Friday, 31 August 2012

A few panoramas from the south end...

It's been a very mixed week, but in between the often awful spells it's been pretty lovely, so I took advantage of the clear spells for a few photos when I was out and about.

I've been messing about with stitching panoramas together in photoshop, much to my computers dislike. Just quick hand held ones, but my poor pc isn't quite up to spec for stitching a large number of large RAW files. It get's there eventually, most of the time, but I have had a few moments when it's just frozen.

Anyway here is are a few I snapped, all hand held in a fair breeze, but I think they show some of the spots off pretty well.

Here's Fitful Head across The Bay of Quendale...


Scat Ness, Fitful Head and the airport...


Spiggie Beach...



Spiggie Beach and a surprise beach in the bay...



Here's a single photo of Spiggie with my 8-16mm Sigma lens; distortion meant I had to stand the masts on the Ward of Scousburgh back up in photoshop...


Colsay, St Ninians and Ward of Scousburgh from Spiggie...


It's turned grim again for the weekend with gales along with the rain. It's a shame as we were hoping to do some voluntary work on Sunday at Da Gairdins out near Sand, you never know...

If nothing else it'll hopefully pass over for Monday as I'm due up in Fetlar for the day for work; I think I'll be making other arrangements though if the weather's not sorted itself out by then!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Reflections...

Despite an poor start to the day by mid morning it had cleared up considerably. Unfortunately the wind had also dropped and the midgies were out in force and I'd left my Avon Skin So Soft at home, AGAIN! 

To be fair, I've hardly needed to use it up here as the days when it's warm and wet with no wind are fairly rare.

The wonderful reflections in some of the waters as I drove back to town from out West made up for the irritated skin from the midgies though...

Tresta Voe...


The Loch of Strom...


Sadly by early evening the day had descended in to thunder and lightning and down pour, though thankfully without an accompanying power cut. It's been a funny old week in lots of ways and it's not over yet...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Out West...

As well as being up at Tingon on Saturday we went out for a walk and picnic around The Ness of Ireland near Maywick on Sunday with a spell on the lovely beach at Maywick too. Beren seems immune to the rather fresh sea and is loving splashing about in it, despite it being pretty brown and having floaters of peat in it from the Uradale landslip earlier in the week. I've got no photos though. The sun was just in the wrong place and too much for anything decent, but it wasn't too much for a decent walk and exploration of the fantstic coast there!

Come Monday and work I was shattered, but luckily it was a day of more running around in the car and office work than walking. Today though, and most of the week if the weather can sort itself out, I'll be out and about quite a bit.

Today I was out West, Westerwick and Clousta, and unlike the horrendous weather that is battering the window as I type it was gorgeous.

Here's a couple of shots of Westerwick I took on the cliff tops...



After a spot of lunch it was up to Clings Water, a lovely little loch out near Clousta, where I was followed a fair way round the loch by a lonely sheep!


When I see old buildings like this on the shore I always feel sorry for them and a longing to live there...


Though I'm sure that wish would soon fade as the winter comes in!


Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Hamnavoe Coast

I went for a walk today with my friend and his dog up the coast from Hamnavoe in Eshaness. We had a stunning day as you can see from this photo of Ronas Hill in the distance...



I'd had ideas of going over Ronas and down to Lang Ayre today. Looking at the weather over there I may be should have, but we had a good day up on this bit of coast.

There are some great locations to visit such as the cliffs and rock platforms around South Head on this stretch of coast. I thought that I had photos of some amazing headlands and geos, but stupidly I'd left my camera on manual focus so they were all wasted. Trust me not to be sensible and check my shots after I took them!

Luckily when I got to Warie Gill Geo I had realised about the manual focus, so there are a few that survived. Here's looking from the side of the gorge back in land up The Burn of Tingon...


The falls as they drop into the sea at Warie Gill Geo...


It's really quite a drop...


This is the Geo of Ockran, which is a really big geo extending a long way inland. It has a rope to get down into it at it's inland end. It looked very inviting, but with a doggy in tow we didn't want to risk him trying to follow us or getting stuck, so it'll be on my 'to do' list for next time I'm here.


