Sunday, 9 December 2012

Loch Harray, Orkney and the black swan

Now, you'll forgive the divergence from botanical research to lochs thats just normal, but this weeks been quite interesting, including a meeting with a black swan. There's often much walking between the bitter days and squally showers, however, as poor Haggis has been post-op this week, we've stayed away from the seaside walking to save his poor paws (dew claw's now removed and healing nicely) and more *delicate* area's (are fine, but he's not keen to share any more info) and opted for a bit of loch side walking. Something slow and sedate for the poor chap and to our delight, a black swan greeted us. Seemingly this swan is perhaps a well know resident here, but for us a delight to behold, black swans are escapees in this country, who'd have known. Are they on the run?
So back to the point, to Loch Harray and a bit of lochside walking. As you venture past Maes Howe, there is an unlisted road to the left which leads to picnic benches and a lochside amble with stunning views, so we ventured to the freshwater's charm.
 Bonnie isn't it, even with the showers looming and the everchanging light.
In the distance you see the sleeping dragon of Hoy, over the open undulating landscape of Orkney you can often orientate yourself in the west mainland by where Hoy pops up. And so to the lochside, a firm favourite of fishermen, as easy access to the Loch means good fishing. Looking out towards the west if you squint perhaps the Ring of Brogar comes into view......just across the loch.
 Looking westwards, towards Harray, loch islands look close enough to swim too. But today perhaps a bit cold.
 The trampled path ambles towards the left and offers a treat of boardwalks, not too slippy it would seem and usually lots of flowers, although at this time of year they slumber. Rightly so, far too cold for flowers.
 As always in case of untoward events, the hounds venture first. Peedie the courageous cairn leads the way.
The cellist, equipped for all weathers, follows the pesky hounds, closely at hand. They stick to her heels aware of her penchant for bonio's in her pockets for treating lovely hounds. She's well versed in the rituals of cairn terriers and the treats they need once traversed across monster infested boardwalks. They're a good team.
And the monsters today nothing to worry about. In fact a treat is in store, a lone black swan sits and swims in the icy cold loch water.
  A solitary jet black beauty in the watery winter landscape. What a treat, whilst the loch is full of swans over winter a black swan is unusual to our eyes. Welcome to the Harray Loch.
And so we venture home, full of delight in seeing such a lovely creature unexpectedly. Some of us a bit more war torn than others, we retire to the sofa and rest.
And recuperate, poor Haggis, you'll be glad to know he's on the mend, even if we did return to the vets minus bandages, for a bigger hood collar thing, to stop him helping with his surgery.


  1. Gorgeous descriptions as ever! Glad wee mischief is on the mend too.

  2. Oh poor Haggis - I didn't realise he was wearing The Cone of Shame! Bless him..... lovely pix as always...

  3. poor little Haggis. he looks so woebegone. i loved these pictures. thanks for taking me on a walk; it was wonderful. some day i will have to make it to your part of the world.

  4. Beautiful scenery and great pictures. Poor wee Haggis - they don't like those collars do they?
    Hope you are rid of it soon Haggis :)

  5. how beautifull is the place where you live .. and what a blessing to see a black swan! .. only seen white ones myself, and count those as beauties ..

  6. Stunning place you live Fay, and the stormy clouds make the loch look even more beautiful. Hope Haggis resumes normal friskiness soon, though without the attendant risk to the local canine population!