From our North Ronaldsay Correspondent!

Where did that week go?  The workshop week is now over, and Muriel, Horst and I are sitting in the Obscafe on North Ronaldsay with the sun pouring in….

The focus of the May week was spinning fine for lace, and knitting lace.  Unfortunately Margaret Peterson was not able to join us at the last minute because she was not well.  But Muriel from Canada, along with husband Horst and I met up last Saturday and Deirdre joined us on Sunday morning. Deirdre has a shop in Helensburgh, near Glasgow, and she had travelled up over night, sleeping in her car and catching the first ferry of the morning.

As she is now carrying wool in her shop, Deirdre was wanting to rub up on her lace knitting skills, and to learn a few specific techniques.  Muriel was wanting to spin finer, and to do some lace knitting.

I was going to tell you more, with pix, but I have just found out that the photos have not transferred to my laptop, so they will have to wait until I get home next weekend…!  Instead, how about some pix of North Ronaldsay as it was yesterday when we arrived?!

One comes to North Ron for the sheep or the birds.  Either way, the first walk is always down to the shore!  This is Muriel and Horst on our first walk, with the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, where we are staying, behind.

The tide was at its lowest ebb, and the sheep were therefore a long way out, feasting on the ‘red weed’ which is only available at the lowest point of the tide.

As they eat, the leader of the group keeps a look out for trouble – in this case us!

As well as the sheep, at the water’s edge there are seals.  As the tide comes in, they will move up the rocks, sunning themselves as they rest from a day’s fishing.

Also resting from fishing are the cormorants.

The ewes are taken off the shore in about April, a month or so before lambing.  They stay on the grass with their lambs until they are sheared in late July.  I put this pic in for those of you who have stayed at the NRBO – remember sitting knitting and spinning in the sun and watching the lambs?!


7 thoughts on “From our North Ronaldsay Correspondent!

  1. So that’s where the sun went! Your sheep look a little cleaner than ours but, I am curious, do they have a problem with “foot-rot” in the damp?

    1. Yes – in general foot rot is a big problem whereever the sheep spend all their time in wet pasture. That means most winters. The Ronnies, though, spend most of their time on rocks and sand, so it isn’t such a problem.


  2. Thanks for the photos, so want to go back to Orkney as had a wonderful time last year when we stayed in Kirkwall. reminds me that I bought dome fibre back, now where did I put it ?

  3. Lovely photos. And I love the combination of sheep and seals.

    So if a seal that turns into a man is a selkie, does that make a seal that turns into a sheep a shelkie?

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