Christmas Day in Orkney was a calm, bright affair. Occasional squalls moved slowly through, producing small patches of diffuse rainbow arcs, which were sadly way too ephemeral to photograph.
But the low Winter sun invigorated both the landscape and the inhabitants with its golden glow and... can I actually feel some warmth?!
From the front door, mid morning, the illumination and serenity were wonderful. Going for a walk was a no-brainer.
We pottered down the single track road, towards the old kirk by the shore, and yes, there was definitely some warmth to be felt from the star in the sky. We paused by some flooded fields to enjoy the reflections of the landscape and the Starlings carolling on the roof of the kirk.
There was not a wave to be heard as we gazed across Holm Sound. Redshank and Snipe called their alarms as we stopped by a low wall, but a small flock of Turnstones just carried on foraging through the seaweed on the tide line.
Our Lass remarked upon how the light was catching the lichen on the wall, and I took the hint, as I'm fairly useless at artful framing.
Now we were on the sunlit side of the old kirk, the plumage of the sole remaining Starling was alive with greens and purples, as the bird's jazzy song mingled in the air with the calls of Long-tailed Duck, Gadwall and Teal.
By the time we had walked up the Tieve Road, passed by Greenwall and were headed back to Tense Towers, our next view of the kirk was a beauty. In silhouette with, in the distance, the cliffs and headlands of South Ronaldsay.
And in the far distance, the lighthouse on the Pentland Skerries. Just look at those gorgeous retreating horizons, each a differently-hued grey. 😍