Monday, 23 June 2008

I Know a Bank.....

A bank of Wild Thyme on the Massney Braes just above the foreshore in Lundin Links. The yellow of Biting Stonecrop can be seen top left of the photo.

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows.
Willliam Shakespeare - A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Saturday, 21 June 2008


Heron amongst the kelp at low tide. In the background there is a cormorant on the rock.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Welsh Poppy

Welsh Poppy - Meconopsis cambrica

The bees love these Welsh poppies. They have nice open flowers with lots of pollen. Can see this bee's pollen sac very clearly. In some ways the Welsh poppies are a nuisance, seeding themselves everywhere, but they brighten up the garden and are obviously a good nectar plant. They have different seed pods to the red poppies, the seeds escaping from the ridges at the side, rather than the top of the seed capsule

Monday, 16 June 2008

A heaven in a Wild Flower

Marsh Orchid - Dactylorhiza sp. growing on the disused railway track, Lower Largo.
I do love these small orchids. I spotted a couple of these yesterday at the side of the old railway track. I think it is a marsh orchid, but the Dactylorhiza species hybradize freely, which makes exact identification difficult.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour.
William Blake.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Flowers in Bloom - Mid June

Alliums- purple sensation

Oriental Poppy

Flowers in Bloom
Wallflower - perrenial and biennial
Hellebores (3 different)
French Lavender
Primulas - various
Welsh poppies
Oriental poppies
Jacobs ladder
Hardy geraniums
French lavender

Thursday, 12 June 2008


Viper's-bugloss - Echium vulgare
Vipers-bugloss is a very handsome plant that makes a splash of blue. The flowers are pink in bud, but vivid blue when open. The plant was once used as a cure for snake-bite, hence its common name.
A bright blue patch of viper's-bugloss growing on the bank beside the road going up to Lundin Golf Club. It prefers a light sandy soil.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Eider Ducklings

Female eider ducks with their ducklings swimming round the pier at Lower Largo. Female eider ducks operate a kind of creche system, and team up to share the work of rearing the ducklings. There are also mallard ducklings about. Sadly, as I feared the pair of swans that were nesting just upstream from the harbour on the banks of the Keil Burn were not successful. The nest was in the wrong place, and was underwater at high tide. They eventually abandoned their attempts.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Garden Visit - Upper Largo

The garden at Strathairly House near Upper Largo was open to the public on Saturday. This was the first time the garden had been open under Scotland's Garden scheme. Swans were nesting on the bank of the lake.

Lovely marginal plants round the lake - buttercups and ragged robin

Irises on the bank, contrasting with the buttercups.

Visitors in the sunshine enjoying the planting in the walled garden. Largo Law is in the background

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Stranded Jellyfish.

Every so often. usually on a hot day come across stranded jellyfish on the beach, sometimes in great numbers. Being nearly all water, they soon dry out so that almost nothing is left.

Book Reviews

The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon
Donna Leon's books pull no punches when describing Italian public life and how difficult it is to get beyond the institutionalisd lethargy and corruption. Having read nearly all of them, I feel that I almost know Venice intimately.

The Burning Girl by Mark Billington
This is a very dark book. The only redeeming feature is that there is a certain amount of black humour in it. I have now read all of the series featuring Tom Thorne, apart from the last one.

Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope
Another aga saga by Joanna Trollope. Still very readable. This one reminded me of Maeve Binchy's style. More about a group of people thrown together, rather than the dynamics of family life.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A Bank of Poppies

A colourful bank of oriental poppies at the side of the road up to Lundin Golf Club.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Found this sea-urchin on the beach today. I think it is the green sea urchin - Psammechinus miliaris. It was stranded on the beach, so not sure whether it was dead or alive. They feed on young barnacles and sea-squirts.

This is the outer casing or test of the edible sea-urchin - Echinus esculentus. I found this one on Lower Largo beach many years ago. At that time there were a lot of these on the beach at Largo Bay, not many whole but a lot of broken ones, but it's a long time since I've even seen a small fragment.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

June Birdwatch

Robin 1
Wood pigeon 2
Dunnock 1
Blue tit 1
Great tit 1
House sparrow - male 2
House sparrow - female 2
House sparrow - juvenile 1
Starling 5
Chaffinch - male 1
Blackbird 1
Collared doves 2
Crow 2

Frenzied feeding activity from the birds at the moment, particularly the sparrows and starlings. Young sparrows nearly as big as their parents, still asking to be fed in characteristic fluttring pose. There is a great deal of screeching and diversionary tactics when the crows are nearby. It's almost as if the crows are waiting for the young fledglings to leave the security of the nest.
The swallows are still swooping overhead, hoovering up the insects, and also sitting on the telephone wires.