Bit of an old favourite jaunt today, this walk around the headland in Stromness, Warbeth Orkney. We've done it lots, its absolutely stunning and its still got it. Like any good familiar relationship, it's always there and constant and full of surprises to keep you on your toes and wanting for more.
Having finished work and clamboured out the car - the track takes you down along side the cemetary towards the beach. Ok so the track doesn't give much away aside the pot holes, but just you wait. A peek over the fields towards the shore reveals what's to come.
The sound of the crashing waves lie ahead - calling us downwards.........in the far distance, if you squint really hard, Canada. No, you can't really see it but beyond the horizon thousands of miles away it is there.
Its 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. Just finished work and the sky is clear, although the lights going fast its time to get out and enjoy the day whilst you can. It's that time of year, the days growing ever shorter. Making the most of the light is important, every walk is precious. Especially when the wind abaits, the rain stays shy and the light is with you. At least for now.
The blurble of sheep in the next field through the barbed wire, mingle with the crashing sounds of the waves. Island sounds.
The shore here is littered with seaweeds from the storms, so we head left towards the coastal path along the shallow cliffs looking over to the edge of Hoy and amble towards Stromness.
Seals and sea birds cavort about in the distance, just out of reach but familiar in their calls.
We walk here often, its a familiar kind of a jaunt, we're like old friends. These paths and views have seen joy and sorrow. They've been walked with many a friend old or new, colleague and visitor. They've seen my children turn from babies into young adults. I like these shores. They are perfect for bike rides, blustery walks or ambles like today.
I never tire of the views, the sounds and the ever changing light. In the summer the setting sun reaches further round west, so its pleasing to see the light dancing behind Hoy at this time of year. Nice to witness the light going, whilst in summer eternal light is the more familiar tale.
The sleeping dragon of Hoy in the distance makes for a shadowy figure slumbering in the sound between the isles. Slowly the sun sets, sneaking behind the back of the giant.
Looking inwards to the land of the island, the sky seems to be full of texture and dances before us.
These open scenes are typical of Orkney big skies and open long vistas over agricultural land, houses scattered in the landscape like pebbles.
And the birds call us back to reality and the shore again takes our attention.
First we look to the south west and the setting sun. Next over the slated shoreline to the north west the rollers coming towards the shore.
And then forwards as the pathway is narrow and whilst not steep by any stretch of the imagination, needs attention........
The familiar friend leading the way. Peedie ensures our safety at all times, whilst Haggis (who was IN this picture initially) ended up behind the camera at breakneck speed. He's a little camera shy and far too curious when you drop to hunkers and try and see life from their perspective.
The boys always forge ahead, just in case, you know, its not safe. Nothing to do with adventures ahead, no no not at all. They always put our safety first! As you can tell its such a busy place, there's bound to be dangers lurking around every corner.
Like sleeping rocks in the sea pretending to be monsters or gannets up high surveying our progress.
Or sea snakes, lurking on the shore. The perfect addition to any seaside garden, once tamed.
And all the while the sea dragon sleeps under a setting autumn sun.
We amble further chatting all the while. Our life happens here and as always, this coastline has still got it.