Friday, 21 June 2013

A Newbies First Blog

Today's Blog (21st June 2013)

This is my very first attempt at writing a blog - so mistakes here we come!  This is more for my memories than anything else - but you're more than welcome to listen in to my unpacking of my days if you choose to do so.  Maybe you'll be as blessed with my musings as I feel :-).

Anyway this first upload is by way of a draft I suppose.  I can't experiment before I go live (apparently) so keep your laughter to a quiet roar please.

I've Just returned from a trip around the Farnes with Serenity Boats. I have to say that with my wildlife photographer's hat on - these guys are the best.  Thanks to Andrew and crew.

I'm going to experiment with adding Photos from the trip as I go.  I suspect I'm going to have to change my page layout - but nevertheless here goes

It's been a great week so far.  Peaceful - even amidst the noise of the colonies of seabirds breeding all over the Farnes.  I guess I've got salt in my blood because I can't get enough of the sea and I really do have a thing about these islands.

I can really understand how St. Cuthbert found them to be a place of serenity and how they quietened his spirit. For those of you who will understand - I think that here I have found a "thin place".  There's something about being cut off from the mainland which seems quite appealing - although we can only do it in short bursts - courtesy of the National Trust.

We can't be sure exactly where Cuthbert built his cell but we do have a general idea - and I have to say that it is a pretty beautiful setting (when the weather is fair and I have food in my stomach).  I'm not sure how I'd have managed in his day (7th century) without waterproofs and having to scratch a living out of some difficult terrain.

Having said this, his aim wasn't personal comfort but rather it appears to have been to draw apart into seclusion to escape the political machinations of a church which seemed to be getting far more involved in the gaining of power and influence than in the pursuit of the purity of the early church's view of humanity and spirituality (of course I understand that the early church had it's own problems in this respect too).

Anyway - Inner Farne, (Cuthbert's chosen island) is a beautiful place and I envy the National Trust wardens who can live here for 9 months of the year.  In reality I think they must suffer what some people would think of as privations - but they are nothing like those experienced by Cuthbert.

Of course the beauty of the surroundings, the seasonal variations, the ever changing days and the magnificent wildlife offer their own rewards over and against doing without some of the "stuff" which seems so important to many people today (myself included?).

Go for it NT wardens - you rock!!

On to some photography ......

Here's a shot of an Arctic Tern - hovering, as it gets ready to attack a visitor to the islands because it is trying to protect its mate and its young .  Click on the photo to get it full size.

Oh, and of course, here's the little fella the Tern is protecting from these nasty invading humans - Aaahhh :

Oh, then of course there are the nasty attacking natural-world "baddies" who want to take what others have worked hard to collect to feed and care for their own families.  In the following shot you see a Black Headed Gull trying to take the Sand Eels out of the mouth of a Puffin which has been out at sea fishing for these things while the Gull has been "swanning" around waiting for him to come back to provide him with an easy meal.  You'll be pleased to know (I think) that the Gull didn't succedd because the plucky little Puffin outflew and outran him!!  Yeah!  Puffins 1 Gulls 0 !!

And out of the 400 or so shots I took today I'll close with this one of a couple of Razorbills having a conflab .... "I wonder if these strange-looking humans realise how clumsy they look bobbing around on the sea on their noisy bits of machinery.  If God had intended them to be on the sea surely He'd have given them webbed feet.  Never mind, they always go away when it's dark or the weather is bad"

Not so my feathered friends - rain and wind may be forecast but I'll be out again to see you if the boat is putting to sea tomorrow :-)

Well that's the first blog - let's see how it turns out - and remember if you really need to comment - be kind 'cos it's my first attempt!


  1. Most enjoyable.
    The Farne Islands are a special place and I can safely say you did them justice in your first post. Look forward to more of the same.

  2. Steve,

    great blog mate, your writing made it seem if I was there. Got a couple of nice shots of you being "pecked", will send them later


    1. Thanks for this John. I do have a shot of the back of your head with a Tern after you ;-)