Tag Archives: images

loose

   My very first thought as I discovered Wednesday from mid-morning: 

Do we need to set alight replica viking longships to stop rain? …Let’s carry on, ’cause it’s working! 

The day after the great bonfire in Lerwick gave us all hope to stretch our legs in style, as a much calmer day overrode a miserable Tuesday (and the final Wednesday of January allows us that in the first place!) . 

Needless to say I would not stay put inside home, as the island was calling me out for an afternoon in the wild.

  
And it began with a great northern diver off Rerwick Beach, where a colony of common seals littered a good part of white sand.

  
From the roadside, they look like slugs…

   A family of whooper swans graced the dullness of Spiggie Loch in low light. 
  
And moorhens whizzed in between pools… 

  
On the North Sea side of the island, teals & waders foraged at will on what the bay offered to them. Every wild gale feels generous, as rollers bring forest of kelp to be picked on from the edge of our known world. 

Loose on a Wednesday afternoon, with the magic of the island.

  
That wonderful window of freedom felt a privilege, as well as penicillin to winter. 

Magic moment so beneficial to the soul – a sample of winter wildlife on my Nordic doorstep. 🙂 

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Filed under 2016, 60N, Arcania, birds, blogging, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, life, north, scotland, shetland, shore, spirit, winter

migration

They flock, they feed, they fare, they fly…

SO is the taenvolle of Earth’s winged creatures that dare to tame our meridians, gales, tides and cycles of the moon… This urge to breed make them undertake an extraordinary journey, from the estuaries in Eastern and Southern England to the more sub-Arctic region where I find them on my local mudflats. I, as many, am in awe to their ability to find their way, memorise routes, resilience in the face of danger(s), as well as their physical stamina for their size in this everlasting race for life and endurance.sanderlings are go

How do they do it? So extraordinary, for us, humans from the 21st Century, parked inside patches guarded by politics & bill in sandpassports…

Some even go further than that.

Take the Arctc Tern (Sterna paradisea) – a species that holds a formidable record in terms of annual migration. Its sttirrickory reads incredible. And yet terns remain one of many avian species that takes this immense risk to defy the rules of nature and undertake such vital marathon.

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At this moment in time, autumnal migration has begun. Many waders – knots, sanderlings, ringed plovers, redshanks, godwits, to name a few – grace the edge of each tide, beach or pool, around the island. Some, still in full regalia, others, moulles daltonsting. They come to feed and prepare for the long journey. And then, they will take to the air and disappear…

flight

We really live on an extraordinary planet.

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Filed under 2015, 60N, Arcania, autumn, birds, celebration, earth, hairst, island, migration, scotland, shetland

alight

Up-Helly-Aa 2015
Lerwick, Shetland – 1 Jarl, 47 squads, 969 torches through the streets of the Islands’ capital…
Les moments forts, highlights in a string of images fresh from my iPod 🙂

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Filed under 60N, ash, boats, celebration, colours, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, island, lerwick, life, north, scotland, shetland, spirit, world

poets in arms

auld enemies 1They came, they shared, they went…

Let’s re-phrase.

They came, they spoke, we shared, they went… We are now connected.

Visiting poets on our home turf – Mareel, Lerwick, Shetland for a few hours – met with familiar faces, thanks to Shetland Art’s Literature Development Officer, Donald Anderson. On a particular trail, that of “Auld Enemies“, the brainchild of Steven J Fowler and Ryan Van Winkle, who notably brought along Colin Herd and Ross Sutherland in the Green Room where a few dared to step for an hour of poetry. Their six date tour around Scotland – taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick, and Kirkwall – concluded in London.

So we, the featured Shetland poets, L.J. Friedlander, D.S. Murray, J.A, Sinclair and I, joined our visiting poets in some battles of the spoken word before we ceased fire, chatted and smiled. Unique, electric, unusual & memorable event which enabled us to share in a different format, and, for James & I to actually write together for the first time since we have been united by literature. My thanks go to Steven and Ryan for providing such an opportunity. With very best wishes for the upcoming Auld Enemies – Ireland!!! 🙂

auld enemies 2014  friedlander auld enemies Murrayauld enemies hall + sinclairauld enemies 2014 herd + fowlerauld enemies sutherland + van wrinkle

Auld Enemies, Shetland 2014 - Photo courtesy of Steven J Fowler

Auld Enemies, Shetland 2014 – Photo courtesy of Steven J Fowler

What a trek! Before they came to us, they had pit-stopped in Aberdeen, where they blended with other familiar faces & voices, including those of Catriona McLeod and Haworth Hodgkinson – then they stayed a couple of days, to ensure Mr Melville was okay again – and then they joined in other familiar faces in Kirkwall, notably including Pam Beasant.

My thanks go to Steven and Ryan for providing such an opportunity, as well as to Donald Anderson & Shetland Arts for making it happen on our latitude.

With very best wishes for the upcoming Yes But Are We Enemies? -an Irish Enemies Project! 

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jardin secret

A woman’s world is her own heart. From the roadside, nothing is visible.

So many times – in between Central and Sandsayre – have I driven & walked past those high walls without notice… Yet in summer, there is a sign, that womans worldreads “Open to the public”. One has to stop and dare to step through the high wooden doors. The creator of this secret Eden on 60N has shimmering eyes and she answers to the forename Margaret. Her heart beats as she leads you through to her secret garden. Very soon you forget you are actually on an island battered by gales, storms or other relentless winds from August to May! All is so secretly guarded by tall fences of all kinds – rock, panels or palettes. Every thing will do in order to grow her world’s plant kingdom… And I heard some trekked as far as from South Africa.

