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On a showery Sunday afternoon sandwiched between a dreich Saturday and a wet Monday, that briefest of phenomena, an Orcadian Autumn, put in a surprise appearance midst some watery sunshine. It wasn't New England in the fall, it wasn't a vast swathe of colour across a broad landscape, it wasn't even knee deep in leaf litter, but it was magical in its way.

The Rosa rugosa was swinging its hips in a dashing red and cerise number...

Elder bushes were flaunting greens and purples...

There were still a few Buddleia blooms on display...

And Rowans were laden with ripe red berries which, on another part of the walk, were being much appreciated by migrating thrushes: Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds.

I have no idea what this is, other than gorgeously pink.

One particular Rosa rugosa was in a fiendish mood, showing an impressive set of snarling,  sharp teeth.

There were a few insects about, not many, but the fading light did add a splash of colour to this fly's wings.

Lichen wars continue come rain or shine. Here's a small colony facing annexation!

A shower passed between the West Mainland and the island of Hoy.

In places, it was still possible to find a few of Summer's blooms. Here's some Red Clover.

And a Devil's-bit Scabious, complete with bumblebee.

In the Gyre woodland, there were lichenscapes aplenty.

As well as a trickling burn...

and some colourful Yellow Brain fungus on a Gorse stem.

This fearsome creature could have been an Eldersaurus?

Thank you for your company!


  1. Getting to like Nahal ( class double meaning btw), it has a totally different feel from I&T. A bit like Robert Plant after leaving Led Zeppelin or Richie Blackmore after quiting heavy rock.

  2. Thanks, Mark, those are comparisons that are really really easy to live with! Yeah, the Nahal thing wasn't thought through at all (just being a simple acronym), but a few minutes in Google did bring a smile to my face (well, apart from the whole military youth thing).


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