In this world silenced by a terrorist disease, skylarks still sing above an early April hissing gale.
In this part of the main island, where Sandness looks lost inside haze, tussock grass yields, yet those birds we call laverick have returned as lairds o’da braes – elevated above da tun an da scattald (human dwellings and open fields where grazing’s shared among crofters…).
They will defy the harshest gust, ignore that brutal tongue from gales to sing to blueness and the sun.
To each passing of cirrus clouds, they do not know the world’s locked down, as they ascend among ravens, oblivious to material us.
They have returned in their hundreds to the daresay of each hillside.
On this Monday lost in April, this sky has turned cacophonous, as hillsides home song of skylarks, that dare to ignore gusts from gales…
The island remains a honeypot for all kinds of visitors – sometimes I let my imagination loose at sea, and imagine lighthouse beams as magnets… Too irresistible to the intrepid one to ignore.
Two kinds of visitors caught my eye. The first clad in clinker and rivets looked at the lerwigian sky like in defiance – yes, a dragon in the heart of our only town!
From the Norwegian, it translated as Dragon Harald the Fairhair, back at Alexandra Wharf for a first time in a couple of years – en route to NY via the old Viking routes. Draken Harald certainly caught our attention & hearts.
Statsraad Lehmkuhl had arrived and already moored at her usual place at Victoria Pier. I would catch her the following morning just off Bressay Light with my other notable visitor, Lancashire based Landscape Photographer, Peter Laurence who followed in the footsteps of Britain’s Landscape Photography master, Faye Godwin, who had immortalised the island in the 1980s…
A day in the field would only seal friendship, challenge the eye, as we employed a whole day well spent between the old lime kilns of Fladdabister to the edge of the rocky promontory, Grutness.
And what a day it proved to be. Armed with our respective lenses, time turned irrelevant, for our wandering in between tall grass and muddy roadsides filled our eyes with smiles.
And we wandered across tall grass and May flowers…
And pointed to the majesty of the southern edge of my homeworld.
I may spend a lifetime capturing that power of place, the eye remains challenged as time loses sight in salt.
With gracious thanks to Peter for a memorable day. Enjoy Compass Head inside each page. 🙂
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