Archive for May, 2011

Mammatus clouds

19 May, 2011

These photos are of mammatus clouds that are, apparently, often seen after a thunderstorm. We seldom get them here, possibly because we don’t often get thunderstorms and I don’t remember seeing clouds like this before in real life. There had just been thunder, according to a friend living locally but it was by chance that I looked out the window and said out loud to myself: “wow!” I’ve been hoping to see mammatus clouds for a long time – I’ve seen photos of them and they looked a good subject to photograph! But I think I was lucky because the ones I saw seem to be really good – partly because they were lit by a low sun, which emphasised their appearance. But they were moving quickly across the sky and within 10 minutes they had gone!

Long-finned Pilot whale at Garths Voe, Shetland

14 May, 2011

I got a message in the morning of 12th May about a pilot whale (also known as caain’ whale in Shetland) in the Houb of Scatsta but shortly afterwards another message to say that it didn’t look well. Given its location and its suggested condition I decided not to go and look. However, further news came through today that, whilst it had stranded, it had subsequently freed itself and was now “50m out” from the head of the voe so I thought it sounded a bit more promising and decided to take a look – me and a lot of other folk!

When I got there it was soon obvious that it was in poor condition and not at all well. The rear part of its body behind the dorsal fin seldom came to the surface and its fluke hardly emerged at all. It’s body seemed somehow slightly curved laterally and it was as though lack of buoyancy was pulling it down at the rear – its fin was fairly low in the water much of the time and leaning over slightly. The poor animal did little more than swim round anti-clockwise close to shore (sometimes within 5m) whilst I was there.

I have posted some photos and aim to update here if I get any further news.

Long-finned pilot whale at Garths Voe, Shetland

Sunny day in the Bonnie Isle (Whalsay)

10 May, 2011

As those of you in Shetland will know, Whalsay is known as the Bonnie Isle and I went there today, for 2 reasons. Firstly, I am attending a craft fair there in a few days’ time and I wanted to update my stock of images – it’s quite some time since I had been to Whalsay and the forecast was good. Secondly, I’ve been so busy in April that I didn’t even have time for a blog post so I decided to take a few days off and I love roaming the countryside at this time of year – well any time of year, really!

So there you have it – a short blog post especially for those readers who like short blog posts. I would just add that I was delighted to see group of red admiral butterflies at Whalsay Kirk – not what I’d call a swarm, but quite a few, nonetheless. The other photos are some of the views I captured.