Sunday, 29 November 2015

Winter weather

Well the winter arrived this week, with a slight snow covering last Saturday and only one degree, very cold.  You could tell this going to happen, the previous night we had been down to Dunrossness hall to watch a variety concert and on the way back hit a patch of ice and loss control just for a brief second or two.

Down in Sheffield they had alot more snow to contend with and freezing temperatures as well. This week I downloaded a weather app to my Kindle, which gives me the most accurate forecast so far in Shetland, it provides some very detailed information and even compares this year to last.

We enjoyed last Sunday, it was dry and still but cold so we headed down to Spiggie and met up with Nat Hall, Paul Bloomer and Paul Harvey all out for an afternoon birding. Later in the day it became  busy, by Shetland standards, with cars coming and going on a regular basis, many people never getting out of their cars. The light was just perfect for photography

                                                                                   Hills to west of Spiggie

From Monday on the temperature increased but it became very wet, the sheep in our field looked very miserable huddled together next to the wall which provided little in the way of comfort.

Its always good to look forward to something special during the longer dark days, for me its the thought of a clear, still night to get some night sky photography done. Its been very difficult as the weather has been against us over the past few months. Its always a bad sign when someone buys some new equipment, its guaranteed to cloud over and be wet for several weeks, so with Christmas arriving quickly it doesn't bode well.

                                                                                             Ice at Spiggie

The photography courses I am running for Shetland Adult Education are really going well, with some very good photographers, we are soon to cover Night Sky and Low Light photography, both of which interest me too. For those that are interested, the next stage of the Intermediate Photography starts on the 18 January when we cover- Wildlife, Landscapes, Close up, Urban, in Door Portraits and Urban photography. the next beginners starts next year in April.

It good to know that Shetland has now been included in the latest UNESCO Global awards for its Geopoarks. I went to a talk last week by Robina Barton who gave an excellent illustrated talk on the geology of Shetland. Must get more into this, Eshaness for instance is a volcanic site where you can still seen the cap that was blown off together with layers of volcanic dust.

This changeable weather certainly highlights the cold spots in the house. We have had a joiner round to sort out drafty windows, hopefully if the parts are in Shetland we should have this done in next few days, but if not they will have to be ordered from down south.

The air - air heating system is also inadequate as it only warms parts of the house. With no gas on Shetland (except bottled) its either electric or oil, both costly. We are looking into this to find a solution, the new electric storage heaters may be the next step, another costly exercise.

                                                    all the above Spiggie Loch
Yesterday managed to get out for an hour to photograph the Rufus Turtle Dove that turned up at Scalloway (see for photos, later heavy rain came back in. Today has been even worse with gales, hail, snow and heavy rain. Should get better later in week hopefully.

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