STROMNESS, SCOTLAND (June 21, 2015) — I intended to explore the region around Stromness today as I waited for the late afternoon ferry to Thurso, but it rained continuously. Since I can’t afford to get my meager kit wet while traveling, I was confined to indoors activities, including visiting the excellent though small Stromness Museum.
The bulk of the museum displays are devoted to maritime history, naturally, but there is always some geology. This, for example, is a beautiful piece of labradorite (from, naturally, Labrador) used as ship ballast.
I was very pleased to see this small exhibit on the brilliant polymath Hugh Miller (1802-1856) and the fossils he collected from Devonian rocks in the region. This is his most famous specimen: “The Asterolepis of Stromness”. He was the earliest expert on the Old Red Sandstone and its fossils.
This afternoon I take the ferry across these stormy seas back to the Scottish mainland. I’ve very much enjoyed Orkney, cold and wet though it is.