Monday, 21 February 2011

Ronas Hill Panorama

Beren's not been at all well today and obviously needed a sleep, so off we went for a run in the car. It did the job and I took this stitched panorama while he was sleeping.

Unfortunately, not long after that, on the wayhome he was rather sick all over himself and the back of my seat. Trying to sort it all out in a gale in a passing place wasn't the most pleasant job. Thankfully he's a little better now.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Blown about on Scat Ness and The Ness of Burgi

One day I'll realise that staying at home on a wet and windy day is wiser than trying to go for a walk on one of the most exposed bits of Shetland to take photos. Hopefully that'll be a long time off.

So today I met a friend and went down to Scat Ness on the southern tip of Shetland for a look at the sea-nery and a lot of fresh air.

There are a lot of archaelogical remains down there with visitor attractions of Jarlshof and Old Scatness, but we headed out into the wind and rain towards The Ness of Burgi and The Burgi Block House. It was a great place to get some shelter and a hot cup of tattie soup inside us as well as fantastic views over to Sumburgh Lighthouse, Fitful Head and Horse Island. On a better day we'd see Fair Isle too.

The sea wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped, may be due to it being too windy, but we had a grand wander with just the wind, sea and a few gulls for company.

Looking back towards Sumburgh Airport

Over towards Sumburgh Lighthouse

The walkway to The Ness of Burgi

and looking back along it

The Burgi Block House was very impressive and a good shelter...

...with great views from the doorways ...

...and off to the south, Horse Island was getting a battering

Next weekend we will be mostly moving, so I'll see you soon...

Saturday, 19 February 2011


I've been messing about a bit with Lightroom lately with my photo's, although I have the older 2.2 version. I just wanted something that I can sharpen images and improve the quality without all the bells and whistles for graphic editing that something like photoshop has and it does me fine.

Clare and Beren went to bed feeling tired and ill, so I've had a mess about with grayscale on a couple of the photos from The Burn of Gonfirth and while I was at it thought I'd mess about with the vignette option to give a bit of an old photo look. I've gone a bit over the top, but I quite like the look...

And all put to a little Kensho (Stairs) to reminisce to...

The Burn of Gonfirth; a little beauty

Things are getting busy busy busy. By this time next week we'll be living in Scalloway, so there's packing to do and with another round of colds none of us are really feeling up to it. After getting a few boxes done this morning I needed first to collapse for a bit and then to get some fresh air, oh and some more parcel tape.

In the past I'd noticed a interesting looking ravine off the Voe to Aith road. I've been intending to check it out and today was the day.  It runs from above the road to Grobness, tumbling down the hillside before it enters Gon Firth between Aith and Voe and it's very beautiful.

Despite the  grotty weather (another ferry cancelled tonight) we drove out there. Clare and Beren had a sleep in the car and I spent an hour or so risking life and limb on the sodden slippy grassy banks of the burn; at one point using the pan-handle of my tripod as an ice axe as I slipped down a bank at a fair rate towards the burn. Luckily the only damage was a good coating of mud down my legs and side.

I wanted to post a series of pictures following the waterfalls but how best to do it? Going down the falls would work as you scroll down this page, but the downward looking views would miss the falls and my own falls would be more likely too!

Taking pictures as I explored going up the falls would show them off to best advantage, it's easier climbing up, but you'd loose the flow of pictures as you scrolled down the page; they'd be in reverse. 

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, just imagine you're going down the burn backwards, abseiling if you like!

Here's the view from near the top of the burn, the first set of falls...

And the burn tumbling it's way down towards Gon Firth...

...and then gently making it's way to the sea...

I really look forward to returning with Beren and Clare with a flask of tea and a bite to eat on a good day.

Now I've got some reestit mutton on the go for a pot of tattie soup tomorrow; I think the weather will warrant it! Mmm... smells great...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Waves at Quarf

Managed to get a look at some impressive sea today at Quarf. Unfortunately there was so much spray in the air it was hard to get a clear photo. Anyway, here's a few moody ones...

I did hope to go and see a geo-cache at a waterfall at Wester Quarf, but numpty me put the wrong co-ordinates in my GPS. I did find one that a student hid at Cunningsburgh though, success! Next time I'll take a print out of the geo-cache site info with me just in case...

Here's my find today, looks more like a sample for the doc though!

...hidden near the foundations of an old machine gun stand.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Dore Holm; Wow!!!

Unfortunately not a picture I took (from google images), an amazing picture of Dore Holm in a force 8 gales. Here's what it was like last time I was there

It's been about as rough as that of late with the house rattling and shaking all night and the hens nearly getting blown away. Ferries are cancelled or delayed and driving is certainly an experience.

Mmm.... very much Shetland weather!

The Forest of Kergord

Sunday was Clare's birthday, so after a few running repairs on the hen house and bellies filled with heart shaped pancakes we set off with fingers crossed for the weather, and a picnic, for a foray into the Forest of Kergord...

Well if you're small enough to think this is a tree you may consider it a forest! Regardless of the 'technicalities', it's about the biggest bit of woodland on Shetland, complete with a small burn and we all had a fun time there...

Once inside it reminded me of some of the old un-managed copses back home on the North York Moors. Sadly it's long over due a bit of woodland management; apart from standing and hung up dead wood; it's got snowberry and rhododendron in there too. BUT that makes all the more wonderful and a fantastic place to spend an hour or two and even get a bit of shelter from the wind.

After wandering our way up the hillside along side the burn it was time to sit for a bite to eat and enjoy the view.

One thing this place is good at growing, other than trees, is mosses and lichens. They're so pretty festooning branches dead or alive and lots of different types.

 A sight of celandine, a flower bud or two starting to open, suddenly made me think of spring and then I saw some daffs on their way up. It still feels fully winter to me.

At the top of the woods are the remains of an old house with fire place still intact and in use by some who come here. It'll be a nice place to camp for the night in the summer.

All to do now is to mosey back down to the car.

And then a visit to a friend who has just moved to a gorgeous little cottage at the head of Stromfirth. One day...