As I sit here typing this, occasionally gazing out of the window at the weather, I ponder what it must be like on a two hour ferry journey. Hopefully, Our Lass will tell me later. Yup, it's all a bit meteorological at the moment, eh? Countless folk from slightly nearer the Equator have contacted us to ask if we're ok, and we are, as I don't think Orkney has had the brunt of this storm. Another glance out of the window reveals another wintry squall scudding across Scapa Flow. Once it has hammered on said window, in a brief and confused flurry of snow, sleet and hail, there will be a chance to take in the scenic outline of Hoy, with a frosting of snow on the hilltops.
And repeat. But there have been more pleasant interludes during the last few days.
Early Friday morning, when I opened the lounge curtains, there was a moonset in progress behind Wideford Hill. It was probably asking a lot of my little point-and-shoot camera to capture the moment, but at maximum zoom and very little light, it managed this image.
Later that afternoon, in bright sunshine and a very brisk breeze, I ventured back to Evie Sands with the recce team from Wild Orkney Walks. The conditions made photography difficult, but in the shelter of a bank at the top of the beach, we were able to watch several groups of waders, including this Redshank.
We had a slow start to Saturday, at least until a bird call filtered through the bedroom curtains and the duvet was flung aside in a mad dash to the window. The Skylarks are back! Not in full song, mind, but it was lovely to hear their flight calls, a pleasing mixture of chirrups and gentle warbles. Perhaps in response to this, shortly afterwards, Our Lass noticed a bird sat in the ploughed field opposite. It could have just been a feral pigeon or a Rock Dove, but it wasn't.
Nope, a female Merlin was hunting on the ground, so presumably for lesser fare than larks and pipits.
By mid-morning, the sunshine had tempted us outdoors, despite the chilly wind. In a few sheltered ditches, the first stirrings of Spring were making themselves known, with Marsh Marigolds and Lesser Celandine beginning to show.
Strongest gusts here at Tense Towers were on Saturday evening, or so it seemed, as we struggled the short distance from car to front door, wondering why some unseen assailant was turning the garden hose upon us.
Sunday was a wet, windy day, but pretty much standard fare for these parts. It looks as though we will have another few days of strong winds yet, before a brief and welcome respite.