Monthly Archives: October 2012

late night drifter: aerial tal

I just adore the track, and now this – happy listening & dreaming!

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impromptu visitors

 Amazing sighting this afternoon as I was minding my own business.

There, on the last day of B(ritish) S(ummer) T(ime), among decay and rotten leaves, they invaded my own  garden. Not one or two, but five or six, attracted by the golden jewels of October,  they came to perch and tear out red… To them, the larder was Thor-sent. I reckon they might have escaped the harshness of winter’s grip on their own land. They packed their ambition under their  wings and crossed the sea like explorers in search of gold and other bounties, juice or mead…

waxwings are like Vikings,

they come from the East/NE across the wild North Sea (or Norwegian Sea for what we know…) in their cohorts and  invade your neck of the heather without shame; terrorise the locals (i.e. sparrows & starlings that never asked for blood or strife) – pick on your most treasured high autumn possessions (in my case here, my bundle of ruby rose hips that have come to maturity) and loot the lot! Their bills act like pick axes and they won’t leave until they finish off their feast… They come with mighty impressive markings too – take a look at their black masks and bibs – that array of rufous edge around their bills – that ferocious white eyeliner to remind you who’s looking at you in the eye and fluffy crown synonym with Erik The Red… (without the helmet, that is.) So I thought twice before I dared and opened the window to point my longest lens out in low light. In the mayhem, my felines fled through the cat flap,  attracted by the invaders’ fierce cries. They did not wait for fur & claws to get at them, as they hovered above rose hips, in between stone wall that guards my neighbour’s long(er) house and their trees.  That’s when everything went quiet…

Now that night came, I wonder where my warriors went roosting. Did they assault the nearby community garden, where sycamores harbour starlings? Did they empty the walled garden and ousted robins and sparrows? For all I know, I’m left with heavily torn rose hips. Another saga unfolding…

P.S: If Per Kåre and/or any member from the NYBAKK Clan – or any Norskie friend and/or reader come across this particular post, well… Skål!!! 

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October through the fisheye

It is the time of less precocious, though spectacular sunrises, filled with birdsong on a calm day. Yet, as I type winter has made an appearance. It was only last Monday when I captured this luminous skyline. Starlings woke up at 8 a.m. and began to perch on fenceposts. They then advertised morning light in their click-a-ting – or dare I say, Bushmen from the Kalahari style tongue. I recorded them for pleasure. Here is the moment of pleasure 🙂

But then again, my favourite sunrise at this time of year still emerges from above the island of Mousa, just east off my township. Just as pictured below. Just breathtaking, as I never take it for granted. earth & sky spectacle on my way to work every morning…

sunrise over Mousa, 11 October 2012

Sometimes in chaotic light, always defiant to the clouds.

How did I see this October? Retrospective through the fisheye .

I loved its moments of sheer blue, when light refracts without complex!  From the western end of the island’s westside, from Sandness to Walls, with good friends, and new ones as well. The kind of blue that makes you drift away from everything you wish… Sense of pleasure from Arcania 🙂

Walls, Westside, Shetland on a crystalline blue day, 19 Oct 2012

My friend & fellow writer, Robin’s house (far right), Walls, 19 Oct 2012

Uyea still tastes a fabulous hors d’oeuvre to moments of clear blue.

Only two days before that, titanium filled my lens, together with chaotic light through hues of jade, as I wandered and drifted along my sandbridge. There I met with October’s dwellers – long-tailed ducks on flypast, knots & ringed plovers… And broken shells.

Ninian skyline, 17 October 2012

knot & ringed plover by the surf, 17 Oct 2012

still on wet sand,

broken shell, 17 Oct 2012

I love that constant game of light & its impact onto my world.

From blue – via titanium grey – to gold, as light shines so luminous on everything it touches – land, heather, sand or feathers. It is a time of honey or even sheer gold – dazzling my heart & iris.

starling in generous light, 23 Oct 2012

Light on the Ward of Scousburgh, 25 Oct 2012

northern lapwing (juvenile) in afternoon sun, 23 Oct 2012

grey heron at Boddam Voe, 25 Oct 2012

magic moments!

And sunsets too proved a delight 🙂

home sunset, 16 Oct 2012

But then, everything changed so radically, as air turned crisp – so raw from the Northerly direction.

That’s when grass bends and yields to the hidden claws of winter.

Winter, so precocious, with or without a business card.

Somebody noticed with a grin & question mark – “snow, snow, already?” First snow – even in the form of humble dusting – sometimes appears in October. That game of light turns into glowing chaotic! Friday morning did not disappoint a snowflake, or a rose hip.

looking south towards Sumburgh, in full colours

starlings now know where to find scraps through green & white…

This year’s rookies from the garden world will make themselves more gregarious and rely on us to help them survive this winter, as this very first cold snap really bites.  Time to make brand new fat balls for avian friends, hanging on trees, still clad with leaves.

