They were able to do touristy things during the next few days: Tomb of the Eagles; Burwick cliff walk; Skara Brae; Stromness street amble. But Wednesday was a return to wet and windy weather, so we all explored the sights of Kirkwall: St Magnus' Cathedral; umpteen shops; and there may have been tea and cake at a cafe. That evening's entertainment was the power outage that affected the whole of the north of Scotland, including the Western and Northern Isles, always a fun-filled hullabaloo, what with all the candles and torches!
The following day, with electricity restored, life returned to its meteorological windy normal. We visited the Orkney Brewery and partook of their tour (this will be a separate blogpost), followed by a quick trip to the Harray Potter and then Betty's Reading Room over by Tingwall.
Yesterday dawned both bright and reasonably calm. so we all piled into the car for a West Coast adventure (erase from your mind any images of a VW Camper decorated with a primary colours flower motif, with its occupants sporting long hair and garish clothing, not that West Coast). As we trundled through Finstown, I recalled that Our Lass and I had had a conversation the previous week about whether to visit Happy Valley, so as it was virtually en route, we made a small detour to take in this little gem of a place.
I will apologise right now, as there aren't any habitat shots here. I was carrying Very Wrong Len, so all the below photos are close-ups of one form or another.
The little wooded valley was teeming with Spring flowers: Bluebells, Primroses, Wood Anemones, Purslane, Lesser Celandine, and several shrubs were in flower too, notably Redcurrant and the invasive Salmonberry.
I heard, but did not see, a Willow Warbler, which is always a treat and more so this far north. It really did finally feel like Spring. Numerous species of bee were buzzing from bloom to bloom and we flitted about the place in similar fashion, drinking deep of the spirit-lifting sweet nectar of life bursting anew.
Suitably invigorated, we bimbled up to Birsay for lunch, before heading across to Marwick to explore the bay, cliffs and Kitchener Memorial.
In keeping with some deeper Easter tradition, a Hare ran across our path, at some point in the day (our local farmer has banned the shooting of Hares on his land, so we are doubly lucky).
Good Friday? Pretty much perfect.