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Rainy Day Transformation in Village Bay

4 September 2013

It's a bit rainy today. All that water has caused an amazing transformation in Village Bay with many of the watercourses full to bursting.Rainy Day 1: A waterfall on the Abhainn Mor above Lag Aitimir
This waterfall was so white it was almost shining through the mist.
Usually there is just a peaceful little burn in the bottom of this steep ravine but today the Abhain Mor (meaning the Big River in Gaelic) was deserving of its name.Rainy Day 2: Abhainn Mor from Head Dyke

 Half way down Village Bay the Abhainn Mor has submerged a small ford and created a spectacular waterfall.Rainy Day 3: Waterfull halfway down the Abhainn Mor 

At the bottom of the burn the spate has turned the wall of the the Fire Pond into a weir. Rainy Day 4: The Fire Pond overflowingIt's not just natural watercourses that are full at the moment - many of the drains and watercourses made by the St Kildans are also working hard - here An t-Sruthan crosses the street through a 19th century culvert.Rainy Day 5: An t-Sruthan where is crosses the street
 Another man-made or man-altered watercourse is the Abhainn Ilishgil - usually known as the 'Dry Burn'. It was far from it today! Rainy day 6: Upper stretch of the Abhainn Ilishgil from the bridge
The upper stretch shown above drains An Lag Bho'n Tuath a large, bowl-like Corrie just up the hillside.
Rainy Day 7: Lower Stretch of the Abhainn Mor from the RoadThe Abhainn Ilishgil was roaring down past the base and under the only original St Kildan bridge. Finally all the water from the hillside disgorges through the Sea Dyke and onto the boulder terrace on the beach.
Rainy Day 8: The Outflow of the Abhainn ilishgul through the Sea Dyke
Flash floods are common on St Kilda and are only likely to get worse as we go into winter - Village bay is criss-crossed with drains, culverts, and underground watercourses which the St Kildans ingeniously used to control this problem.

The weather should improve tomorrow when we should get one of our last groups of tourists for the season - I'm really interested to see how quickly the Abhainn Ilishgil goes back to its usual bone-dry condition!

Àrsair Hiort/ St Kilda Archaeologist

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