Saturday, 12 December 2015


What one most notices, after the almost continuous stormy weather of the last ten days, is the silence. This is most so down by the shore, where the turbulent waves are now no more than ripples, the memory of the recent storms lying in the mass of seaweed and other flotsam that litters the shore.

This sandy cut running at right angles to the shore was once used by the crofters when they launched their boats to go out fishing. It was formed by the happy coincidence that a hard rock dyke, to the right, forms a natural protective wall, and a parallel soft rock dyke has been eroded.

We spent two hours this morning wandering along the beach below the house. One of the pleasures of the place is its variety, some sections being formed of rounded igneous rock, the surfaces an ideal home for barnacles and limpets. In other places the ragged walls of cone dykes.... parallel to the shore and trap rock pools filled with small fish, anemonies and mollusks, while other sections....

....are cobble-strewn, the rounded rocks slippery with algae.

When we started the promise of bright sunshine in the forecast hadn't been fulfilled, the sky instead obscured by layers of low, grey cloud, but as the morning progressed this blanket steadily pulled aside to give way to increasingly bright sunshine.

The sun's low rays picked out the ridges on this Jurassic scallop fossil exposed on the surface of a limestone. We've been finding and losing this hundred million year old pecten for years, and wrote about its mobile nature back in 2010 - here.

By the time we returned to the beach below the house and began climbing the muddy path through the croft land the sky had almost completely cleared, and this is how it has stayed all afternoon.

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