further along the …

Death to Drosophila

Morning. Another day on Westray and time to tip the woodlice out of my slippers, have some Scots porridge for breakfast and …

Flatfish on Feet

Flatfish on Feet

Idyllic weather in Orkney? T-shirt and shorts on the beach? It must be August and it must be a fluke, surely? Westray …

Evie at the Bay of Tafts

Kids and Cameras

I learnt very early that if you want good photographs of your children there is only one solution – give them the …

Rubbish and a Clove Hitch

On a remote island some things always stay the same, yet other things change quite quickly. For islanders, an island like [[Westray]] …

Summer Rose

Summer Rose

Here’s one Summer Rose that’s lost a petal. In the bay at Pierowall is this wonderful vibrantly painted boat. I take a …

Monk, Tusk, Witches

Monk, Tusk, Witches. They are fish names to conjure with; a beautiful marine harvest which local fishermen have risked their lives to …

Rhubarb, Rhubarb

One of my favourite quotes is from the British scientist JBS Haldane. When asked by a theologian what could be inferred about …

Wind and Bottoms

It’s not possible to think about a break cycling in Orkney without discussing two subjects. The first is wind. Understanding the wind, …

Fitty Hill

Sun on the Sea

I’m standing at the top of our small field taking in the magnificent view. From here there’s a 360 degree view of …

Ten Percent

Today is an important day in Orkney. It’s a Thursday so it’s the publication day of The Orcadian and Orkney Today newspapers. …

Panorama

Afternoon turns to Evening

Afternoon turns to evening as the world turns. I’m in the field at the back of Einar with a phone which has …

Provisions

It’s the first day of our stay and I go to the cupboard and the cupboard is bare. Not even a jar …

Nibble

When you arrive at a house that has been closed up for a long time there’s an important routine to go through. …

Ferry

The Ferry

Orkney Ferries run a service to be proud of. Whether it’s a small group of tourists or a farmer with his tractor …

Dog Whelk

Dog Whelk

A Dog Whelk perches on a barnacle encrusted rock waiting for the moon to pull the sea back over it like a …

Beauty Parade

Beauty Parade

A character face, I’d say, rather than a beautiful or handsome one.

Cattle Panorama

Cattle Panorama

A landscape full of beautiful inquisitive cattle.  Wandering along the beach at Aikerness.

Krummi

Krummi

Krummi the Icelandic wonder-pony searches out another Polo mint.

Cracked Earth

Cracked Earth

The Lochs at Aikerness are empty, dry and dusty. There has been no proper rain for weeks.

Cereals in Sunshine

Cereals and Sunshine

At this time of the year the ripening cereal crops take on the colour of the sun on a seemingly endless summer …