I’m on holiday in Spain at the moment  and after a day in Cordoba, we’ve just arrived in Extremadura for ten days.  Cordoba was wonderful and must be just about my favourite Spanish city.  But Extremadura is a dream come true for nature lovers at this time of year.

At the moment I’m sat on a patio with a beer next to me while the sun sets in a clear blue sky.  I’m surrounded by  old oak dehesa with azure winged magpies churring away competing with the cicadas and the song birds.  The backdrop is a gentle tinkle of goat bells. And I can’t see another habitation in the whole 360 degrees view.
The only drawback: very limited internet so this will be my only post until I return to Blighty. But when I do, I hope to have a few tales and photos.
Buenas noches.


Posted from my phone

Bare woodland


Since my return from Shetland, I’ve had my mind on other things and not taken a single photograph.  But I’m hoping that I’ll have some free time to get out and about again soon so thought I’d post a couple of photos from this day eight years ago, to get me back into a blogging frame of mind.


The merry dancers


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.


Bye bye Shetland


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.

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Even super-heroes like to visit their local pub


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:,-1.26678,3a,75y,66.23h,78.11t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sVYBBV4N9neLxpl5E-t6DJA!2e0?hl=en

A gulp of shags


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.

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