Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fitzroy Fisheries Barometer - Stromness, Orkney.

 This Fitzroy Fisheries Barometer has been in Stromness, Orkney since the 1850's.  It's one of 100 given to harbours around the UK - an early form of weather forecasting to help mariners.  This is no 98.
Click here to read more about it and Admiral Fitzroy.
I'd like to know which other harbours benefited from this gift of 100 barometers, funded by philanthropists.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Northern Front Studio - The Yukon.

This lovely exhibition catalogue arrived in the post.
Thanks to Helen O'Connor for curating the exhibition
'Words' at The Northern Front Studio in The Yukon, Canada and inviting me to take part.  I exhibited one of my Beaufort Scale books - printed on my own handmade papers.
The exhibition was part of the International Association of Paper makers and Artists 30th celebrations.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

basket making - home grown willow.

 Concentrate, concentrate!
I soaked my willow for nearly 4 weeks this time - much easier to use, and no cracking.

Ok, it wouldn't win any prizes, but it's home grown!

Friday, August 19, 2016

'Buying The Wind' - Brinkie's Brae, Orkney

In 1814, Sir Walter Scott met 'Wind-Seller', Bessie Miller. She lived in a shack up Brinkies Brae above Stromness in Orkney.
Click here for info about the three knots folklore and buying the wind. 
 Northlink ferry, the Hamnavoe arriving in Stromness from Scrabster in Caithness.As you can hear, it was rather windy at the top of Brinkies Brae!

 View from the trig point at the top of Brinkies Brae, looking over to Hoy. 
From my house in Caithness, I look on to the Pentland Firth and the the other side of Hoy.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lime kilns and vitrified rocks.

  On a recent trip out west, we stopped by Loch Eriboll to have a closer look at the incredible lime kilns and quarry on Ard Neakie.
Built in the 19th Century, the lime was used as a neutralising agent when reclaiming peaty land for cultivation.
Click links below to read more:
Info about Ard Neakie lime kiln on Am Baile website.
More info on the Durness Development Group website.
About the process of using a lime kiln in the Central Belt of Scotland - the lime kilns look similar to the ones at Loch Eriboll.
The beach was littered with fragments of rocks, all part of the lime making process: vitrified rocks, coal and lime.
Vitrify: convert (something) into glass or a glass-like substance, typically by exposure to heat.

On the other side of Loch Eriboll, we visited  Ceramic artist, Lottie Globb.  
 floating stones.

                             and found a few of her 'books of the land' :
vitrified rocks and clay.

Much closer to home, this shows the remaining core of a
 lime kiln at Ham, Caithness. The Photo taken in 2014: 


Friday, July 29, 2016

Bilberry Picking.

Bilberry picking on Dunnet Head today - trying out my Newfoundland berry picker - it worked, but it was quicker without it - maybe berries in Newfoundland are bigger and more abundant?


My bilberry stained hands.

I only have one small bilberry bush growing in my field, so haven't saved it in my pressed herbarium. I do, however  have quite a lot of crowberries - here's my pressed herbarium sheet from a few years ago, it still has a lot of colour.

Eva relaxing in the sun, and enjoying the breeze (no midges today!)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

brushing up - another one added.

 crocosmia leaves

Home grown - from left to right - Crocosmia, Flag Iris, Blue Iris, Red Hot Poker.

Lets just say I've had better luck with my fishing than basket making this week and leave it at that!

  More kindling for the Rayburn.
Perhaps I didn't soak it long enough in the pond - more soaking ready for next try. Some books say soak one day for every foot. Others say brown willow (with bark on) needs a minimum of 2 -3 weeks.  I tried 2 weeks (5ft willow) then mellowed overnight.  Still difficult to use, and I can't remember how long I soaked the willow for last year - and didn't have these problems.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brushing up!

  Home grown - from left to right - Flag Iris, Blue Iris, Red Hot Poker.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fishing News - today in the Pentland Firth

Fishing News
Skipper: Mick
Crew: me and Joe
One flask of coffee with sugar and milk
three cheese sandwiches on brown
chocolate biscuits
(we were too busy fishing to each everything!)
Launched from Brough Harbour, Dunnet Head
Drift: Langipo to Sinigoe
Catch: a box full – mostly cod, a couple of ling and pollock.
A few small cod, colie and ling were put back.
Checked one of Mick’s creels, only small crabs – thrown back in the sea. Fresh bait added and threw it back in.
3 porpoise circled us a few times, coming quite close.
Back on land, fish filleted, and Mick hot smoked the mackerel and ling.  (smoked mackerel eaten this evening – delicious).
 Mick is getting ready to hose us down!

We are in the distance - behind the shed!
(My mums garden, not mine!)