Sea and Land

Images of Hoxa

Written by Bernie Bell

We’ve been to Hoxa Head many times, and I’ve written about it previously; but the walk suited the day, and there’s always something different to notice on any walk however many times you do it. So we  headed for Hoxa again, noticing on the way the golden fields of barley – many of which have already been harvested. A bit more fine weather and the farmers will be out till all hours with the lights on on their harvesters – it needs to be done quickly before the weather breaks into autumn.

Among the war buildings at Hoxa, I have to admit that we did go into some of them – only some – being sensible. Some of them, it would be simply foolish to venture into. We played with the acoustics in the same one as last time, and I noticed graffiti…

… including various dates of interest …

I was a bit uncertain about the authenticity of the 1937 date, so checked with Canmore – and I quote…

“Hoxa Head overlooks the main entrance into Scapa Flow through Hoxa Sound. Hoxa Battery was built in the First World War at the southern tip of the peninsula and equipped with 6-inch gun emplacements and magazines. In the Second World War it was rebuilt with two 6-inch gun emplacements and magazines, an observation post, an engine-room and footings for searchlights.”

What looked to me like a moustachioed face…

There are stoat traps everywhere these days, though the stoats hadn’t arrived in Orkney when the war structures were built….

Slivers of fossilized fish scales….

In one of the structures, a carefully constructed swallow’s nest – empty now as they will have fledged and be preparing to leave for warmer climes soon….

An intriguing gully leading to one of the structures – something ‘Lord of the Rings’ about it….

My favourite for the day… Shapes & Light…

In the bay just before we turn up to go back to the car…

… rusty remnant of a boat.

I don’t know why this kind of thing appeals to me, but they do. Sitting on the rocks by the wreck and looking about us, we felt that the madness of the world today was a million miles away – on of the reasons for getting out and about – needing to detach for a time – sanity strategy.

This article previously appeared in Bernie’s Blog.

About the author

Bernie Bell

Bernie Bell lives in Orkney, is interested in everything – wonders about many things – is confused by many things. “It makes life interesting – or should I say even more interesting.”