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Published: 21 July 2017

By Andy Ross

Late summer in Shetland

The seasons change quickly up here in the North. What is the start of the summer heat in the south is already changing in Shetland. 

Ponies and buttercupsOur summer is short and everything puts on a huge burst of energy in order to get all the Important Things in life done. Birds are frantically searching for food in preparation for migrating and the larks which have filled the sky with their song are silent; no time for warbling on high! But this time of year is full of the most amazing colour as if to celebrate the summer sun. 

Last week, on the July tour, we had some wonderful days of sun, and one of misty rain. Even the rain brings a sense of mystery and romanticism to the isles, and the sight of puffins appearing and disappearing in the fog was a highlight. And the sunshine brought out the beautiful colours of the flowers and plants. 

Magellan Daisies - natives of South AmericaOur flowers tend to be small, except for the flag irises which hold their heads high above the burns. A little way from the studio the Magellan Daisies are in full flower, possibly marking the travels of someone who went to the whaling and brought back these amazing flowers from South America. The heather blooms are tiny but en masse they are bright enough to tint the hills with purple and pink. And this year the star of the show must be the wild thyme. Wild thyme cascades over the rocksOn the sides of the road and along the edges of the ditches the thyme tumbles and glorious mats of pink. Truly a stupendous sight. 

Here are some pictures from the last tour ,and from this week, of the flowers. 

A puffin sits surrounded by flowers in the fog.

Although it is somewhat a cliché, a puffin in amongst the blooms is always a goodie so there is also one of a bird nestling in the mist, and a macro to show off the tiny wild flowers that surround us.