ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A PLOD FOR PUFFIN. (10/07/14)

If I ignore the first few hours of yesterday morning when it was foggy we are enjoying our third successive day of brilliant sunny weather. Yesterday I had to get some stuff scanned to prove to the Department of Work and Pensions that I was still alive. It’s only nine months ago that they were kind enough to let the NHS pay for a CAT scan. Great, it proved that I was almost dead. They obviously decided to check. I had to send a copy of my driving licence. I was castigated for smoking at last years interview but did try and explain that everyone has a bad habit or two. At least my smoking can only harm me and the dogs, every packet pops over £7.00p into the exchequer to fund MPs excesses and the more I smoke the faster I will die. It’s win, win for them.

I digress; in the Tourist Information Centre, it’s where you go to get things scanned, signed and stamped to say they have had sight of the original document and me; they have a Puffin Camera feed. I could see nothing moving on it so the lady re-booted it. It made no difference. I could see grass and a few white flowers. This morning I decided to set off early, well sevenish, to see for myself.

_MG_2809     I have always stretched the truth when I say I’m at Durness I’m actually in Durine. Durine is a place and I didn’t miss the apostrophe out. This old shed is made from local stone and wriggly tin. I like the variation in the stone. The dark bits are Lewisian Gneiss, the white bits are limestone and the pink bits are Pipe Stone or Quartzite. A building made out of two rocks over five billion years apart in age……I find it amazing. Easily amused. Just past this shed I turn right.

_MG_2810     Onto the Roman cart track. It must be the straightest bit of road for a hundred miles and the Romans never got this far. Alf thought it worth a sprinkle.

_MG_2811    An overgrown croft and Beinn Spionnaidh.

_MG_2812 Mum and son. He wanted to talk to the dogs but she called him and took him away. I love foals with their woolly tails. On we plodded, the dogs soon stopped chasing rabbits, it was too hot for them to bother.

_MG_2815  The sticking out bit of grass is where the Puffin breed. I sat for half an hour but they have gone.

_MG_2816    The wee pole to the right is the web cam. I suspect it doesn’t work. Even if there are puffin here they would be too far away for a good picture. Miles away they are, it takes me an hour and a bit to get here.

_MG_2818     We wandered down to Balnakeil Bay. This is grand but only a half mile long. The dogs were desperate for a drink so I put them on the lead. They know not to drink sea water but when they think they need a drink will risk it. The result is immediate and impressive projectile crapping.

_MG_2820      We got to the end of the beach and they drank and drank form this little burn that flows out of Loch Croispol. The ruin is of the ancient church of Balnakiel. Somebody famous is interred here. I’ll pop back when I’ve remembered who it is and the light is less harsh.

_MG_2821        I suspect this was an old mill. It certainly has a good display of Monkey Flowers to brighten it up. It is built in Limestone which is a really new rock.

That’s all for today.

25 comments:

  1. Lovely photos, of the beaches, the old crofts and the foal, fabulous.

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    1. Bob, it was a good walk today.

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  2. Wiggly tin ~ we call it corrugated iron. Do you really have a terminal health condition Adrian?

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    1. Carol, we all do, Life is finite . I got squashed twelve years ago and never mended properly.

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    2. I am sorry to hear that Adrian.

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    3. No worries Carol. It was my own silly fault.

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  3. Too bad the puffins were gone, but beautiful views Adrian. The foal is a lovely sight.

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    1. Gillian, it was a good day even without the puffin.

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  4. Projectile crapping, fantastic use of words, Great post as ever have a good weekend.

    peter

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    1. Peter, you have a good weekend as well.

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  5. I enjoyed your walk, I felt as if I were there with you :) great photos as always.

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    1. Val, it was a bit warm today but there was a breeze. Almost perfect.

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  6. Balnakeil Bay steals the show. That beach is phenomenal (as are your photos).

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    1. Mersad, it is an area with many good beaches but the sea is very cold.

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  7. Sorry you missed the Puffins.
    Don't think I would like to be in the tin roofed shed during a downpour. BTW you got the sun and we got the rain, all day, for a change.
    Nice awwww horse photo.

