Thursday, 26 December 2013

After the Storm

The Christmas Eve storm had abated but there was still a brisk wind and lively sea as the waves rolled in to Largo Bay on Christmas Day. Taken from the far east end of the bay looking towards Largo Law.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Scallop Shell Colour Variation

My favourite shells are those of the various scallops, particularly the small delicate ones. These, all between 3 and 4 cms across, were collected on the beach between Lundin Links and Lower Largo. They vary in colour from a pale creamy peach through reds to black.
The colour variation may be due to environmental conditions. For example, chemical reactions deep in the sand produce iron sulphide which is black in colour and it is this which can cause black colouration. However, genetic factors may also be involved.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

High Cloud Patterns

Some quite spectacular cloud patterns over Lundin Links this morning. In the photo above the moon is just visible. Not sure of the type of cloud, possibly altocumulus.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hips and Haws

Hips and haws make splashes of colour on an Autumn day. Above the hips of a dog rose on the Massney Braes in Lundin Links.
The much larger rounder hips of Rosa rugosa at the top of the footpath to Lundin Golf Club car park.

A hawthorn tree on the old railway track in Lower Largo absolutely festooned with berries (haws).

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Changing Skyline

A giant wind turbine being constructed close to the Fife Energy Park in Methil. It will be the largest wind turbine in Scotland and at 196 metres, the structure will be taller than the Blackpool Tower, London Eye and the capital’s Gherkin building. Closer to home it will be taller than the highest spars of the Forth Road Bridge.

There is already a wind turbine in Methil and viewed from Lundin Links can see how much bigger the new one will be.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Broken Mussel Shell

Sometimes something quite common on the beach catches my attention, like this broken piece of mussel shell. I think it's just the way the outer black coating of the shell has worn away, leaving various colours and patterns behind.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mushrooms Amongst the Ivy

An impressive number of mushrooms growing on an old ivy-covered tree stump at the side of the path in the Serpentine Walk. Not sure of the identification. Possibly honey fungus (Armillaria mellea) or a similar Armillaria species.
There was a lot of similar coloured mushrooms in the surrounding area.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Heart and Head Holey Stones

There is a particular part of the beach between Lundin Links and Lower Largo, where if tide and sand conditions are right, can find stones with holes in them. These holes are naturally made by rock boring molluscs such as a piddock. This heart shaped stone is one of the most unusual that I've found.
Would have thought it impossible for a stone to look startled, until I saw this one on the beach. Note all the tiny barnacles on the top of the stone and the surrounding rocks.
The two holes in this little stone immediately suggest a face. A slight case of pareidolia.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Two Fungi - One Large, One Small

Large mushroom at the base of one of the prominent beech trees in the Serpentine Walk. I think that this is probably an example of giant polypore (Meripulis giganteus).
Probably wouldn't have noticed these tiny mushrooms, growing in a dark little gully in the Serpentine Walk, except that there were so many of them - literally hundreds of them. Not sure of the identification. Because of the huge number, could possibly be fairies' bonnets (Caprinus disseminatus).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay.

Osprey Sculpture at Spey Bay.
On our recent holiday on Speyside paid a visit to the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay. Unfortunately, it was cold and windy and not a great day for wild life watching. However, the centre was still well worth a visit, with a good exhibition area, shop and cafĂ©.
I particularly liked the sculptures and art-work surrounding the centre.

Scallop shells decorating a wall.

Couldn't resist this little dolphin wood carving in the shop. The base is particularly interesting, as it is formed from a parasitic plant, a mushroom-like growth that imbeds itself into the bark of a chinaberry tree and gets its nourishment from the sap. The tree is native to Asia. These parasitic growths are so hard and dense that they don't decay when the tree is dead and rots away. The growths can be picked up and carved. Bali is well-known for these carvings.
The underside of the base showing the mushroom-like structure.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Telford's Bridge at Craigellachie

At the end of the walk from Aberlour to Craigellachie on the Speyside Way, it was well worth the effort of making the short detour to go and take a closer look at Thomas Telford's fine, elegant bridge.

The approach to the bridge.

The bridge was a symbolic setting for the amalgamation of two regiments.

Monday, 23 September 2013

From Aberlour to Craigellachie on the Speyside Way

The next day walked from Aberlour to Cragellachie. Shortly after leaving Aberlour the Way opens out to give fine views of the Spay.
Some of the leaves were getting their Autumn colour.                                   
The approach to a tunnel.
Light at the end of the tunnel.

 Telford's bridge at Craigellachie.
Fine view of the Spey from Craigellachie.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

From Carron to Aberlour on the Speyside Way

Staying at Grantown-on-Spey, decided to walk some short stretches of the Speyside Way, which runs from  Aviemore to Buckie, much of the way using the old Speyside railway track. The station at Carron is no longer there, but the little ornamental train is a reminder of the past.
Part of the old Imperial Distillery buildings at Carron. Most of the old buildings have been pulled down but a new distillery is being built.
 The sign is still standing at the disused railway halt.
 Road bridge over the old railway track.
 Devil's bit scabious was still flowering.
 Glimpses of the Spey between the trees.
 Bridge across the Spey approaching Aberlour
The old railway station at Aberlour.