There were plenty of seals about in the geo and even a dead floating one out at sea with a great black backed gull sitting on top of it eating away at it. A bit grim but fascinating too! 

Not far after the geo we headed up the hill to get the view of Ronas Hill before working our way south to Tingon itself and following the track back to Hamnavoe. We had a great walk with fine weather and I can only hope that the forecast for tomorrow is right and Clare and Beren and I can get out for some exploring some where...



Friday, 24 August 2012

After the rains...

As some of you will know we had a little bit of rain on Wednesday, well actually something like a months worth in 12 hours, which caused some major problems such as at Uradale Farm near us and else where in central Shetland. Thankfully it's been a bit nicer since then!

It's been glorious today. Here's the newly refurbished 19th century pier at Sandsayre, Sandwick



And looking up the coast from it at Leebitten...


It was pretty yummy down near Sumburgh too where I had my dinner on West Voe beach...


And looking over Bressay...


As you can see the clouds have been pretty impressive at times after all that rain, but it's left it's mark. Below at Gulberwick there used to be a fine beach along with a nice footbridge over Sand Burn that Beren liked to play poo sticks on, but for now it's some where out in the bay... 


Thankfully the despite loosing their cars in the landslide at Uradale the house and family are fine, a bit of washed out beach and a bridge aren't too concerning in comparison.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

All beached out...


Wow what a day eh?

I don't know about anywhere else but central and southern Shetland have had fantastic weather today. After zooming around Tesco's this morning I went down to Meal beach on Burra to try out my new wide angle lens. The sea's not too lively just now, but it was a lovely morning to be sitting there taking photos...




Beren had been asking to go out and do some geocaching, so after a hearty roast dinner (Thanks Clare x) we set off for the south end with a few caches around Scousburgh and Bigton to find. The one near Bigton was actually on St Ninian's Isle. as expected on a day like today the car park was busy, but it being such a big beach there was plenty of space to enjoy. Beren was keen to enjoy the sea and there was lots of space there LOL!


 


There were a few others braving the sea, though with wetsuits, and one horse. What a fantastic place to ride your horse. I used to love riding on the long sands at Redcar and Saltburn, but they can't compare to the oasis that is St Ninian's.


Finding the geocache on the isle was really the anti-climax of the trip after the beach and signalled our time to go home as the wind was freshening, sky darkening and the temperature cooling.


Back to work tomorrow and lots to catch up on...




Saturday, 18 August 2012

Gray day at Muckle Loch

It's been a pretty foggy one today with the odd brief splash of sun so after a morning of doing essentials Beren and I decided to go out to da muckle loch on Burra for a splash and a swim. 


It was nothing like the last time we were here; gray, foggy and the midgies were nibbling for the first time in ages...


Thankfully the water wasn't too cold and it kept the midgies from us...


Some time I'll swim in this channel below the loch and even across to the seaward side of the smuggler's cave, but not today...


Beren gave a thumbs up for the swimming -which also included catching and throwing out imaginary shark, crocodile, squid and sea snakes- but a thumbs down for the fog...


After a hasty drying off we dashed over to the smuggler's cave to check on the geochache. A nice breeze kept off the nibblers and they don't seem to like caves either!


Unfortunately, we arrived back at a car to find a flat battery. Ironically when we left home I'd stopped to tell a neighbour their car's lights were left on. I'd only done the same! Luckily, after failing to jump start it down a short hill I found a friendly guy to help me get it going off his car and we were soon off home to a fine tea.  All good fun eh?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Castles made of sand...

We got back home on Tuesday's boat with plans, but as we know plans often go awry. Clare became victim of a strange phenomenon of the vagus nerve after a hastily drunk glass of cold water (how reckless of her), passed out, banged her head, which helped her stay passed out and we spent the evening in A&E. Luckily after tests galore she was declared fit to bugger off home and so we did, only to spend the rest of the week nursing the after effects of concussion. So due to that things will be a little quite here and she's not at all happy at having to miss the Spiggie Fun Run this weekend that she'd been training for.

