Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cirrus Clouds Over Largo Bay

Wispy cirrus clouds over Largo Bay, looking towards Ruddon's Point. Popularly known as mare's tales they are sometimes a forerunner of bad weather and tomorrow's forecast is not good!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Hedge Woundwort

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvetica)
A plant I had not noticed before but it seems to be quite prolific this year, perhaps because it favours damp situations. Since the days of the Ancient Greeks, woundworts have been used to treat wounds and stem bleeding. Modern experiments have shown that the volatile oil contained in hedge woundwort actually does have antiseptic properties.
A close up of the flower shows the attractive marking. The leaves of the plant give off a strong rather unpleasant odour when bruised or cut.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Searching for Butterflies

Common Blue Butterfly - Dumbarnie Links.
Presumably because of the wet, rather cold weather there has been a distinct lack of butterflies in the garden this year and even though there are many buddleia bushes in Lundin Links village, I haven't seen
any butterflies on the flowers. This morning, with the Big Butterfly Count in mind, decided to walk along the old railway lines to Dumbarnie Links, to try for better luck there. There were quite a lot of meadow browns, flashes of blue from the common blue, a few whites and tiny day-flying moths and also some 6-spot burnets but not as many as last year. Unusually no peacocks or red admirals.
Meadow Brown Butterfly on Self-heal - Dumbarnie Links
Meadow Brown Butterfly on Scabious Flower
Meadow Brown Butterfly - Dumbarnie Links
6-Spot Burnet on Knapweed Flower.

Small tortoiseshell on thistle flower on the return walk along the track
Not a very clear photo but I think this is a green-veined white, again on the old railway track..

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
An early 17th century introduction into Britain from North America as a decorative garden plant. It has since spread widely to become a common naturalised plant of waste ground and roadsides. The plant is increasingly being grown for its oil which is a valuable ingedient of cosmetic, health-food and medicinal products. The plants are at their best in the evening when they open fully and are pollinated by night-flying moths.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Serpentine Walk in Full Leaf

The trees in full leaf and lush vegetation in the Serpentine Walk in Largo.

Hogweed and giant butterbur leaves line the path.
Today's pictures contrast with the scene back in January.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Heron at Lower Largo Harbour

Usually the herons stand on the rocks opposite the harbour pier but this one was standing in the water.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Translucent Snail Shell

A small empty snail shell around 1cm. across
There are always empty snail shells to be found in the garden, but I've never seen quite such a delicate shell before. The shell is so thin that it's almost transparent and the slightest pressure would crush it.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Some Channel Island's Flora

Wall pennywort
As they are both coastal regions many of the wild flowers in Guernsey and Herm were the same as those which grow in Fife. However, this one wall pennywort or navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris), which was growing in profusion, occurs mainly in South West England and the Channel Islands.
Wall pennywort growing on fallen tree trunks on Herm.
A geranium species.
The purple geranium contrasts well with the orange marigold.
Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis).
 A stunning wild flower carpet on Herm of thyme, viper's bugloss, birds foot trefoil and hawkweed.
 Sheeep's bit scabious (Jasiona montana). I think that the yellow flowers are hawkweed.
A colourful bank of sea-daisies (Erigeron glaucus) and mesembryanthemums.
St Peter Port daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus). Plants were introduced into Britain in the 1830s from Mexico, as garden plants. The first record of it becoming naturalised comes from St Peter Port in Guernsey in the 1860s. It has spread throughout the island ever since, although is probably seen at its best on the walls in the town. It is quite frequent in the south of England.
 Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Two small ferns growing in a wall. I think that the one above is wall-rue and the lower one hart's tongue fern.

 Lichen covered rocks together with  mesembryanthemums.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Day-Trip to Herm

The boat-ride to Herm takes around 20 minutes from St Peter Port. It is a very beautiful island of golden sandy beaches, wild flowers, lush vegetation and well-tended gardens. 

Ferns and pennywort in the woodland.
Looking back to Guernsey over the statuesque echium plants.
St Tugual's Chapel.

Looking out to sea.
The court-yard.
Looking over to Sark.
One of the sandy beaches at Belvoir Bay.
Looking over to Sark and Brecqhou. Can just see the mock-Gothic castle on Brecqhou.
Another of the beaches.
A living wall.
A yacht moored at Rosier steps.
The ferry arrives for the return trip.
Passing Jethou on the way back to Guernsey. The island is privately leased.