Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Finglandrigg fungi ...

...and there were plenty. Great to see a purple hairstreak too - albeit a bit pecked!

Left hand column: black bulgar; birch polypore; candle snuff; blusher; ...and ?
Middle: black bulgar; an earth fan type thing!; scaly earthball ? ..a cup thing? and something looking nicely lit!
Right: pestle puff ball; hoof fungus; a bracket fungus and amethyst deceivers. 

Purple hairstreak. 

Colours of autumn : bog ashodel, ling and dwarf gorse. 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The first herdwick hank....

Tom has been experimenting with his Turkish drop-spindle - not bad for his second attempt at a hank!

The herdwick hank ....approximately 70g.

Detail ...
Fluffy stuff ...cotton grass and yarn!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Great yellow bumble bee felt

Following our visit to Orkney - here's an interpretation of a gorgeous patch of bog asphodel, hawkbit and devil's bit scabious...with great yellow bumble bees. It's a mixture of wet and needle-felting.

Wood vetch at Parton

An enjoyable walk from Parton to Whitehaven and good to see some wood vetch (Vicia sylvatica), which is currently in decline,  by the path.

Parton towards Whitehaven.

Wood vetch 


Whitehaven marina

Friday, 25 August 2017

A rare watercolour ...

It isn't often I do a watercolour, but to be fair I really enjoyed doing this one. Why? I did a 'field sketch' first, of our nasturtiums and then I used decent paper and bothered to stretch it - lesson learned!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hoxa Tapestry Gallery

On our final day on Orkney we also nipped down to the Hoxa Tapestry Gallery on South Ronaldsay.....and it was well worth it!  Rarely have I been so impressed by art work. The gallery houses the work of Leila and Jo Tompson and is clearly inspired by the local landscape.   I loved the rugs, but was over-awed by the huge tapestry weavings. I came away armed with card, a book, a print and full of inspiration!

A walk along Bassenthwaite shore.

A good short walk along the shore of Bassenthwaite from Ouse Bridge. It's feeling a bit autumnal.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Binsey, North Cumbria

This little 'outlier' is always a delightful walk and today was no exception. Nice to see grass-of-Parnassus and red grouse. The heather is just coming out and the views spectacular.

Stromness and goodbye

Well the day of departure had arrived. Up to pack the tents and then into Stromness before catching the ferry. The benefit of going from Stromness is that you get good views of the Old Man of Hoy. I must say I really liked Stromness - lovely building and atmosphere - and obviously an interesting history from the number of blue plaques on houses! I wish I'd spotted the one for Mrs Humphrey's House: temporary hospital 1835-1836 for scurvy ridden whale men who'd been trapped in the ice for months.


From the ferry home. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Our final day - Yesnaby in the sun..

Well our final day. Orkney was a fantastic holiday and the weather was more than kind to us - especially being as we were camping! It was therefore somehow appropriate that on our final day there should be a brisk breeze and showers. The light at Yesnaby, one of our favourites from earlier in the holiday, was fantastic. 

A 'bitty' day.

Apart from Dounby show we toured round a bit and explored some more coastline.

Warebeth, near Stomness.

Unstan chambered cairn.

Walking west from the Breck near Houton - a good walk - strange to come across anti - submarine netting on the shore. 

Dounby Show 2017

Off to Dounby Show today - not as much was made of stock as at our local show in Cumbria and there were a lot more trade stands. Disappointingly, there wasn't an industrial tent of any kind. The rain held off though.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Houton to Hoy ...

Setting off on the ferry this morning was great - a lovely day on Hoy. Having been to the Scapa Flow and Visitor Centre kind of puts the view in context! Two very different views from Houton.

The Scapa Flow museum was excellent and well deserved of the funding that has been gained for a complete overhaul over the next couple of years.

The Scapa Flow museum - free - on Hoy.

Hoy! - The Old Man ..

A gorgeous day and a spectacular walk - staying at the bothy in Rackwick..or camping, is now on my list of things to do! ...together with, slightly unrealistically, climbing the old man!


Great Skua - a very obliging one at that!

Hoy!.....Red-throated divers and the Dwarfie Stane.

Another glorious day after an inauspicious start...and we were on our way to Hoy. This time we took the car so that we could do as much of the island as we wished. It's advisable to book a couple of days in advance for the ferry.

Red-throated divers on 'The Water of Hoy' .

The Dwarfie Stone,  a chambered tomb carved out of a glacial erratic.
Visitors to the Dwarfie Stane included a British spy in 1850, Major William Mounsey, who carved in Persian script ‘I have sat two nights and have learned patience.’ ..some think this was a reference to the midges!

Rousay - three chambered cairns: Blackhammer and Taversoe Tuick

Our second chambered cairn was Blackhammer, which like the Knowe of Yarso had a main subdivided chamber. Unlike the previous cairn access was through the newly constructed roof!

The flora beside the road was pretty spectacular too....

The third chambered cairn, Taversoe Tuick, has the unusual arrangement of two chambers being set above each other, with a third smaller chamber lying outside the main cairn. The only other similar on Orkney is on Eday. At the time of use the two chambers were accessed independently from the hillside, today you can climb down into the lower chamber.

..and then a lovey ferry journey back to the Mainland.

Rousay - three chambered cairns: the Knowe of Yarso.

On the most glorious of days we caught the ferry, as foot passengers, across to Rousay and walked along the road to the three chambered cairns. All very different in their own way. 

The ferry arriving at Tingwall - today it was the Shapinsay
 - not the usual one but it was Shapinsay show day,
 so there had been a swap around. 

Not a bad view from the road!

The first cairn was Knowe of Yarso - The modern roof had been added for protection but the inside shows evidence of a double skin - a feature of many cairns on Orkney.Inside the chamber is divided into stalls by upright stones. Due to the roof it's a damp tomb - hence the algae and green haze! Which made for a more colourful sketch! The bones of 29 adults were found when it was excavated.