Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The cormorants are probably our most faithful year-round companions on the island. They were here to greet us when we first arrived, in the winter of 2002, so I have a special fondness for them. I took this picture from the boat yesterday. The bird was drying its wings - looking for all the world like the sacred Thunderbird of Native American mythology - on a shingle spit on one of the little islands that range along this stretch of Strangford Lough’s western shore.

The following is from Chapter Six of The Blue Cabin:-

“We chose our line between the moorings and had time to admire at close quarters the cormorants standing sentinel on every second or third buoy. Broken sunlight bounced off the water and picked up the bronzes and greens of their autumn plumage, indiscernible at a distance, and one or two held their oil-less wings outstretched and faced the sun to dry, proud and statuesque, the living maritime equivalent of the gold leaf gatepost eagles of suburbia.
As we puttered along the island shoreline the cabin began to come into view ahead of us and to the left: first the very tips of the few remaining Scots Pines from the scores planted eighty years ago to take the brunt of a northerly wind, then the wooden jetty dipping out into the water towards the mainland, and finally the cabin itself…”
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