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Photography Group One - Shapinsay - 26 June 2024

by Tim Wright - 21:03 on 28 June 2024

Nine of us met on the Shapinsay slip on a bright sunny morning with a bit of breeze from the south. Onto the boat and up to the top deck to take photos of the massive liners and their tenders as we headed off out of the harbour . Balfour Castle looked resplendent as we sailed by spoiled by a large van parked in front of it. (It was gone on the way back.) We assembled in the village and collected laminated Walk Maps from the Tourist Cabin to aid our navigation around the Island. Then it was off to the Bird Hide over the Mill Dam for rather distant views of two families of Tufted Ducks and their ducklings. A pair of Mute swans too were far away with 5 Cygnets sleeping in the sun on the water's edge. Then some of us headed to Vasa Loch and beach where we saw Terns, Ring Plover and more Tufted Ducks. Seals were resting out on the Skerry offshore. Lots of Mayweed and Sea Campion was out as we had a lovely walk along the shingle bank. Then off to Burroughston Broch via a newly mowed path. It is an impressive set of remains with a prominent entrance and 4 metre thick walls. One marvels at the effort required to build such structures 2000 years ago and where was all the stone sourced. We walked around the rim of the broch for the best photos, then we set off to the beach at the Banks of Ladgarth. Ignoring the Picnic table we sat on the beach and ate our picnic. The tide was running past almost river like with a good race off the tip of the island. We were joined by a curious Seal who left when he realized we were not having Fish for lunch. Then a slow meander back via the back road past some photogenic ruined farm buildings to Mor Stein, the Standing Stone. In the distance was Castle Bloody, a cairn, which by it's name, must have an interesting history. We stopped at the roofless church and the grand Balfour gravesite, also roofless, with a magnificent north wall covered in flowering shrubs. Then back to the village in time for an ice-cream and a catch up with the rest of the Group who had sampled the delights of the Smithy Lunch with great appreciation. Back onto the boat again, literally, and  we disembarked in Kirkwall after a wonderful day out on a real Orkney Summer's day.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 24th July. I am thinking that we might go out to Egilsay and will email you with details when I have worked out some times and suggestions. The last time I was there was on one of Ellie's walks in January when we had snow showers. It might be nice to see it in full Summer glory.

The Project for this month is " Time " so plenty of clocks and similar variations to test the imagination.

Keep clicking,


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