Top of the morning

The Shetland weather can be a real tease. You look out; it’s sunny; you think ‘Let’s go for a walk’; you put your boots on, and what d’you know, it’s clouded over and rain has begun to spit. You think ‘Oh bugger’ (or words to that effect); you take your boots, coat and hat off, and by the time you look out the window it’s sunny again. The best thing to do, I have found, is to ignore the weather and go for a walk anyway.

The same applies to hanging out your washing. I’ve hung mine out in glorious sunshine, only to find as soon as I bend down to pick up the empty washbasket, it starts chucking it down. There was a time when I would hurriedly grab everything off the line again, only to find, as soon as I finished, the sun came out. Now, I just turn my back on the weather, go inside and shut the door.

And so the weather taunted me again this morning, as Bert and I set off for our walk round the bay, him intent on bunnies; me – with 400mm lens attached to camera and wide-angle in my pocket – intent on capturing some wildlife and scenics. I was after a picture that I’d attempted but failed previously – of the little village church on the top of the hill in the background, with bright and cheerful marsh marigolds taking up the foreground.

I’d been woken up at 5am by bright sunshine pouring in the bedroom window – and I began to think I should have got up and made the most of it at the time, because as soon as we stepped out the door, the rain began to come down. I was tempted to go back inside and wait for it to pass, or just dump the 400mm lens, but Bert was already bunnying down by the marina and it hardly seemed fair to drag him back indoors just because of a little shower.

Sky dancing

Sky dancing

And persistence paid off, again. The shower lasted no more than two minutes and on the way around the bay I came across a colony of Arctic Terns, giving me ample chance to practise my tracking skills – which, heaven knows, need practice – and grab a few nice shots. And as I was messing about with my marigolds, a patch of blue sky opened up above the church and the sun came out to light it up perfectly.

On top of which, the washing was dry by the time I got home. A morning well spent I think.

You can see some more of this morning’s pictures here.


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