Monday, 27 February 2012


Two species of lichen growing on a wooden bench overlooking Lower Largo Pier. The yellow one is likely to be Xanthoria parietina. The other is a grey foliose lichen but not sure about identification, possibly Parmelia sp.

A similar grey lichen growing on a log in Keil's Den.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Solitary Blooms

A single daisy lifts its head to the sun.
Broom with one solitary flower.

Seed pods of the broom still present.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Mossy Tale

Moss and lichen covering an old stone wall.
There are many very old stone walls in Largo and Lundin Links which form a habitat for mosses and lichen.
Cushions of moss on the top of a wall. I think this is the wall screw-moss, Tortula muralis. The grass like shoots are the developing spore capsules.

Two different types of moss growing in close proximity. Not sure of the identification of these, the top onne might be one of the feather mosses. In the bottom right corner, can also see some of the small plant biting stonecrop - Sedum acre - another plant commonly found growing on old stone walls.
I think this moss is the matted thread moss - Bryum capillare - with its bright green spore capsules. Among the new, bright green, capsules there are still a few empty brown ones from the previous years growth.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tiny Treasures from the Beach

Often find small fragments of china, pottery and coloured glass on the beach and wonder what they were part of, where did they come from, who they belonged to. If only they could speak and tell their story.
A larger fragment from a piece of pottery - a little picture in itself.
I liked the markings on this little piece of quartz, which is only around 3 inches high. For some reason it reminded me of a human figure. I thought I could see a face, two eyes and a mouth, at the top. I have found out that there is even a name for seeing faces in inanimate objects - it's called pareidolia. We are programmed from birth to look for the human face so we recognise it in clouds, radiator grills etc.

A circle or square containing some straight lines representing the features is enough for us to recognise it as a face.

... and I also liked this heart-shaped little stone.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Silver Birch Bark

The bark of a silver birch tree in Keil's Den. 
Sometimes it's good to look up to the sky. The white branches of the silver birch gleam against a bright blue sky.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

From the Cambo Burn to the Sea

 The Cambo Burn runs through the walled garden.
 Ornamental bridge across the burn
 The burn runs through the woodland to the sea. Snowdrops blooming on the bank.

The rocky shore at Cambo.
Looking towards Crail.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

In Bloom at Cambo

A beautiful day to go to Cambo to enjoy the snowdrops, one of the highlights of the early spring in Fife. Snowdrops line both sides of the path down to the sea.

A mixture of aconites and snowdrops
A colourul patch of crocus.
 Crocus bulbs naturalised in the grass.
A witch hazel in flower in the Winter garden.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Under the Overhang

Breadcrumb Sponge Coating Rock.
At the beach between Lundin Links and Lower Largo there are a series of parallel rock outcrops which are inclined towards the East creating overhangs. These provide shelter for a variety of sea creatures. Best seen at low tide, many of the rocks in the lower shore are covered in breadcrumb sponge (Halichondria panicea).
Above is a sea lemon (Archidorus pseudoargus). This one was quite large, about the size of an actual lemon. Sea lemons feed on breadcrumb sponge. Can see the rosette of gills at one end.
 A cluster of eggs, probably whelk eggs.
A sea anemone (Actinia equina), tentacles withdrawn.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Yellow Brain Fungus

I think this is Yellow Brain Fungus (Tremella mesenterica). It was growing on a fallen branch in the Serpentine Walk. It is a very bright yellow fungi that grows on dead and decaying fallen branches of deciduous trees, especially oak, beech, and hazel.  It develops folds, which do look a bit like the structure of a brain, which gives it its name. It is also sometimes referred to as Witch's Butter. It is most noticeable after wet weather.
Another example a little further on in the Serpentine Walk.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Lymington Interlude

Swans, mallards and gulls making a swoop for some food that had been thrown to them from the harbour pier at Lymington. Notice the ice at the edge of the water.
Down to the South Coast of England for a family get together. There was a severe frost but it was a sparkling day and the Lymington Marina looked lovely.

Two swans by the pontoon and can see the Isle of Wight ferry in the background.
The ferry sets off for the Isle of Wight.
Very icy but no snow in Lymington, however, as we travelled back North in the train there was a good covering through Oxford, Reading and the Midlands. Photo was taken from the train window.