Nature Notes

January 12, 2017

Norse Orkney

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

From the 8th century to the 16th, the Norse held influence over the islands of Orkney and ruled with a series of Earls.

The Round Church of Orphir

Built in the 12th century, it was dedicated to St Nikolas. It is said to be built by Earl Hakon and based on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Earl Hakon was thought to have seen the original on a Crusade done as penance for his murder of St. Magnus

The Round Church of Orphir, Orkney Isles

Earl’s Palace at Birsay

Built in 1570s by Earl Robert Stewart, an illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland, and considered a tyrant and an oppressor by the local people.

Earl's Palace at Birsay, Orkney Isles

St Magnus Cathedral

The cathedral was built to house the relics of the murdered Earl Magnus, canonized in 1135AD. Work commenced on the magnificent red and yellow sandstone structure in 1137 and was not completed until three centuries later.

St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney Isles

The Whalebone at Birsay

A well known artifact, it has been here for over a century although it is unknown when it was originally to be found there. It looks out over the Broch of Birsay, a tidal island which has the remains of Pictish and Norse dwellings as it is a natural fortress.

 The Whalebone at Birsay, Orkney Isles

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December 16, 2016

The Old Man of Hoy, Orkney

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Old Man of Hoy, Orkney

Old Man of Hoy, Orkney

The Old Man of Hoy is a magnificent sea stck in Orkney

Guide to Bird Photography

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June 29, 2016

June 23, 2016

The Crofter’s Hut, Orkney

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am


The Crofter's Hut, Orkney

The Crofter’s Hut, Orkney

Since there are almost no trees on the Orkney Islands, building in stone has been developed to a high art. Stone dikes line the field edges and the older houses were made of stone as well. This is a beautifully made building which has lichen and grasses growing on it now. The well made chimneys would have taken away the smoke of peat fires.

The Crofter's Hut, Orkney The Crofter's Hut, Orkney
The Crofter's Hut, Orkney The Crofter's Hut, Orkney

 

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June 8, 2016

Castle of Yesnaby, Orkney Islands

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Castle of Yesnaby, Orkney Islands

Castle of Yesnaby, Orkney Islands

The Castle of Yesnaby is a famous sea stack off the main island of the Orkney Islands. It was first climbed in 1967 and has become a favorite of rock climbers. Its crumbling weed covered rock makes it a challenge.There is an amphitheater like coastline with a trail along the top which curves around it, providing the walker with spectacular views. It would be an amazing sight in a heavy sea, I hope to see it on a future visit.

Castle of Yesnaby, Orkney Islands

Castle of Yesnaby, Orkney Islands

 

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May 13, 2016

The Ring of Brodgar

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar

The Ring of Brodgar is a wonderful stone monument from Neolithic Orkney. It is part of a wider series of nearby standing stones. Much about this complex set of stone circles, tombs and standing stones is not fully understood including close dating of its manufacture. It is thought to have been built 4,000 to 4,500 years ago. It is difficult to grasp that perhaps 20,000 generations of man have lived and died since it’s construction.

Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar

 

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March 6, 2016

January 16, 2016

Marwick Head, Orkney

Filed under: Landscape,Orkney Isles,Scotland — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Marwick Head, Orkney

Marwick Head, Orkney

One of numerous beautiful locations in Orkney, Marwick Head cliffs are home to thousands of breeding seabirds in summer. The monument is Kitchener Memorial which commemorates the sinking of HMS New Hampshire in 1916 with the loss of 655 men including the Minister of War, Lord Kitchener.

Guide to Bird Photography

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