April 2022 update

I’m heading off to Spain mid-April to walk on the Camino de Santiago and won’t be home until June. Any orders via the website should be dealt with fairly quickly by my trusty other half Ian 🙂 I apologise in advance that I have very low or no stock of some cards – hopefully I can get some more printed when I return in June. I’m also hoping to be able to put more original art cards online then too.

It’s been a tough few years, losing my dear brother in 2019, I am dedicating my walk to him, in all I cut short three trips that year due to my own or other’s ill health and family emergencies. We all know what happened in 2020 which then continued on into 2021 and the early part of 2022 has also been tough with a lot of family stuff going on. I hope to just walk, clear my head, regain some creative enthusiasm, process a lot of emotions, taking my life on the way “one step at a time”.

May 2021 update

Things are still quiet here in the islands though since April 26th travel is now permitted again but I think there are still restrictions on the ferry capacity. We remain in Scottish Tier 3. I’ve taken the opportunity to visit Barra a couple of times in the last few weeks, camped both times. The first time was on foot to walk some of the Hebridean Way and last weekend I took my bike over and did some cycling – probably not the brightest idea having not been on my bike since August 2019 hahaha!

The Uist Craft Producers AGM is tomorrow, 8th May, hopefully there will be some news about the shop opening, though it will entirely depend on whether there are volunteers who feel comfortable manning it. At the moment, until I have my second vaccination I feel unsure whether I want to man or not. And anyway once i’ve had my second vaccination my plan, and first priority, is to wait three weeks then head down to see my family on the mainland – i’m desperate to see them – mum and dad, my two girls and my two wee grandsons, i’ve missed them so much!

Hopefully I can update you soon on the Kildonan shop situation.

In the meantime a photo from my Barra trip

Outer Hebrides Birds

At least these multiple lockdowns I have been able to get on with some non-Hebridean Imaging related projects – namely editing the Outer Hebrides Bird Report 2017. Hebridean Imaging is a major sponsor of both the Outer Hebrides Birds website www.outerhebridesbirds.org.uk and the bird report.

Report has finally gone to print and is available to purchase at The Shop on the OH BIrds website. The report has a stunning cover photo of a Hen Harrier food pass taken by Dean Eades www.birdmad.com

I’ve also taken this opportunity to update and revamp the Outer Hebrides Birds website which is now looking fresh and modern following it’s upgrade. This site make a great resource for bird sightings and information in the Outer Hebrides / Western Isles

Outer Hebrides / Western Isles Birds bird sightings and information

Further restrictions…

As of today the Outer Hebrides joins the rest of Scotland on a “stay at home” lockdown due to a covid outbreak on Barra. Like the rest of the UK I think we are all getting a little weary of this situation and finding it hard to cope with this second major lockdown (we’d been placed in Scottish tier three on Boxing Day). I’m going to miss the freedom of being able to go for a drive out or head up to Lewis to visit friends.

Taken on our last birding trip up to Benbecula, fabulous light at this time of year 🙂

Otter and Eagles

After the wet and windy weather over Christmas it made a pleasant change to have a cold, calm spell. Most of the lochs were frozen over, often with just a small ice free area where all the birds were congregating. While birding at Loch Bee we noticed movement which turned out to be an Otter running across the frozen loch – it must have been out to the unfrozen area to fish and was heading back to dry land. Just as it reached land we noticed there were also two White-tailed Eagles sitting out on rocks near the shore. Amazing to get both otter and eagles in the same shot!

I posted the photo on Twitter and I think it’s been the most popular photo i’ve ever put on there and has currently received 3.3K likes and 365 retweets!

Yvonne Benting Hebridean Imaging Photography Otter and two White-tailed Eagles on frozen Loch Bee South Uist Outer Hebrides
Otter and White-tailed Eagles, Loch Bee

Video production

Had a great week up in Lewis – I was able to get my wee van MoT’d and serviced and the garage also fixed the persistent oil leak.

Another reason for my visit was to have a catch up with my lovely friend Jane – we love to do creative things together and lately have been working together on her website. Jane was keen to make a video where she could talk about her mixed media printmaking process. So we set up a mini tripod with my iPhone and away we went. Very little post-production editing was needed, Jane is a natural when it comes to being filmed 🙂

Jane and I have plans for a joint art project which we’ll be working on during 2021. Can’t say much more than that but all will be revealed later in 2021 hopefully 😉

Finally home!

We were finally able to get a flight back out of Cyprus on the 2nd August 2020 when the government there unbanned flights in from the UK. Sadly there were still no direct flights back to Scotland for the forseeable future so we had rather a convoluted route home: Paphos -> Gatwick, overnight there in a hotel, Gatwick -> Glasgow, overnight there in a hotel then Glasgow -> Benbecula the next day.

After three days travelling, three flights and two hotel stays we though we should quarantine ourselves for 14 days on returning home as the last thing we wanted to do was spread this thing around our island when they’ve fought so valiantly to keep it out (thankfully, as there are NO intensive care facilities here!).

So today, 18th August we are finally free to go out and about and do our own shopping! Our neighbours Bill and Norma have been fantastic – with both looking after our house while we were away and getting shopping and supplies for us while we were in quarantine. We always looked forward to our weekly Zoom chat with them while we were away 🙂

The weather has been incredible since our return – warm and mostly calm – quite a lot of mist.
I’m not sure whether the cattle were cooling down or whether the midges were less by the water than out on the machair.


The world has officially gone crazy…

I’m currently stranded in Cyprus, for how long, I really don’t know! Hopefully my lovely neighbour Bill Neill will be able to sort out any online orders for me, if I can remember where i’ve put all my stock…

The Uist Craft Producers committee (i’m secretary again this year) decided very early on to keep the shop closed. Just after mid-March Calmac ferries were advising that ferries would only be for essential journeys for island residents and for essential supplies to the island and Loganair have suspended all but essential flights. So, no tourists anyway… Happily there have been very very few cases on the island which is just as well as we don’t actually have any intensive care facilities. The museum and cafe will also be closed. This will all be for the forseeable future.

Meanwhile MisterT and myself are well and enjoying the birds and the sunshine in Cyprus. It’s a little difficult being away from all the family – worrying about mum and dad, Sara and wee Sidney and also with Kat getting so close to having our new wee grandson. We’ll most certainly all be having a massive party together when all this is done with!

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides sheep cyprus
Lots of sheep, not too different from Uist…
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides cyprus laughing doves
Laughing Doves
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers poppies
Roadside poppies
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers geraniums
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Bluethroat
Stunning Bluethroat