To misquote a famous novel's opening line and also to echo a previous blog life, I am not writing this sitting in the kitchen sink. I did briefly contemplate it, for the sake of the interconnectedness of all things, but instead I'm taking a cosier refuge on the sofa with a large mug of tea. The morning's weather is foul: driving rain is lashing the window; a gale force wind is howling in the chimney; and occasional raindrops 'ping' in the cold hearth. An indoors day, methinks. Yesterday had been rather different. Working across Scapa Flow on the island of Hoy, the sun had shone its Winter light to good effect, creating a sumptuously glowing landscape of golds and browns as it caught the stems of grasses and reeds, the bark of trees and whole hillsides of heather. My task meant that I missed the best of it, but the wait for the return ferry offered an opportunity for an afternoon walk, which brought sightings of four raptor species: Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Buzzard and
From top left: Stonechat; Eurasian Otter; Short-eared Owl; Dandelion; Redshank; Sheep's-bit Scabious; Common Blue butterfly; Atlantic Puffin; Ringed Plover; Red-breasted Mergansers; Grey Seal with pup; Long-tailed Ducks.