Posted by: Elizabeth Lovick | November 7, 2013

Orkney Autumn Nature Festival – Flotta Day

The festival in May was so successful, they decided to have a mini one last weekend. The themes were Grey Seal pups and the Merry Dancers (or Northern Lights). This was a three day affair, and the middle day was held on and around Flotta.

Being November, weather was going to be a big part of the day! I agreed to do a needle felting workshop, and was ready for as many as needed if the weather was unkind. As it was, the day was both fine and calm, so all the walks and boat trips went ahead as planned.

People could either book in to a whole morning’s workshop, or just come in and play for a while. Everyone started with the same thing. They were given a small piece of black pre-felt, and instructions, and were free to take it from there, to make a card front or mug rug.

The first step was to choose colours.

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Seals and Merry Dancers were mentioned as inspiration….

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but everyone had their own ideas…

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The group who were staying the whole morning then went on to make a seal with a wired frame.

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We used extra long pipe cleaners for the frame, then built up the body round it.

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We used North Ronaldsay roving, so they were definitely Orkney seals!!

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Lunch was made by the Flotta Hall Committee, and very good it was too!!

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Although I was land-bound all day, Elly went out on one of the boat trips. It was Magnus Spence’s boat, as in May, and the trip was similar to May.

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This time, however, there were Pups!!

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Switha is a well known colony, and the seals not only pup on the beaches, but climb up on to the grass. The white and grey lumps are not boulders but pups and their mums!

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As well as the seals, there were the resident sea birds – these are shags.

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Elly had been on the top of the cliffs last weeks, so this time she took pix of The Cletts from sea level.

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Just to the north of Flotta there is a small island called the Calf of Flotta. This is another pupping area.

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As they chugged back to the pier, plenty of seals came into the water, curious to the last!

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Responses

  1. I believe your ‘shags’ are what we call cormorants.

  2. Thanks, Liz! Looks like a wonderful time. I wonder if the fiber from the North Ron de-hairer would work for needle-felting? There’s a lot of wool in it, not just hair.

  3. Amazing photos of the scenery and the needlefelting looks so interesting

  4. Loved the virtual boat trip…thanks so much for the fabulous photography and for identifying what we were looking at! Seems like everyone enjoyed the workshop. :D


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