Val and I are on North Ronaldsay… We arrived on Saturday in bright sun, and since then have had all seasons in one! The Bird Observatory is as good as ever, and the sheep and seals as interesting as ever. I never ever seen so few seals – maybe the many sightings of Orca (killer whales) this year has had some effect…
When we arrived, they were starting the first shearing of the year. This is quite early, but when you happen to have both the manpower and good weather, you start!
The fleeces are mainly many-coloured….
Being an ancient breed, there is a lot of variety in the fineness of the fibre both between fleeces and within a single fleece.
On Sunday there was a day trip up from Kirkwall on the MV Earl Thorfinn. Three unsuspecting drivers gaily drove their cars on to the ferry in Kirkwall, not realising that here there is no linkspan, and that at this end the cars are lifted off with the crane on the boat:
And the close up:
Last evening the wind suddenly came up very strongly, and the noise when this happens is frightening – it sounds as if the house is about to come down! It was bad for a few hours, but at dusk (ie 10 or 11 pm) it just as suddenly calmed, and today it has been beautiful.
We went up to see Jane at the mini-mill this morning,where Val thoroughly enjoyed the detail of how the fleece was turned into yarn.
And this afternoon we went over to June and Gerry Morris’ place, Howar, where June was feeding the caddy lambs:
All the alpaca were there, as nosy as ever videos at some point when I have time to edit them!
Val and I then walked over to the Broch of Burrian. This is the remains of a 2,000 year old Iron Age settlement on the eastern shore. It is a magical place, with the sheep running by and the seals hauling out…
Tomorrow we move on to Papa Westray, and no internet contact for a few days. With another trip to the yarn shop….!