Blommor igen…och tärnor

Att engelsmän gillar trädgårdar är ju ingen hemlighet och shetlänningarna är inget undantag. De kämpar i motvind kan man säga för här är vinden det största problemet. Men bakom murar och staket hittar man fantastisk blomsterprakt.

Inspirerad av tidigare generationer shetlänningars små trädgårdar byggdes en liten Croft House Garden upp i Chelsea trädgårdstävling förra året.

Den vann guld!

En Croft House Garden hör ju hemma här så nu håller man på att bygga upp en kopia av guldvinnaren i North Roe. I ofärdigt skick ser den ut så här. Man började i höstas så det är en liten bit kvar.

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I North Roe tänkte jag ta en promenad på en strand men jag insåg ganska snabbt att tärnorna inte tänkte låta mig passera deras territorium.

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Man kan inte låta bli att tro att Astrid Lindgren hade tärnorna som modeller när hon skrev om de flygande marorna vildvittrorna i Ronja Rövardotter.

Gone Sea Anglin´…

…and do something other than having my head in dusty papers about Shetland’s mining history. The weather was begging me to get out and get some…oxygen. And, it was Midsummer and Father’s Day. Good idea!

Taking out my small collapsible spinning rod, a box of lures commonly used in northern Swedish inland waters and my expectations I stuffed these in my small day-pack (uh…not the expectations) and headed out to an adventure with Jeppe.

As I drove, my only thought was, “but how in the h… does one fish in the briny waters around Shetland…and from shore?” The challenge was well worth the taking.

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    Photo: Fishing in the sea requires a whole different kind of equipment

    I found a nice little rock sticking out along the shores of the “Cliffs of Cunningsburgh”, a place I’ve been before looking for ancient holes in the ground. I took off my pack, took out my collapsible spinning rod, still with last years nylon line for Swedish fishing, and chose a 15 g “Toby” spinner. I figured the beasts in the water would find a shiny copper-colored Toby a great morsel to contend with. Tied a knot strong enough to take on familiar northern pike and threw it anxiously out into the Atlantic.

    After 20 minutes of this, I figured the fish were bored, so I smacked on a 20 g Toby. I worked with this for another 20 mintues, changed to a 28 g Toby (heck, gotta wake those fish up somehow) and another 20 minutes. The next two hours, I was throwing everything bigger than my trout flies out into the depths in front of me…and…nothing happened.

    Everything but fish was interested in what I was doing. I had Arctic Terns hover over the lures, as they wiggled through the water. A diving Puffin got fairly close once, as well as a Razorbill and a couple of Common Gulls. Then, just as I had thrown out a “day-glow” spinner, used for graylings, a gray seal popped its head up outa the water a little out from where the spinner landed.

    I thought, crap! I don’t wanna hook a seal or a Puffin! Besides, what would I do if I caught a fish that was so strange and ugly, I wouldn’t even know if it was edible? Or, maybe a Killer Whale was nearby doing his own kind of “fishing”? Or….

    So, I quit! What did I learn? Fishing in the sea is entirely different to fishing in freshwater . The two jist don’t mix! The only thing I got today was fresh-air, some sun and lots of relaxation, which is mostly why people go “sea-angling” anyways. Right?

    PS- Shetland is supposed to have great freshwater fishing; brown trout and some Arctic char. See following: Shetland Trout Fishing

Shetland’s Mining History

Skimming through pages of the Caledonian Mercury, Sept. 1790, the newspaper highlights Shetland’s early commercial mining attempts. “…the value of the Shetland Islands is only beginning to be known. There is now a number of miners sent … to work a copper and iron mine lately discovered…in the estates of Sumburgh and the iron in the estates of Quendale, both the most productive of this kind of any discovered in Britain.”

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    Photo: From 1790, the Quendale Copper Mine as it looks today

Naturally, this single report can raise eyebrows and give questions about Shetland’s mining history. The unlikelihood of a small North Atlantic group of islands being given such recognition is surprising, but the story behind this fact contains elements of rivalry, power, ignorance and years of blind investments leaving scars of disappointment in its wake.

Roots
It is difficult to point out exactly when Shetland’s mining history began. As early inhabitants crossed the hills and walked the shores of Shetland, they learned about rocks and stones, where these could be found and how these could be useful. Continue reading