Sunday, February 26, 2017

Off to a good start

Steve found a surprise yesterday - an extra early set of twins - a sign of many more to come!  The next couple of weeks will bring a shift into another new season here on Enlli, as the observatory gang return, volunteers start to arrive, and lambing starts (proper start date is the 15th March).

We've enjoyed the first couple of months of 2017, and the weather seems to have been much kinder this winter compared to previous years.  It's only in the last fortnight or so that conditions seem to have become more unsettled and stormy.
Here's a brief photo round up of January and February:

There have been some stunning skies with beautiful sunbeams in the low winter light

The wildest seas all winter were witnessed last week as Storm Doris passed through:

I managed to get to the mainland for a break in January, and attended a basketmaking/chair seating course at West Dean college. I took with me the frame of a drift wood stool that Ben had made me for Christmas and learnt how to weave the seat using rush.

as well as improving on "square" basket techniques.

A  load of luggage gathered from the mainland on my return....

Porth Meudwy

Steve also managed a  short break on the mainland, by kayak, although he had to get back before the storm hit so only managed a couple of days.....

When the clouds have occasionally parted during the winter nights I have ( Steve here !) been doing some astro-photography again with some new targets and some old favourites.

This unusual-looking galaxy is M82 . It features a starburst exploded core with massive jets of hydrogen caused by a close encounter with its neighbouring galaxy M81 . It is about 12 million light years distant from us.

This image is of the ' Crab Nebula ' . This is the shock wave of an exploded star...a supernova !

Below is the best known nebula in the night sky...the Great Orion Nebula . New stars are being formed in its heart and their radiation is blowing a huge hole in the centre of the nebula .

Below is the companion galaxy of M82...this is M81 , or Bodes Galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major .

We do get a bit muddled after a few months of isolation on Enlli - goats in the kitchen and dogs in the yard...???

Meanwhile, at our new cottage in Rhiw, Jason and James, some timber frame building friends, have started work demolishing the old cabin in order to make a start on the new one....progress will be documented!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Porter’s year in a nutshell…

Wishing you much hope, grace and peace in 2017

Steve has continued to manage the Enlli farm, both from the land and the air, earning the title of “Flying Farmer” for a documentary soon to be shown on TV.  He enjoyed a couple of weeks exploring the airspace of southern Spain...a bit more reliable than that of Bardsey!

Jo continues to monitor a variety of features on Ynys Enlli, such as bryophytes, rare plants, choughs and Grey Seals.  She has made hundreds of cups of tea and coffee for day visitors and has enjoyed the challenge of a variety of craft commissions ranging from miniature coracles, felt pictures to large rugs (

Rachel finally decided to leave the Drawing degree in Falmouth, having really struggled to enjoy it...and other opportunities have opened up for her. She had some of her paintings selected for the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition in the Mall gallery in London, and has enjoyed volunteering at Felin Uchaf, an Educational Centre for exploring ways of living and working in Creative Partnership with each other and our Environment, situated near Aberdaron. 

Ben is in his second year of Conservation Biology at Falmouth and enjoys both the course and all the other opportunities that have come his way – such as being a presenter for the University’s “Naturewatch” production.  He spent much of the summer in Romania with Operation Wallacea leading bird ringing surveys, and continues to develop his photography, which can be found on his website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Scotland in June

Steve somehow managed to sneak his paraglider into the camper van and even got a couple of small flights in from above the campsite near Oban .

Rachel enjoying the amazingly calm conditions that dominated the first part of our time in Scotland .

And we're off !

Passing the lighthouse on Lismore as we enter the Sound of Mull .

Nearly there....

Coming in to the Coll dock .

Not too much traffic !

A pleasant campsite , though very expensive !...maybe the extra cost was levied due to the unique campsite residents...Corncrakes !

Heavy going through the sandy bit of a lovely circumnavigation of the South section of Coll .

Some of the Machair flowers .

Hogh Bay . 

Enjoying the bikes .

Another bloody cranesbill..

On the move...looking for a wild camp..

Looks pretty wild here...

Yes ! This looks just right...even in the fog.

We made short thrift of that !

Well camouflaged flat-fish .

 Well camouflaged green beetle...until it's not in the grass .

The beautiful coastal scenery .

Sticky insectiverous Sundew .

Near Gallanach .

Sea watching .

And we're off to Tiree .

Balephuil Bay .

Not a bad picnic spot .

The 1.5 km long beach of Traigh Bhi .

Another lovely camping spot...this time one of the 'crofting sites'...well nearly ! The actual official site was just behind the gravel pit in the distance !

Steve managed another flight down off the hill behind the campsite ( the highest point on Tiree...Carnan Mor 141m)  to land next to the van .

One of traditional black houses .

For sale !

Excellent cycling territory...not too many hills !

" We know where you live !"

The croft site near West Hynish .

Another island...Skye !

Stunning views of the Cuillin from the Glenbrittle campsite .

A walk up into Coire Lagan .

The clear waters of the lochan .

The view across Coire Lagan from Sgurr Dearg to Sgurr Alastair...the highest point on Skye .