Saturday, 22 October 2011

The headland skies

 I love walking, I love sky watching, I love the long vistas and the whistle of the Orkney wind and the shrill call of the dancing, swirling sea birds, high up in the sky. I love walking together, hand in hand, laughing.  With each foot forward the light changed.
 The seals follow us along the shoreline, swimming beside us, watching us chat, curious and unphased by our banter and our laughter. I really love that they follow us, we ponder why they do it, every single time, we wonder why - but love the fact that they will swim along with us the length of the headland, then turnaround and follow us back to the start. I do like seals, they make me smile. Are they guarding the sea or wanting our company? 

The big skies make me feel so small, very honoured to be here, a lucky island dweller. The Orkney skies are large and beautiful, the camera never quite captures it.
 The images are always amazing, each step they change from tussock grasses to rockier shores. I love the patches of silhouetted umbels in the foreground, their flowers long gone, the seeds barely there anymore - their stately form will linger a long while into the winter, if they are lucky the frost will pick them out and make them sparkle. I always try to guess what they are, we laugh at the ridiculus names I call them and walk on.
How many times have we walked along this headland? I can hardly remember. We're always followed by seals which we wave a hearty hello to. You can never help but listen to the birds calling, the sea roaring and often, the wind whistling. Watching the ferry leave around the headland today in the early hours, I was reminded of our last walk around that same spot. For now, I'll walk with a child's hand in my hand or alone, but for a seal for company as I amble along.

As a fine modern poet once said:

'My love and I, we work well together, although often we're apart'.

[Excuse the thoughtful post, Mr F and I generally live 300 miles apart and a bumpy ferry ride. We waved him off today. I enjoy our time together, and embrace the time apart, the children and I do similar but different things together when Mr F is off, Peedie enjoys a large share of the bed when Mr F is away at work on the mainland! The diversity of life keeps us all happy I guess. We've been juggling all of this for a while.
Normal service and posts later, once a 'new' normal daily life kicks in.]


  1. Those images are going to linger in my mind. Aren't there legends about seal people, selkies??

  2. Indeed there are. Selkies are mythical creatures.

  3. Those photos are amazing, such a lovely post. Enjoy the rest of the weekend x

  4. stunning photography and well-written prose. i can feel the emotion of your post through your writing and it is poignant. i really need to come to your part of the world; it speaks my language. thank you for a truly moving post.

  5. Fran I hope you enjoy it too. Thanks the photos never quite capture it.

    Jts, thanks. It's a truly stunning adventure, visiting Orkney I hope you make it one day. My photos hardly capture it at all.

  6. Beautiful pix. It looks spectacularly tempting. Love the thought of the seals agog and on the trail. Maybe they fancy one of your hats for the winter to come!

  7. Stunning skies, all the better for being enjoyed in good company with laughter and seals.

  8. Yeractual, they could be after my hats, how sneaky!!!!!

    Janet laughing and seals are ace company.

    Ta for the photo compliments, mr f's are better than mine.

    Cheery has a brilliant camera that does panoramas, I'm so tempted........!

  9. Lovely photos Fay. I used to get very frustrated at the big, big skies in Orkney and my inability to capture them 90% of the time. Are we going to be treated to any of Mr F's images of Orkney?

  10. Lots of legends about Silkies indeed - and beautiful creatures to watch they are too. Fay - looks to me like you've done a fantastic job with the skies, but if you feel you want "more sky" try dropping to one knee or even sitting down if the ground is dry) and then shoot with the camera tilted ever so slightly upwards. The lower aspect means you can keep ground in your foreground whilst maximising the sky above.

  11. On the panorama thing - if your camera is a Canon then there is a nifty bit of software in the Canon CD that came with it which makes not half bad panoramas.

  12. Oh my gawd those photos are stunning! How did I miss that gorgeous sun??!!