 October has proven a rainbow month through a gigantic kaleidoscope. And as we near to Samhain, that time of year, when the veil between the living & the dead reaches its thinnest seam, a darker phase is just about to start in earnest in a few days, as we shall start sliding to Yule… Light exodus, as my whole world will be eager to reach & cross winter solstice.

It is time for candles, warmth from close friends, hearty soups and mulled wine 🙂

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Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, birds, celebration, colours, earth, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, ninian, shore, snow, spirit, wind, winter, writing

Have you read… Stravaig#1?

Stravaig Issue 1


Filed under 2012, celebration, earth, geopoetics, kenneth, poets, shore, Uncategorized, white, writing

Photographic portfolio updated

A triptych of blueness added to the portfolio today.

Please click on the link:

Nordicblackbird c/o Redbubble 

Thank you for visiting 🙂

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Poems Are like Stained Glass Windows

Poems Are like Stained Glass Windows.

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Show Us Your Art – Middlesborough Exhibition

Show Us Your Art – Middlesborough Exhibition.

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magnet & poussière d’étoiles

 …as healing from the stars

October throws so many surprises on wet sand. Light, dim, golden as honey, when not chaotic among clouds, allows for moments of pleasure around the many faces of Arcania. That light will shine for those who dare feel its magnet and tread the land without fear or disillusion.

Give me freedom and I shall lace up my own boots, and walk the shore with heart & pride!

 Only a few days ago, I shared my world with two souls from the austral world – Dawn & Larry, fae Australia. For their first time on the island, I wished for them to share my very sense of place. Last Thursday night, I came to find them at dinner. Last Saturday & Sunday, I shared with them the magic of my wilderness among peatlands, harbours, old stones, looms and kelp. Larry, aka Cullodenmist, gambled a trip in October to marvel at the Northern Lights. His love of boats broadened his smiles as he found his lens in between wood and rivets! Dawn’s a spinner & a textile artist. With Wool Week in full swing, she would stand a good chance to share her craft with northern kindred spirits! Whereas Saturday began with an exploration of Scalloway & the Westside to Sandness, Larry got his fingers clicking without shame. En route to the most westerly point of the island, we pit-stopped at the Bonhoga for Dawn’s pleasure. A special exhibition – entitled the swap box – could only please her heart. And so it did 🙂 .

On my first day of freedom regained, I joined them with my natural joie de vivre and led them to the magic of the island. To my relief, the sky was with us. Blustery in places, even though blue dominated every skyline. From the ancient capital to Sandness… Larry fell in love with this wilderness that unveiled itself before him. He repeated  how he could live in such a place. I smiled and clicked. Dawn marvelled at each resting sheep by the roadside…  In between peatlands and deep blue, Saturday felt an adventure they would not forget for a while. However, their excitement for aurora borealis overrode sleep. And by Sunday, they decided to make the most out of Lerwick part of the day. So we meandered through Fladdabister for morning light over old crofts , Wester Quarff & Clickimin Broch before investing the boat shed at The Shetland Museum & Archives! Although Larry later confessed he was not a fan of museums, he yielded to the magic of Hay’s Dock without a doubt or question mark. Whereas I was distracted by Bastet exhibited in the foyer, he disappeared inside Robbie Tait’s magic workshop! Dawn stepped inside the Education Room for a quick look at the Wool Week event she then discovered was for kids and joined us back within minutes… I let them wander at their will and invested Robbie’s shed. Clinker of all shapes & sizes never deceive eye and lens. Playtime for those who love planks & rivets, the smell of wood, tar and wood dust. My heart rekindled Humblyband.

 …A freak shower made us retreat at Mareel for a hot chocolate before we headed to the nearby North Road, as Dawn was to buy wool  at Jamieson & Smith’s and then head to the Textile Working Museum housed at the Böd of Gremista, where we would have lunch. Ideally situated by the Lerwick Marina, I knew both man & wife would find their respective sense of happiness. Larry had boats, Dawn, wool and looms!