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    1. John, it isn't a good place to photograph them.
      You would need ear defenders in the shed.
      The horse was getting a bit agitated so I left her alone.

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  8. Strange the puffins have gone I would've thought another week or two yet to go.
    Mind you that tin roof shed made up for it, I really liked those bricks and the choice of colour of the roof too

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    1. Douglas I'll go and have another look at the camera. I'm pretty sure they have gone. They are usually back and forth regularly.
      I pass the shed several times a week but don't usually think to take it's picture.

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  9. The old shed is a piece of work! Only you could spot the three different type of rock. Compare the shed to the last photo. Must have been different guys who built them.

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    1. Red, I think the shed built itself.

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  10. COPY & PASTE GIFT FOR YOU:-
    Just inside the church entrance, set into a niche in the wall, is the tomb of Donald MacLeod, better known by his Gaelic name Domhnull MacMhurchaidh or MacMurachie. MacMhurchaidh worked for the chiefs of Clan MacKay and lived near Eriboll. He is said to have killed at least 18 people and disposed of the bodies by dumping them into the waterfall that runs down into the caves at Smoo. Apparently he believed the local tale that the Devil lived below the falls and thence his crimes would never be discovered.

    He certainly realised that he had made many enemies during his life, for when Uisdean Dubh MacKay, the second Lord of Reay, begain rebuilding the church at Balnakeil, MacMhurchaidh paid the princely sum of 1000 pounds to be buried in a specially constructed vault within the church, so that his enemies could not desecrate his remains. The tomb is worn, but there are striking carvings, including heraldic symbols, a huntsman killing a stag, a sailing ship, a fish, and a skull and crossbones.

    Balnakeil ChurchIn the churchyard is a monument to the Gaelic poet Rob Donn, know as the Robbie Burns of Gaelic poetry, who was born near Durness in 1714. Donn, nicknamed 'Brown haired Rob', may have been a MacKay, though this is uncertain. He composed exclusively in Scots Gaelic, and never learned to speak English. He was patronised by Iain MacEachainn, a tacksman on Lord Redesdale's Strathmore estate. His poetry, sometimes composed of biting social commentary, was orally transmitted until the first written version appeared 50 years after his death. Even then, the highly censored version of his sometimes bawdy verse could not diminish his reputation as one of the most important Gaelic literary figures. The monument, one of the largest memorials in the churchyard, was erected in 1827 and has inscriptions in Latin, English, Greek and Gaelic - an interesting combination!

    Look also for the grave of Elizabeth Parkes, aunt of Beatle John Lennon. Lennon visited Durness frequently, and it is said that his song In My Life is based on his experiences in this area.

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    1. YP, it was John Lennon's aunt I was thinking of. My brother in law is a Mackay, He is not murderous but does have a hell of a temper on him.
      I'll show you Smoo cave but I'm waiting for rain and a southerly wind. The waterfall really gets going then.
      I have looked up the area but never found this information so many thanks.

      The last weekend of this month is the Mackay Gathering or as they refer to it here 'The Sports'. They are used to me here so I can wander where I want with the cameras. It is a challenge to capture folk trying their best in a skirt and not showing their knickers or worse.
      I took a couple of hundred pictures last year for free. Highland Council were brilliant and let folk sort through them and print the ones they wanted.
      I like the grown up girls racing. There are usually six to nine of them and anyone of them would be the death of me. I wouldn't need Donald MacLeod.
      I love it here. They know I'm strange but accept me.
      Yesterday the local shepherd collared me and asked how I stop West Highland Terriers chasing sheep. I told him I tell them it's naughty. His daughter has one and it attacks his dogs. I suggested that it needs a slap. Aye, Sheell noo doo thaat. I told him what he already knew. Sheee is the problem.

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    2. PS. I'll also get int Bone Yard.

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  11. Buen paseo te has dado. Precioso el potrillo .
    Un abrazo.

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    1. Un buen paseo Laura. El potro era una ventaja.

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