May 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

Covid-19

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
Geraniums
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Bluethroat
Stunning Bluethroat

Closing September/October

PLEASE NOTE: I am away from home from 24th September to early November 2019 – any orders placed via the web shop will not be dispatched until I return home.

I’m heading away to catch up with all the family, visit Yarndale with my daughters on the last weekend of September – super excited about this as we have been planning it for a year!

Ian and I will also be having a wee two week break in Mallorca for birding and sunshine during October.

Our annual visit to friends in Lincolnshire during school half-term.

Packed:-

  • Binoculars
  • Sketchbooks
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Paints
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Ready to go then….. 🙂

I’ll no doubt be updating my Instagram feed during the time i’m away.

Make sure to come and visit me at Carinish Hall on the 9th November 2019, noon until 4pm. This is a fundraiser for Cuimhne, tea, coffee and cakes will be available and there are some brilliant raffle prizes!

 

Free Books!

Yes, really. No catch at all.

I’m setting up a bookshelf – all books are free, mostly pre-loved, already read books. Those of you that know me are already aware that i’m a lifelong bookworm 🙂

I heard about Bookcrossing in a book I read earlier this year and though it sounded like a great idea. Since then i’ve been labelling all the books that I pass along to people and thought that I would set up an Official Bookcrossing Zone while i’m open during the summer.

So, if you are on holiday in the Outer Hebrides and the weather is getting you down and you need some fresh reading material drop by and have a look to see if anything suits you.

Oh, and I also sell handmade bookmarks 😉

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides mixed media bookmark

Read and Release at BookCrossing.com...

Waiting for Puffins….

People are always asking me for Puffin photos – my collection was meagre so I decided late last year that in 2018 I would make a concerted effort to get some good photos of them. So, after visiting one of the off-shore, uninhabited islands recently I was  able to get some great Puffin shots. I’ve just sent my favourite image of the bunch off to the printers to be made into a square greeting card, hopefully they should arrive here very soon! Puffins are so cute! I took hundreds of shots.

Once I receive the order the cards will be on sale here online and at a variety of retail outlets for £2.50 which includes an envelope.

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Puffin greeting card

Making bookmarks…

Had a lovely time in my studio this afternoon making up some mixed media bookmarks – I’ve been having trouble keeping up with demand for these, with this little lot that will mean i’ve made 90 so far this year – and every single one different. They are now all packaged up and will be on the shelf at the Uist Craft Producers shop at Kildonan, South Uist tomorrow. £3 each which includes and envelope 🙂

Confession time: Sometimes I like one so much I keep it for myself, I have a wee collection dotted around the house.

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides mixed media bookmark Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides mixed media bookmark