Monday, 27 May 2013

Springtime Brings New Life

A female mallard with her newly hatched ducklings. She had eleven altogether.

Eventually she settled down with all the ducklings safely tucked in underneath her.
 In the mill yard at Acorn Bank a baby chick peeps out.
Saw lots of lambs in our recent trip to Cumbria, but these two caught my eye, sheltering in the ruins at Birdoswald Roman Fort.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Acorn Bank in Spring

Have made many visits to Acorn Bank, the National Trust property near Temple Sowerby in Cumbria, and a favourite spot, but nearly always in the autumn, so it was good to see it in May with the spring flowers blooming.
The orchard with apple blossom and narcissi flowering in the grass.
Beautiful colour on the trees at the entrance to the main driveway.
A bank of bluebells catches the evening sun.
Marsh marigolds also known as kingcups line the banks of the a little stream.

There were also forget-me-nots.....
..... and drifts of wild garlic.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Orange-Tip Butterfly

Orange-Tip Butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines)

I have often tried to photograph the male orange-tip butterfly but they are usually so active that I have never managed it before. Today, however, in the Serpentine Walk one, obligingly, was still just long enough to let me catch an image, even though it's not quite as sharp as I would have liked.

Earlier this week we were staying in Ravenglass in the Lake District and took the little steam railway into Eskdale; orange-tip butterflies were flitting beside the train all the way, so hopefully this is one species that is doing quite well.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Stormy Sunset

A stormy looking sky at sunset viewed from Lundin Ladies Golf Course.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Serpentine Walk Greens up.

In the few days that we were away to the West Coast a remarkable change has occurred in the Serpentine Walk in Largo. Suddenly spring has sprung, the trees have started to come into leaf and the grassy path is lush and green.
Just a couple of weeks ago (April 22nd) there was very little colour.
The flowers of the blackthorn arrive before the leaves.
The lacy flowers of the ash trees. Those in the Serpentine Walk look healthy at present.
 A primrose by the path.
Wild garlic coming out.
 The daffodils are going over but the bluebells are beginning to flower.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Hoodie Crow

The hooded or hoodie crow (Corvus cornix) is a species that I've never seen in Fife. I spotted this one whilst walking in some woodland near Dunollie Castle in Oban.
The hooded crow is closely related to the all black carrion crow, which until recently was regarded as the same species. The hoodie is found in Northern and Western Scotland (largely confined to the north and west of the Clyde-Dornoch line), Northern Ireland and on the Isle of Man, where it replaces the carrion crow (Corvus corone). In areas where the two species overlap there may be some interbreeding with hybrids showing a mixed grey and black body plumage.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Return to Oban

The Isle of Mull ferry approaching the pier at Craignure on Mull. It was a fine evening for the return journey to Oban.
Dunollie castle close to the shore at Oban.

Fingal's Dog Stone.
The monument on Kerrera.
The approach to Oban from the ferry. St Columba's Cathedral is prominent on the esplanade and McCaig's tower on the right of the skyline.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A Short Break on the West Coast - Tobermory

Boarded the Isle of Mull ferry in Oban for the short 45 minute trip to Craignure on Mull and then after a visit to Duart Castle drove up to Tobermory. I never tire of the classic view of the brightly painted buildings in the Main Street. Last year the Mishnish Hotel was painted black, but this year it's back to its usual yellow.

 Boats tied up at the pier at Tobermory.

A statue of a cherub in the main street in Tobermory.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Short Break on the West Coast - Oban

Visitors, who were staying with us for a short time were keen to visit one of the Scottish islands, so we opted for Mull staying at Oban overnight. Mccaig's Tower above dominates the Oban skyline.
There is a wonderful view from Mccaig's Tower. The above is a photo I took at sunset many years ago, looking across to the island of Kerrera  and beyond towards the Sound of Mull.
The Isle of Mull ferry returning to Oban in the evening. With the fine weather many of the passengers were on deck.
Looking up the Sound of Kerrera towards Gallanach and the Firth of Lorne from the shore at Oban.