We had an absolutely wonderful aurora display last night. Not only was there the full curtain effect but it extended right overhead and well into the southern sky. This was the view straight up.
The waves of light were flickering and moving across the sky so quickly that long exposure photos could never capture the spectacle; what Shetlanders call “the merry dancers”. But after a while I just stopped taking photos anyway, caught up in the magnificent free show that nature was putting on. What a wonderful end to my time up here in the far north.
My friends return from their holiday in India today and a couple of days later, I’ll be on my way back to Nottinghamshire, my job looking after their house and animals finished. I probably won’t get chance to post again for a few days so here’s a few photos that didn’t make it into my earlier posts but seem to give a flavour of the last month.
This was my local pub while staying up in Shetland. At a few miles away it was just a bit too far to walk and being on my own this last month, I never visited as I never drink and drive. But I know for a fact that it is occasionally frequented by super-heroes, super-villains and assorted other shady looking characters. My evidence? Just check out Google Street View: https://email@example.com,-1.26678,3a,75y,66.23h,78.11t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sVYBBV4N9neLxpl5E-t6DJA!2e0?hl=en
I’ve been almost housebound these last three days because of the appalling weather, so I celebrated this morning with a run out to Lunna and a walk over the peninsula. Driving over the high road alongside Vidlin Voe, I stopped in a passing place to look down onto the coast and admire a large group of shags drying off on a grassy bank. I wondered, just what is the collective noun for shags? When I got back home I consulted my friend Wikipedia only to find there doesn’t seem to be one, although the word for a group of cormorants is a gulp. Well shags and cormorants are very closely related and look similar so gulp it is, at least until I find a better word.
I took a photo of this a couple of weeks ago but since then, some wag has decided to dress it for Up Helly Aa, complete with Viking helmet, beard and the flaming torch. Quite the Guizer.
I’ve not been out for a while as the weather has been truly foul of late so Just a couple of photos of lichens on fence posts. The second one is a splendid example of Galerus iocum I spotted way out in the middle of nowhere. This large floccose lichen with its conical deflexed fruiting body must surely be the most colourful example I’ve ever seen; well it certainly put a smile on my face. Enjoy.
Mavis Grind; well she sounds like a bit of a character. Actually it’s not a person but a place and “Grind” is pronounced to rhyme with sinned. It’s the narrow neck of land that joins the area of Northmavine to the rest of mainland and therefore separates the Atlantic Ocean from the North Sea. It’s reputed to be the only place where a person can throw a stone overland from one sea to the other; a feat that I have tried and failed even though in my cricketing days I was considered to have a strong arm (although I have used a large catapult to achieve the feat). Perhaps more interestingly, right into modern times boats would be hauled across Mavis Grind to avoid the long and hazardous sail up Yell Sound and around the north and west of Northmavine.