aerial image in black and white of a landscape of fields beside the sea, one field catches the eye, it has been harvested in a cross, the effect is suggestive of a giant st andrews flag

A found kiss

image above: Gunnie Moberg. From a print box titled ‘islands’.

image below:Gunnie Moberg 1979 from Stone Built

In this black and white aerial ophotograph, a huge stone X sits like a kiss at the end of a love letter on the rough moorland.


When Orkney writer Amy Liptrot saw Gunnie Moberg’s 1979 aerial photograph of an X shaped sheep shelter she set out in search of the stone kiss.

Andy Alsop, the pilot who flew Gunnie over the islands to make her remarkable aerial photographs, met Amy at one of the Gunnie Moberg Archive open days at Stromness Library. He remembered where it was roughly.

Amy and Andy scoured the west mainland Ordnance Survey Explorer map and there in the parish of Firth at the foot of Keely Lang was a kiss, there on the map, X marking the spot.



Amy found the structure in what she described as a beautiful spot and plans to write up the story. Her venture was rewarded with a rainbow as you can see in Amy’s photographs below.

Photograph showing the section of the stone shelter where the four walls meet in the middle of the X the part of the structure where the four walls crossA moorland heath with the stone wall, damaged in parts, running through the wild grasses. A rainbow arcs over a broken wall in heath land
Four images above: Amy Liptrot


Amy posted what she’d been up to on her facebook, generating a fair amount of comment. In the chain of conversation, Martin Gray gave the location of the circular sheep fold in one of Gunnie’s other aerial images.  The structure sits in Sanday, just west of the school. Clearly visible on satellite map. When Gunnie was making these images of Orkney from above we didn’t have the access to satellite images that we do today. She was the satellite, orbiting around Orkney and beaming back images.  

This aerial colour photograph is of a stone wall with an additional wall jutting off ending in a small circular enclosure.
image: Gunnie Moberg D135/2/442


Sydney Gauld (who works down the corridor at the Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre) is a friend of the Gunnie Moberg Archive, helping us out with identification of birds and flowers in Gunnie’s images. Sydney saw this aerial image below in the student exhibition ‘Response’which, by the way, is having an extended run to April 17 – and fancied having a go at locating it using satellite images. Well he did. It is Waulkmill Bay in Orphir. The white dots are birds.

An aerial photograph of grassy islets in a muddy tracked rich soil with dots of sheep microscopic.
image:Gunnie Moberg

Zoom in and you will find the location around the area marked ‘skaith’.

Maybe it’s the same bay in this Gunnie Moberg photograph?

aerial photograph of the white sweep of a shoreline with a black fine line of seaweed and a green expanse beyond
image:Gunnie Moberg

For more about Gunnie Moberg’s aerial photography click here.


One thought on “A found kiss

  1. Pingback: An antidote to indifference | The Gunnie Moberg Archive

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