stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Boots, bluebells and puffins

Just a quick post, with a couple of photos to keep you going. Kristen commented on the transition back to everyday life after such tranquillity can be difficult. My quiet time on Iona was certainly needed. It been the busiest and potentially stressful time at work that I can remember!

So just a few photos, without captions, of our lovely day visit to Lunga, a tiny deserted island in the Treshnish Islands. It took an hour to get there by small boat, and the wilflowers were unexpected. There was a huge colony of seabirds (guillemots, razorbills etc) but I was there to see puffins - smallish birds who spend most of their lives at sea, only coming ashore to breed. The chicks first flight is at night, from the cliffs and out to sea, not to return to land till next spring apparently. You can see their size compared to a human in the boot photo.

They nest in rabbit holes, and were still nest making.You can see one below disappearing down a hole with a beakful of nest material. The only noise they ever make is a gutteral, very unmusical call at this time of year. They sounded like floorboards creaking.

The way they fly in to land is very comical - they reminded me of flying squirrels, with a foot at each corner! I think you can see one in a "boot" photo. The puffins here were mostly totally unafraid of humans, and we spent a happy few hours just lounging on the grass, eating a picnic and watching, until the boat returned for us.

It was a magical day.


At 3:04 am, Blogger Val said...

Ah, the boots are back. And so that's what puffins look like. And of course: should have thought of the Puffin Books logo - duh!

Oh Val, I wish you were going to be here for the next few months. You could come to the bookbinding workshops with me. I'm sure you'd love it. I'm doing coptic binding next!

At 9:06 am, Blogger Val said...

The boots, yes, I thought of you!

I really enjoyed the little bit of bookbinding I did way back in Library School - where incidentally I met Penelope who was with me on Iona. Coptic binding sounds very ancient. Are you retired yet, and a lady of leisure? Ive lost track of time with my wonderful week in a different dimension!

At 5:45 pm, Blogger vishwa said...

That must've been a very relaxing and soothing time you had, val. And thanks a lot for bringing back those experiences and sharing with all.

At 11:11 am, Blogger Tabor said...

As a little girl I read a children's book about a puffin (can't remember the title now) and always had a favorite spot in my heart for these interesting birds. When I was in Canada many years ago we could have taken a boat trip out to an island to see them, but it didn't work out. Maybe some day...

At 4:53 am, Blogger Kerri said...

What a wonderful magical place. Those puffins are the neatest birds. I'd love to see them. There's an island off Arcadia National Park in Maine where you can see them but I wasn't there at the right time of year. Thanks so much for these great pictures and interesting facts.

At 9:51 am, Blogger Fashion said...

nice pair of shoes...i like this color...i have a pair of nike shoes in brown color...they stay with me for long days


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