Friday, 12 August 2011

Holm Field on the Clift Hills

Summers back! We seem to be having 4 seasons in a week at the moment, but judging by the colour of my bonce it's definitely summer today, accompanied of course by a stiff breeze.

It's the last day of my summer holidays and I was determined to get out, so I decided on a visit to The Clift Hills that run a fair way along the western side of southern mainland. They're quite imposing from Scalloway and Burra, but luckily you can get part of the way up to some of them from the east coast of Shetland. So, today I drove down to Cunningsburgh and up through Blett to park up and begin my trek up to Holm Field via Scroo with thoughts of possibly getting over to Royal Field.

After leaving the peat track it was just a case of beating up the hill and following sheep tracks ever upwards, whilst working round the dissected peat hags like I would imagine you wind around crevasses in a glacier. I'm glad I'd brought my trekking poles, life's a lot easier with them on that sort of ground.

There were still some Bonxies swooping about in parts, but I've never found them as concerning as others seem to, their swoops are great for photos too.

Looking south from Scroo. It was pretty windy up top, it'll be a shame to see a couple of wind turbines up here that a local family plan to erect.

It was then down in to bog hopping again in the saddle between Scroo and Holm Field followed by another trek up to come out at the top.

Looking south. South Havra to the right of the cairn.

And a closer view.

On nearing the summit a mountain hare had been teasing me, by waiting until I'd got the camera out then scarpering. Eventually I got it; my first mountain hare photo, though not great.

East and West Burra, South Havra and peeking in on the far right Foula.

Papil with the mysterious Foula in the distance.

Looking north...

Sitting for a drink of both scenery and liquid I noticed some yummy looking black berries.  I've not come across any moorland berries to munch on up on Shetland before, odd as back home we have loads of bilberries over the moors. These are crow berries and very nice indeed. Ironically I opened the Shetland Times to see an article about how it's a good year for them. Well there weren't that many, I'd hate to be trying to get enough for a pie!

It was time to be heading back now, Royl Field was tempting me across the valley, but to be honest I was pretty shattered and had an appointment with Clare for lunch in Flames back in Lerwick. So of I set down and around the hills to the car and into town to pick up Clare. If the weather holds we're off to Maywick beach for a picnic this evening. Fingers crossed!

As for the weekend... well there's Walls Show tomorrow. On Sunday it's Trondra Rowing Regatta (though oddly rowing from Scalloway Marina). I'll be rowing with the vets for that, may be even the in the open too if I'm unlucky. It'll certainly be a shock to the system as I've not been out for some time although I've been managing to keep the gym up.

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