Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Two

When I was typing my first Orkney post a few days ago, the weather was unexpectedly Mediterranean-like: calm, warm and beautifully sunny.  Since then, the weather has remained beautiful (if you like rugged and spectacular weather, which we do!), and in some cases sunny. But the word ‘calm’ definitely has to be dropped.  We find ourselves in the tail end of a hurricane and so with typical British understatement, it’s been a bit blowy.

Not that you would know it from my photos.  These shots were taken at Yesnaby on the west coast of the Orkney Mainland, where the wind was so strong I could hardly stand up.  It looks almost tranquil, apart from those menacing black clouds! But aren’t the sea and wave colours gorgeous in the first image:

The weather forecast suggests that it will be less breezy in the coming days, so I am hoping we can pay another visit to this stunning site, where there are apparently many more spectacular geological sights to explore.

Meanwhile, the beauty of Orkney is not confined to its coast. We took a trip to the RSPB reserve at Cottascarth where sadly there were no birds to be seen – we were probably there at the wrong time of day, to be fair. And it was lovely to see such gorgeous moorland scenery:


The views around our holiday property continue to enthrall.  We pop in to Skaill Bay every day to see what is about. It is almost easy to become blasé about being able to see this famous site from our front windows…..

….and then up close, where it manages to look differently breathtaking with each visit:


We have found a lovely spot to perch and watch the birds:


And I am slightly obsessed with the view from the side of our property, which is also ever-changing in mood and spectacle. It looks to me like an Edward Hopper-esque  painting in the making:


Of course, Orkney does have some small urban centers.  Nearest to us is Stromness, Orkney’s second-largest town. It has some great coastal walks, which again we may re-visit in better weather next week:


And the town itself, with its busy harbour, is full of interest.  So much so, in fact, that it deserves its own post, so stay tuned for Part Three of this holiday diary!  In the meantime, let me leave you with a couple of my digital sketches.  I have not done much art in recent months, so how lovely to have the time, the inclination and the inspiration – the perfect holiday ingredients. 😀


26 thoughts on “Natural Magic on the Orkney Islands: Part Two

  1. This sentence stopped me in the reading of your post. It was one of those ah ha moments. “And I am slightly obsessed with the view from the side of our property, which is also ever-changing in mood and spectacle. It looks to me like an Edward Hopper-esque  painting in the making.”

    In one of the Midsummer Mysteries, one of the episodes was about a photographer who took a photo of one particular spot every day for many years. The photos were a profound documentation of life passing. Of course, this was also a way that our intrepid Chief Inspector Burnaby solved the mystery. He is brilliant!!

    In an age of ubiquitous photography, we forget that we are documenting our time, our place in the story of humanity. So keep on taking your marvelous photos Liz. I’m looking forward to Part 4, I mean Part 3. But would also like a Part 4! Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a great premise for a story! And how lucky we are to be able to snap, snap, snap away so easily, and then instantly see the fruits of our labours. We live in amazing times! X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with you about that image being Hopper-esque. Your photos and artwork really do your holiday and location justice. So glad you are having such a lovely time. X

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are surrounded by magical scenes (and seemingly no other people!). The digital sketches are splendid. I enlarged each one and was amazed by the detail and the way you captured the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mandy – really glad you like all the pics. And yes, one of the major reasons we love coming to Scottish islands so much is because there are not many other people around. It’s wonderful to be on our own with the birds and landscapes!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What amazing photos! I love the set of 4 of the same view to show the huge difference weather can make in a scene. The light conditions and changes are fascinating. Your digital work is very effective, too–sort of distilling the original photographs down to key elements.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So lovely! Especially the series of views from the side of the house and of course the digital works. Huge, ever-changing skies and landscapes are mesmerising, aren’t they. And awe-inspiring. (I’m hoping that the weather has picked up for you in part 3. Although blustery weather has its charms too.)

    Liked by 1 person

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