North Ronaldsay, March 2013 – Part 3

Having torn muscles in my side (during a spell of cramp – talk about adding injury to insult) I haven’t been out and about as much this week. I have spent quite a bit of time looking out of the window:

01.  view from Nouster

The light here, as in the rest of Orkney, is fantastic. You never know when the sun is going to come out from under the clouds…

I did take Scottie round to the other side of the bay in the car, and then walked from there. So here is a pic to show exactly where Nouster is:

02. Nouster labelled

The buildings behind and to the left on the pic are the Bird Observatory, where I often go for lunch and wifi.

As we walked along the sheep dyke, which keeps the sheep on the shore, we came upon sheep. They are always VERY interested in Scottie – and he ignores them!

03. Scottie and sheep

Several stood and looked at us for a while, before deciding we were no threat and returning to feed.

04. sheep for screen sm

Another day I had been up at the lighthouse (wifi again!) and when I came back the sheep were just below the house, feeding on the weed which had come in on the latest tide:

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Watching them, a few feet to the right, was one of the common seals which live in the bay:

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Another day I took Scottie up to the lochan near the old lighthouse for a snoop about! Again, there were sheep….

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…. and also an old boat. This design is known as a North Ronaldsay pram. Many islands had their own design of boat, specific to the needs of the waters around the island.

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In this area there are quite a few stone structures from the past. These sheep are standing by a round pen which would have been used for burning seaweed. In the Nineteenth Century the ash was very valuable as a fertiliser and a source of iodine. Note the pair of fulmars to the right – they lay their eggs at the base of stone walls all over the island.

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And finally, at low tide, you can see the rocks of one of the skerries which surround most of the island, making it so dangerous for shipping. Many ships were wrecked on the different skerries, and it was this loss of life and cargo which precipitated the building of a lighthouse.

11. sheep by the lighthouse


12 thoughts on “North Ronaldsay, March 2013 – Part 3

  1. Great pictures, Liz! Thanks for posting them. Look for me waving from the Fair Isle light on Friday.
    Cheers, Katherine

  2. Oh thank you so very much for this post ! I have wonder’d for a time about these sea weed-eating sheep ! Oh, and the photos you managed to capture are superbe, the ones of the sheep and your Scottie, and the sheep and the stone structure. I so wish I could be there.. but this is the next best thing, thanks again.

  3. Wonderful, Liz, and I hope you heal up quickly.

    Love the photos. Moments ago, I booked my flights to Scotland for the fall. Now I need to relax and let it sink in that I’m really going to SEE you and the sheep and North Ron, after so many years of wanting to get to that part of the world.

  4. Hope you are now feeling better, Liz. I agree with you about the special quality of the Orkney light. And I like your pics of the sheep eating seaweed – it’s one of those things you hear about but never quite believe down here in the south of England!

  5. I look forward to your posts always interesting!
    I see you book is available for pre-publication ordering – congrats!
    Wondering if it is different from the Shetland Lace Workshop & patterns I purchased from you in 2006-07

    1. Hi Lisa – thanks for letting me know the book is available for pre-order – I didn’t know!!

      It is quite different from the Shetland Lace workbook. More stitch patterns, fewer projects (6) and lots more design info…


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