Monster of the Deep

Orkney angler Peter "Jocky" Robertson won the club's three-day weekend competition with the help of a big conger.

It might not be a monster in the conger world but, at 13lb 7oz, it's still a significant fish because it is a new record for the Orkney Shore Anglers Club.

Takahiro Kondo

Acclaimed ceramic Japanese artist Takahiro Kondo's "Orkney Monolith" series incorporates his unique gintekisai ( “silver mist”) overglaze and luminous layers of cast glass. Each piece in the Orkney Monolith series stands between four and a half and six and a half feet in height and is covered with Kondo’s distinctive gintekisai overglaze.

The technique coats the porcelain surface with tiny droplets of a precious alloy of gold, silver, and platinum (representing “water out of fire”), which catch and refract light, mimicking the appearance of rain-drenched stone.

The works, which recall the ancient standing stones found throughout Scotland’s Orkney Islands, go on display in the U.S. (New York), for the first time this month.

Pentland Pull

The Pentland Firth has been called the greatest untapped source of energy Scotland has ever had, offering northern Scotland an equivalent to the Californian gold rush. 25% of the European tidal energy resource is said to be present in the turbulent waters where the Atlantic and North Sea merge.

This week the huge reserves in the stretch of water between Orkney and the mainland, and the opportunities they present, will be detailed to industry experts.

Members of the British Wind Energy Association, which also promotes wave and tidal power, are on a two-day fact-finding trip to the area, starting today. They will be encouraged to work with local firms and public agencies, and to use Caithness and Orkney as a base.

Skylarks at East Heddle

I did a couple of hours tree maintenance down at East Heddle to day, 3 Skylarks for a while, 50+ Twite passed over, Greenfinches now seem resident. 240 Greylag around all day, 34 Fieldfare feeding with the starling flock were the first i have seen for a while.

Selkies are transformed

The myth of the Selkie, long thought to be Scottish in origin, in fact originates on the Farne Islands, a nature reserve off the coast of Northumberland — according to a North East solicitor, Colette Stroud.

The Selkie is a mythical creature said to be a woman with the ability to transform itself into a seal. Selkie's are able to transform to human form by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their Selkie skin back on. The myth has long been thought to be Scottish in origin, and is widely attributed to the Orkney Islands.

She said: "The Selkie myth can be found along the North East coast, throughout Scotland and Scandinavia. The origins of the myth are lost in time so I assume Scotland has simply claimed it for its own on the basis of no known facts. Since the Farne Islands have always been home to one of Europe's largest seal colonies, I feel it is perfectly possible that the myth originated here, and then migrated North".

The idea that Northumbrian myths have been hijacked and re-written is not new. Many experts believe Joyous Guard or Broomlee Lough in Northumberland to be the original site of the King Arthur legend.