Thursday, 29 September 2011


A large piece of driftwood on the beach at Lundin Links. Looks a bit like a stranded crocadile.

Some nice grain markings in the driftwood.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sea Urchins 3 - Aristotle's Lantern

The mouth of a sea urchin on the underside of the test (in situ above), contains five sharp teeth, which form part of a complicated structure, which I was fascinated to read is called 'Aristotle's lantern' because it was first described by the Greek philosopher in his 'Historia Animalium'. I carefully removed the structure from the test so that I could take photos.
The view from above.
Side view of the structure.
The view from below.
Outer and inner view of an individual tooth.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sea Urchins 2

 Having found the outer casing or test of a sea urchin a couple of days ago, I was surprised to find another yesterday complete with all its spines still intact. The photo below shows the underside and the mouth which contains five sharp teeth.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Starfish Hiding

As I walked amongst the rocks on the beach at Lundin Links this morning, I spotted this starfish under a rock. Resisting the temptation to give it a poke, I watched it as it slowly emerged and then moved along the rock to tuck itself in again. Nice to see a live one rather than a dead one stranded on the beach.
Note also the mussels embedded in the rock above.

This picture shows the numerous tube feet on its underside which assist locomotion and feeding.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Sea Urchin

It's a long time since I've found the shell or test of a sea urchin on the beach in Largo. This was quite small only about 3cm. but the markings still as lovely.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Shaggy Ink Cap

 Shaggy ink caps growing in the Serpentine Walk close to the gate leading to the main road in Upper Largo.
 A young specimen with rugby-ball shape and smooth brownish apex.
An older specimen showing the shaggy scales. It is just beginning to turn inky black at the bottom.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Clusters of hazelnuts that had fallen off the tree in the wind, on to the path in the Serpentine Walk. The nuts develop from the female flower and are surrounded by frilly papery bracts. Here they are just starting to turn from green to brown.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Spider Wars

Not sure what is happening here - the small spider appears to be attacking the larger garden spider or is it trying to defend itself?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Art Amongst the Dunes

Sometimes people leave their creations for everyone to enjoy - this one of shells and stones on the Massney Braes in Lundin Links.
This striking sculpture of flotsam, jetsam and litter stands high on the dune between Dumbarnie Links and Shell Bay. I took this picture last year but I think that it is still there.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rosa rugosa

Rosa rugosa - The flowers are lovely and have a heavy scent which attracts bees and hover-flies, but best of all are the wonderful large hips in the Autumn.

There are several large stands of Rosa rugosa along the coast of Largo Bay. It is one of the few roses that withstands salt-spray and storms. The roses pictured here were on the path bordering Lundin Golf Club car park.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Comma Butterfly at Balcarres

I knew that comma butterflies had been seen in Fife since around 2003 but this was my first sighting in Scotland, although I had seen one in England in Shropshire. Balcarres Garden had an open day under Scotland's Garden Scheme and it was there that I spotted it on this origano flower. As well as the comma there were numerous peacock, red admiral and small tortoiseshell butterflies.

A hover-fly has also got into the picture here.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Autumn Fungi

Although I'm fascinated by the variety of fungi, I find it difficult to identify them even with a field guide. However, I think this is a shaggy ink cap. They are already starting to blacken.
This completely black toadstool was on the path surrounding Gaddon Loch. Really not at all sure what it is.
This one was at the side of the path in the Serpentine Walk in Largo. Maybe a russula species?

This fungus started off as a dome shape and then flattened as in the photo below. I thought it might be a parasol type but not sure.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Swans at Birnie Loch

 Swans and Cygnets at Birnie Loch

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Birnie and Gaddon Loch

Heron standing stock-still on a small island in Birnie Loch. I love the colours in the reflections in this photo. Birnie and Gaddon Lochs form a nature reserve in North East Fife. The reserve was created from old quarry workings.

 Looking over Gaddon Loch to the Lomond Hills
Nice Autumn colour in a young viburnum tree.