As tiredness amplified, we retreated to the comfort of our own bases. I vowed to greet them at the airport on the following day before their flight home to the other half of the world. Larry swore he would be in bed by 1800… Both were already in travel mood. They may have failed to gaze at the Northern Lights, they nonetheless enjoyed the opening of my northern world. Larry and I could not believe we sat and spoke photography side by side, instead via our Redbubble Community website. Somehow, I still feel it like a fresh dream. They must have reached Singapore as I type. We are both grateful to Redbubble for such meeting in the flesh! 🙂

Earlier today (Wednesday 17 October)

 My dear sandbridge never fails to attract my eyes and prints deep inside sand. Last night, a friend told me to walk it once again, as she noticed I did not tread it for a while… She added with a smile the sky would turn in my favour. So I geared up this morning, and made my way to Arcania. Its very thought feels a hansel (present). And found the whole of it to myself! The stretch of sand belongs to the Atlantic and its avian dwellers – ringed plover, knot, turnstone, raven, hooded crow, fulmar, as well as winter visitors like long-tailed ducks. It was magic. Sea rockets may have vanished with summer, treasures to be found every time!

And by the time I walked back to the car, much sombre skies announced freak rain.  How I love the island in October. It feels a magnet in its myriad of clouds and light.

I am still thinking of Larry and Dawn, on the other side of the equator. Within a few days, they crossed seasons, oceans and found themselves on the most northerly latitude. 60N. Larry wanted it all on his first trip – Mousa, puffins and Northern Lights! He will need to return to see the summer side of this boreal world.

Arcania really feels a magnet! In the meantime, I shall stay put for Aurora borealis and starry nights.


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Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, boats, celebration, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, ninian, seabird, shetland, shore, spirit, writing

northern night

my northern sky tonight


Filed under 2012, 60N, Arcania, aurora borealis, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, island, north, spirit


 Some place-names are unforgettable.

When Paula asks what I am up to this weekend, I know am in for some kind of expedition. It never fails. This time, Magnie asked if I was to come     along. This time, this corner of the main island was uncharted. If Saturday was to be crossed with a permanent red marker, we spent the latter part of that day preparing for the outing… Magnie was to take the Warrior; Paul and I, our respective camera kits. A Gallic-style style picnic was prepared on the morning… We would have a wonderful time.

 Sunday came with a generous amount of light, as I left home just after 0800. My early Tweets were read at Girslta. Paula advised for me to take my time… So I decided to take the scenic roads, Fladdabister, Tingwall Valley – all glorious in golden light. Magnie made me a cup of tea and a piece of toast. I smiled and enjoyed both, even though Paula’s local garden birds distracted my eyes and lens. Argh! We packed our food, flask and bottles and took Smudge in the back of the pick-up. Sunday unfolded a mixed bag of colours on our way to North Roe. North Roe, our gateway to a day of wonders.

I still recall Magnie smiling when he stated my ” adventure started at the start of the track.” I watched with a wide grin. The drive to North Roe itself feels already an adventure! 

That’s when I realised wild wilderness would be only reached off-road. Magnie explained our destination was to be found at the back of Ronas Hill – across the wild hills of pink granite. So he engaged into 4-wheel drive till he stopped the engine by the cliff edge.

On our way to the edge of our known world, we pit-stopped to admire miles of peatland, granite and blue, as Fethaland Light, Gruney and Ramna Stacks came to view; we wandered through wild over flown water… (and I shan’t mention my iPod momentarily dropped in a peaty puddle for a short while…)  We treaded through some serious stones and clots of peats till 12 o’clock.  I were to enjoy all those well concealed gems in their North Atlantic casket when we reached our destination.

Uyea. magic wilderness left to itself, men, birds, selkies  and sheep.

 Seven crofts were once built and manned for some Scottish laird… There was even a teacher at some stage. This corner of wild Northmavine  remains, like the fungi-clad stones, silent. Uyea, the island, is in sight. The entire areas turns enchanting, as we slowly make our way to the abandoned toonship.   A few greylags slashed through its sky, together with pipits and starlings, as we approached the remains of the old settlement for our lunch. The house we used belongs to Maurice, Magnie’s good friend.  It is open to the passer-by. Some people come here to seek shelter during the lambing, other flock in for a party… An old Rayburn adorns its hearth.

 Magnie then took us to the edge. Each geo has its magic and private beach of pink boulders. Sadly, no selkies in sight… However, some mighty wave action and dashing fulmars, gannets and shags amused our hearts. Paula and I walked the contour of our world’s edge and reconvened with man & dog after a while. Every moment tattooed itself deep in my heart. So enchanting. And if you think Eshaness shines on pedestal, well, it stands on equal footing with Uyea. You just need a good four-wheel drive.

 A fisherman ploughs through the swell. We watched and paused…

This wild adventure culminated with a magical encounter, that of a on the track side. Magnie stopped the engine for me to catch our peerie avian friend through the lens. Delicate and joyful.

I shan’t forget my first visit to Uyea. With love and thanks to Magnie & Paula for such a magic day!

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