Her welcome is unparalleled. Her verve is insatiable. She speaks of her passion for her vegetal realm you feel enchanted in your heart. It feels you are surrounded by angels 🙂

Some forty years have been necessary to reach this stage of growth. Margaret does not count, even though she is bound to the planet’s own agenda and seasonal calendar – Mother Earth’s own rhythms. Hospitalisation even does not deter our intrepid gardener – she is a survivor who lives for her own world, with her husband & cats. A grand tour of the place is necessary to enjoy the full extent of this woman’s work.

And if you are invited to make a small donation, as a tn’s marked, you will only show your own appreciation of a gardener’s sheer passion in the face of such Nordic latitude. And yet, so possible.

Away from salt and wind, amazing gardens emerge from the roughest of soils and elements. It is a joy & sheer pleasure to step inside!

angelheart of the greenpathwaysinto the bluegardener's homei am in the garden

 

 

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Filed under 2014, Arcania, celebration, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, shetland, writing

summertime 2014

wildest of blue

wildest of blue

Blue diva, window into deepest of blue, where colours blend on a palette, inside our many lush meadows… And yet it melts like an ice cream! What has happened to the magic of Simmer Dim, those luminous hours where night hides for our sun? July so packed with adventures, I never saw August arrive…

ADVENTURES, ADVENTURES!

I love the magic of my islands – from waterline to highest rock that shoots off the North Sea.

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Take a short time to cross a sound and find yourself on a uninhibited isle… How many times does this happen? I love that rock east of my home township – an escapade where only flowers and birds count.  A seal waits at the East Ham and will follow you all around, whilst terns remind you of their seasonal urge to survive and fare a chick for a short time… We are intruders after all…

Sitting in the sand and watch migration taking place at waterline level, with a gang of young sanderlings – those magical waders that behave like mechanical toys inside surf! That’s when time stops. Or simply walk around our cliffs to meet with our dear parrots of the sea, our breeding Atlantic puffins just yards away from each other 🙂

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On a fine Sunday afternoon, stepped on a boat to marvel at other living treasures. So was the case around the isles of Bressay and Noss, just east of Lerwick, where thousands of seabirds – skuas, fulmars, puffins and gannets – gave us a show of a lifetime. Better than a Nature TV programme, as we felt utterly immersed into a world that surrounds us, yet as we lock ourselves inside bubbles, we tend to forget a very simple fact: we are part of this, not mere (TV) spectators! Birds everywhere – above our heads, all around us, on the water… Our boat’s adrift, just like our minds. It is breathtaking and somewhat overwhelming.

Also, We immersed a submarine camera to explore the other side of the big blue – the one that feels so unattainable, since we have lungs instead of gills.

Yes, this invisible universe, complete with wonderful forests, where sea squirts flirt with a star fish or gorgeous coral – where seals vanish around mysterious caves, homes of darkness to a terrien… Anemones look the sea version of bog cotton grass in the wind. We are safely watching the world.

We certainly live on an amazing planet, and it is there, on our doorstep 🙂

Gannet City!

Gannet City!

birds everywhere

birds everywhere

amazing planet

amazing planet

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Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, atlantic, birds, boats, celebration, colours, festival, geopoetics, home, island, north, poetry, shetland, shore, simmerdim, spirit, writing

Le passant

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The animal kingdom is amazing – follow the herd, pack, gaggle or flock for love, the next generation & life.
Never mind money or politics… We, the human kind forgot about nature’s fundamental laws, and invented invisible barriers. The notion of wandering has been caged ever since the concepts of passport control & money were introduced.
And yet the latter is a passer-by. We all have a different – sometimes peculiar relationship with it. Take it away and we would live like princes & princesses. The pursuit of well-being instead of greed & suffering. Rousseau & Thoreau notably wrote clear thoughts on such issue.
Recently, our S2 pupils experienced the wild as part of their John Muir Awards with Curriculum for Excellence. Their reactions ranged from humility to exhilaration when faced with the vastness & majesty of their surroundings. They connected (or reconnected) with our world. They felt part of it.
To the image of the wheatear, I sometimes wish I were a bird, and I would fly above rivers, glens & mountains, somewhat carefree (avoiding predation!) as Earth seasons dictate.

Le passant

Au petit royaume de papier,
de métal émaillé de
cuivre,
il entre & sort,
tel un intrus ou un
voleur…
L’inconnu,
l’ombre du trottoir,
sans odeur,
pli ou
porte-feuille,
Il va et vient tel
un passant sans se soucier des
réverbères, de la couleur
d’un monde amer,
des boutiquiers,
farceurs,
faussaires,
tant il
se
raille
aux rires
du
vent.

-/——–

Passerby

At the peerie paper kingdom,
molten metal copper &
lead,
he slides through
doors,
true intruder,
shameless book
thief;
unknown
shadow
on prized pavement –
odourless,
flawless,
or
homeless,
he comes & goes
he, passerby, oblivious to light or
limelight, shopkeepers,
tricksters or
forgers,
as he
laughs at
the wind’ s laughters.

© Nat Hall 2014

—-
Young people’s connections with encountering our world

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Filed under 2014, 60N, Arcania, earth, geopoetics, home, island, life, poet, poetry, spirit, verse, world, writing