However, nosing through some recent photos I thought I'd post these of a trip we had to Quendale beach not long before we went away. We'd been there the week before geocaching and seen what I thought were 3 dolphins, but in retrospect were more likely porpoise and decided to return for a beach picnic complete with bucket and spade.

Instead of parking at Toab and walking in that way again we decided to park at the sign for Quendale Beach on the main road a bit north of Toab. If you go, park in Toab at the end of the road or even across at Quendale Mill; they're both much better ways to it.

As we came on to the beach the first thing I saw was another dolphin (as I say more likely porpoise). Clare and I wanted to watch it as it slowly made it's way along the shore in the break line and then back out into the bay to do a circuit back to the beach, but Beren just wanted to build!

So they built, starting with just one 'turret'...


They discussed the build quite alot, but still managed to get on with it some what quicker than The Mareel and I watched the porpoise, failing time and time again to catch it on my camera...



And so the castle grew..



Until....voila! Beren had his best ever sandcastle on a beautiful beach on a wonderful day...


...but I still didn't have a photo of the porpoise, despite it only being 10m from the shore at times!






Friday, 10 August 2012

Kiki

Other than the odd thunder storm the weather has been wonderful since we got back home. So I should have known that the day I was going to take some photos of my daughter jumping on her new horse, Kiki, it would be misty. 





She's a 12 year old 16.3 thorough bred that originally was a racer and then an eventer. Robyn's had her a few months and been enjoying some cross country, show jumping events and a bit of dressage too.



She's registering her to compete with Race horse to rider, a charity that supports getting race horses re-educated as riding horses and has events especially for ex race horses. We used to have rescue greyhounds, so it's nice to see there's something going on for retired/failed race horses.



We didn't spend long watching her do a few jumps, but it was great to see her go. I just need to be careful that I don't get Beren sucked in to horsey world, much as I love them, once they get a hold it's hard to escape!




Here's a short video of her today...

video

We're planning a day on the coast tomorrow along with a family meal later and probably a lazy Sunday with family too as we'll be heading back to Shetland early Monday morning.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Brimham Rocks!!!

And it really does! If you're ever in North Yorkshire near Ripon on a nice day, particularly mid-week you've got to go there. Brimham Rocks is an amazing playground of natural grit stone boulders, woodland and heath with the most fantastic bilberries in the world ever, usually the size of commercial blueberries.




Our trip sooth has been the usual and expected whiz around family and friends whilst trying to fit in some old favorites. These photos are pretty much straight of the camera as I've got no editing facility, next time I'l have to bring a lap top with good old lightroom on, but I think you'll agree it's a pretty special place.

We had a great day with my daughter, her husband and Faith, my granddaughter. When we go there the kids were off like a shot climbing over boulders and crawling through tunnels...






Despite being busy in the school holidays it wasn't too crowded and we did find a great spot for our picnic.


 Then it was off with more exploring to do...





The brave explorers!


 As well as scrambling about there were people bouldering and properly rock climbing. I bet their heath and safety assessments are interesting here, thankfully it's not full of signs telling you what not to do.



We've also been over the pennines to near Wigan for a couple of days to visit some of Clare's family. While we there we had a great day out at Liverpool's World Museum. which is free and has fantastic exhibitions. Beren's favourite was the bug exhibition with live insects and giant models.

On the same theme, Beren had acquired a pond dipping net and was desperate to go 'fishing' with it for bugs and stuff. We went to Orrell Water Park and Greenslate Water Meadows to see what we could get. Sadly not much other than leafe debris and mud, but he had a good time exploring and running about.




Sticky bud wars with his granddad were fun too!


Beren's been really enjoying watching the olympics and telling us every time he sees a 'team GB flag', which has been quite regularly down her in England. Now he keeps stopping when we're on a walk, even in the middle of Liverpool, getting on his marks, set and racing off. It's really funny and got quite a few smirks from people...




The drive back to my mam's last night was pretty tiring with some major detours over the North York Moors due to flash flooding. 

We've got a day 'off' today, but Beren wants to go geocaching! I want to take some photos of my daughter show jumping and then we've got planned visits for the rest of our stay. We'll need a rest when we get back home to Shetland as we're all in a spinning whizzing tizz...