Monday, 25 February 2013

Beneath the Bark

The bark of one of the large old trees in the Serpentine Walk has been damaged at some point probably by disease leaving the tree prone to attack from insects and fungi to which it will eventually succomb.
Close-up photos of the above damaged part of the tree trunk showing holes probably made by wood boring insects.
In some parts of the tree trunk where the bark is no longer present can see the structure of the wood underneath.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cockle Shells

Until recently I didn't realise that there were several different species of cockle around Britains shores. I think that I have the shells of two different species here - on the right the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) and on the left the prickly cockle (Acanthocardia echinata). Identification from the shell can be difficult because the shell may be worn thin from time and tide.
On the inside the ribs of the prickly cockle are visible over the whole shell whereas those of the common cockle are only visible towards the outer margin.
In the prickly cockle the outer surface is covered in raised spines though these become worn in beached shells. To confuse matters further there is also a spiny cockle ((Acanthocardia aculeata) and identification between the two can be difficult.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

White Butterbur

 White butterbur (Petasites albus) growing amongst the snowdrops at Cambo.
Yesterday was one of the sunniest days of the year so far and a good day to visit Cambo to see the snowdrops. However, snowdrops were not the only white flower in bloom and the Cambo Estate had put up an interesting information board about white butterbur, which is a native of the mountains of Europe and South West Asia. It was first introduced in1683 but did not get recorded in the wild until 1843. It has now spread throughout but is more common in the North particularly in Eastern Scotland.
Information board. (To read click on photo to enlarge)
Meanwhile in the Serpentine Walk in Largo, the more common pink-flowered butterbur (Petasites hybridus) which is native to Britain is also in flower. In past times its large leaves were used for wrapping butter, hence its common English name. The genus name Petasites comes from the Greek petusos - a broad brimmed hat. The leaves can grow to almost 36 inches across.

In the above picture taken last July the butterbur leaves are flourishing on one side of the path in the Serpentine Walk. Later on in the summer they grew so large that they virtually blocked the path in places.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Transformed by Snow

We have been fortunate in having had very little lying snow this winter, but today it snowed  all morning transforming the garden plants and surrounding trees. It's likely to turn to rain by mid-afternoon.
Teasel seed heads with snow caps.

Snow on ivy. This photo taken of the ivy on the Massney Braes in Lundin Links after a light snow shower in January.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Waves Crash Ashore

Strong south-easterly winds blowing across Largo Bay saw some spectacular waves at the harbour in Lower Largo.

Waves swamping Largo pier.

Breakers roll ashore.
Foam covers the beach in front of the Temple car park at Lower Largo.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Bricks on the Beach

A lot of bricks seem to have found their way on to the beach and some of them bear the name of the works where they were made. The Wemyss Brick Company was situated locally in Methil. It opened in 1906 and closed in 1981.

There was also a Methil Brickworks which was open from 1908 to 1952.
Some brickworks were linked to collieries, the one above to the Balgonie Colliery in Fife.
The Pitfour Brick and Tile Company was situated in Glencarse near Perth.
If this one was complete I think it would read Dewar.
 Some of the bricks have fancy patterns.

All the above bricks were found on the beach in either Lundin Links or Lower Largo - small pieces of industrial history easily found.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Gull with Razor Clam

A gull attempting to open a razor clam as his companion looks on. As we got closer it flew off to the safety of the rocks with its prize.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Sunny Afternoon After a Snowy Morning

Woke up to grey skies and lying snow but by lunchtime the snow had melted and the sun had come out. The tide was out and the beach at Lower Largo was sparkling.
Looking back to the Crusoe Hotel.
Looking across the bright red sandstone and other rocky outcrops to Ruddon's Point at the East end of Largo Bay.

Boats parked up for the winter in the sunshine at the back of the Temple car park.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Faces in the Sand

Not every find on the beach is entirely natural. Apart from general rubbish there are often bits of brick and concrete, and sometimes they seem to be watching you.....
.....and laughing.
This bit of brick looks a bit like a red 'Gonzo.'