in between silence and whistlers

Tongue of winter

I still remember beginning of Yuletide… The sky was kind to earth and folk. Our three felines, like clockwork mechanical toys, were sunbathing behind the glass of the kitchen and ate their saucer of tuna without raising an whisker… Rare moment of contemplation… We seized Yule light to pay homage to the many dwellers of the marsh, mire and loch. The island’s rich in winter wildlife. Geese of many kinds and origins adorn hillsides and fields. Golden Plovers, Redshanks, Moorhens, Purple Sandpipers, and other waders grace our sky. Seals, all year round pop their heads at the surface of water… Winter visitors have arrived too. In addition to Redwings, Fieldfares & other thrushes, Long-tailed ducks & Goldeneyes paddle around. 

I love wild geese. To my heart, they epitomise winter on this latitude. They’re scattered in small or large gaggles everywhere. Yesterday again (27 Dec) Greylags (as pictured here) mingled with Barnacles at Fleck. But light came to end so abruptly I even did not try to capture them through the lens. Another time 🙂

All was quiet till 24 December. Yule celebrated within the comfort of the hut, with candles and delights, as night covered the many homes on the island. Peaceful and joyous, it was later shared with friends till very late in the night.

December 25 December belonged to hurricane winds that wrapped homes day and night… Dancing tiles and incessant hissing gales always sound both impressive and terrifying, when the wind gusts at giddy speeds. Anyway, reprieve was felt yesterday and we seized the opportunity to check hut and garage for structural damage. So far, we resisted to the anger of winter… So we went out and spent the early afternoon at East Voe and Ninian’s Sands in search of shells and adventures. And this we did. Our love of the natural world includes the shore, and what better place  than an island? Among the few treasures brought home, I found a broken specimen of arctica islandica, which used to be on the menu of islanders in a non too distant past. Will have to submit my record to MarLIN… They might accept it.

Ninian at dusk looks so blue.

Hmmm, each day has its own adventures and I hear more whistlers may hit us again. Argh weel, so is the fate of the island. A day of light and silence from the sky remains a treasure, just like wood, rocks and shells. 


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Filed under 2011, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, colours, december, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, shore, winter, writing, Yuletide

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