Braving the elements, Shetland, November 2017

Over the last few months I’ve been very lucky with the Shetland weather - I’ve managed to fit in trips between the storms.  This time, although the storms weren’t enough to earn names from the Met Office, there has certainly been enough wind to disrupt the Northlink schedules and to force passing ships to search for shelter.

On dry land getting out and about with a camera has involved a little bit of planning and a little bit of luck.  

The planning at this time of year is about remembering just how few daylight hours there are (typically sunrise just after 8:15 followed swiftly by sunset, just after 15:00) and the luck, this weekend at least, involved not getting caught in too many hail showers.  I don’t have any particular dislike of hail but when combined with 40 mph winds it does have a tendency to sting.  The 40 mph winds also make it feel rather colder than the thermometer suggests - wind chill makes a balmy 6 or 7C feel more like 0 or 1C - which certainly warrants layering up along with wearing both hat and gloves.

As is my usual pattern on these shorter forays north, I’ve spent time at my regular spots - around Sumburgh Head (which is even better when the cafe is open!), around Scat Ness and on West Voe and Quendale beaches.  I’ve been trying to put together a collection of Scat Ness images so I was  trying to find one or two new angles to go with the regular favourite locations - not sure I’ve yet got all the pictures I want but it’s good to have more to add to the set. 

The other extra I added in this time was a trip north to Weisdale to see the trees - this is (apparently) National Tree Week, so it seemed like a good idea to take a few pictures to counter the ‘there are no trees on Shetland’ message.  There are trees, but they are often in quite small clumps and are sometimes significantly smaller than their Scottish-mainland relatives.

Scat Ness



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