We had the beaches of Sanna to ourselves this morning. While the sky refused to clear, at least it only rained a bit, a few drops blown in the southeast wind. Sanna to ourselves, and so much to do there.
There were the herring gulls to watch, bobbing in the shallows and upending themselves to catch something - crabs or shrimps - off the bottom, herring gulls so careless of us that they allowed us to approach within feet before, reluctantly, moving off
There were the ringed plovers, so well camouflaged amid the seaweed on the beach that we didn't see them until they all leapt up from under our feet and flew off in tight formation.
Then there were the millions of shells scattered along the sands to pick up, turn over, and drop again. Some were familiar, like the limpets at the top of the picture, some new and unusual - this one, almost the size of the palm of a hand, and with a thick shell, possibly a Venus.
There were deserted bays in which to linger, where one could find a rock to sit on, gaze across the bay to Portuairk, and....
....watch the waves come in - not with the wind behind them, but in steady succession from the west - lift themselves lazily, and then turn over to foam up onto the beach.
And then, unexpectedly, in a pale vein that cut the dark rocks of the great gabbro intrusion that forms the hills behind the township, we found these big crystals, of a mineral which is probably a pyroxene, the paler mineral being a felspar.
And there were interesting things to wonder over, like the way the sea has changed the beach so much this winter. In this picture, taken on the sandy neck which joins the coast to the skerry called Sgeir a' Cham Eilein, huge amounts of sand have been removed exposing boulders we'd never seen before, around which the remaining sand has been sculpted.
We spent the time alone.... or were we being watched?