Saturday, 18 February 2012

Headline shouts: Blinded by sunshine, walk forced on dog

Today is vile, hail (of the sideways nature) and its gales galore. A typical Orkney February day I guess. However, there was a lovely sunny day, the light blinding us, strewn through the window, now which day was it? I think it was Monday.  We decided a walk was in order, get out while its good is the motto here.
Therefore when heading home from a meeting in town, Monseuir Peedie Pup and myself took a little jaunt over the south side of the island, past our favourite tree.

 We headed down the track to the left toward Waulkmill Bay, a storm beach on the south west of 'mainland' Orkney with a lovely salt marsh at the back of it which is a nice bird watching  spot.
I know the sun's low and its hard to see the tanker in the distance. One of the things I like about Orkney is that the landscape is unblemished, time standstill. But, oil tankers in scapa flow heading towards the refinery on Flotta remind us of the fact we're living in very modern industrial times. I like the contrast old and new all cheek by jowl.
And I like that path down to the bay. You park up at the top of the bay and meander down the track towards the beach, burn (small river) and salt marshes.
 The path is nestled between clumps of wind burnt wood rush (Luzula sylvestris) and heather (Calluna vulgaris, Erica tetralix and Erica cinerea), eared willow (salix aurita) is also present in crowds down the entire length of the path. Peedie, not a fan of vegetation, is eager to get to the beach.
Unfortunately, today the tide is not our friend - this beach is a huge basin (see the final photo) and today the tide is in and strewn with seaweed. Oh, well, a walk is a walk guess we'll be plodding on the beach edge and the salt marsh rather than the sands..........still a lovely walk. And, having been stormy - maybe treasure to find on the headland, tangled in the seaweed?
I quite like the salt marsh, in the summer the children jump over their pools, coaxing the dog to be asilly as they are - it always ends up with peaty clothes, dripping with water and laughter. The dog ends up wet, he's a great one for joining in!
 As we get to the end of the beach and look back, not much in the way of treasure today, sure there's a lot of seaweed which is great for the garden, but lugging it up that path again, wouldn't be fun. There are far easier beaches in Orkney to gather sea weed from, this isn't one of them!
We stand, the two of us fearless explorerstaring out to sea, well I stare out to sea. Peedie is prefixed on the bonio's (dog biscuits) in my pockets. The only way to get this hound to look at the view is to hunker down and offer a treat at vista level. Lets be honest he's a heathen, like the children often are, unappreciative of the beauty we're surrounded with. At least he's not guilty of the constant 'can we go now' mantra the young folk can be guilty of.
OK, the photo above shows the beach with the tide in. The one below, how much the tide retires when out and the vast expanse of beach which can be wandered all over. Gorgeous isn't it. I quite like this shot, not mine (unfortunately, from a chum) I like the perspective of the beach trickling out and the tanker bringing our conciousness back to modern days. 
 Beaches are timeless here, modern life apparent, but quiet, and going about its business in this gloriouscenery, day by day, never changing


  1. Before we went anywhere in Orkney P would consult the oracle ie "the little book of tides" but it tended to take away from the spontaneity of the outing...
    Love the photos of Peedie in the car!

  2. LOVE the cheery Peedie pics (of course), and what a jolly walk you had on the beach! xxx

  3. thanks for taking us on your walk xx

  4. The only thing I would change about Rock HQ is the lack of beach/water/tides/fish :)

  5. I love those shots of the path down to the bay, any path that gives a glimpse of sea at the end boosts my spirits, like when we were off on holiday, and vying with one another for the first view of the sea after the long, long drive from the Midlands.

  6. I could feel the head-clearing, sea-infused air. Nice walk. I love how the sea is timeless and powerful--it's reassuring. Peedie riding in the car to an adventure -- Max will be jealous. The ultimate dog experience is, as you know, a walk. Well ultimate anyway just below how dinner is ultimate...

  7. Thanks Fay for your time at Zero Waste talking gardening to our friend Marc who's just moved up here to Orkney. I'm so chuffed with all those white square plastic pots but sorry I tried to raid your private book collection in the caravan - doh! We'll all be back and not just for the lovely cuppas and will raid often when we have our own place - finally :) Many thans from Claire and Dave, Marc.

  8. your day out reminds me of an Enid Blyton book ... not a soul around except your delightful little dog and places to explore. i was half-expecting you to break out the flasks and tins of spam and fruit that those Blyton explorers always seemed to have. wonderful pictures .... favorite would have to be picture 2 with your precious little pup. he seems like he would be good company on a walk.

  9. A great relaxing walk and the path down to the bay looks very tempting. Hmmm,there is probably much that you would miss about Orkney, maybe not the wind though.

  10. What a wonderful place for a walk. I didn't know that there were any salt marshes like that on the Orkney Mainland. You know, I have the same problem as you with my kids (and dogs): we live in a beautiful rural area, but can you get them to admire the view? Not a chance! :)