Monday, 28 December 2015

December Sunset

 One of my favourite views - sunset over the Forth taken from the pier at Lower Largo.
Shouldn't complain because it was nothing compared to the devastating floods in the North of England but Boxing Day was miserable in Fife. It rained incessantly for about 24 hours and just to finish things off we had a power cut in the evening, so it was nice to see some brightness and a lovely sunset yesterday.
Another view from Lower Largo.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

An Unusual Substrate for a Holdfast

On the beach at Lower Largo, a piece of seaweed attached by its holdfast to a golf ball.
Golf courses line the Fife Coast from St Andrews to Leven, so it's not unusual to find a golf ball on the beach, presumably as a result of a wayward shot from the tee. However, it's the first time I've seen one with seaweed attached.
A holdfast is a root-like structure that anchors organisms, such as seaweed to a substrate, which is usually a rock or large stone, but in this case a golf ball. Holdfasts are made up of many fingerlike projections called haptera. These secrete an adhesive mucilage thus ensuring a strong attachment to the substrate.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Moss and Lichen at the Falls of Bruar

The damp conditions at the Falls of Bruar make an ideal habitat for mosses and lichen. Mosses cover much of the ground beneath the trees and species of lichen cover many of the tree trunks and hang from tree branches.
A foliose type of lichen almost covering a silver birch tree trunk,
The ground beneath the trees is covered in moss.

Many of the fallen branches are covered in fructicose lichens, probably species of the genus usnea.
Usnea is very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulphur dioxide. It tends to grow only in those regions where the air is clean, and of high quality.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Falls of Bruar

On our recent short break in Pitlochry we drove the short distance up to Bruar. The walk around the Falls of Bruar is one of my favourites but one which we hadn't done for some years. Since there had been heavy rain in the few days previously, they were quite spectacular.
The view towards the Lower Bridge over the falls. There is a natural arch close to the bridge.
A circular footpath leads up to the Lower Bridge and continues on to the Upper Bridge, before returning down the opposite bank.

Here and there in the more open areas there was a light covering of snow,

The falls seen through the trees.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Pitlochry Dam

Pitlochry Dam, power station and fish ladder. Photo taken a week ago. Because of the heavy rain one of the sluice gates was open, to lower the water level on the upper loch.

Looked and sounded even more spectacular at night as the water roared down into the river.
Christmas lights in the main street through Pitlochry, the colours reflected in the wet road.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Falkland at Dusk

Lunched at Falkland yesterday. The weather was terrible, heavy rain and high winds, but it was cheering to see the Christmas lights on the fountain.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

December Skies

From a dark glowering sky the sun began to appear from the edge of the cloud lighting up the Pentland Hills on the other side of the Forth.

The sun lighting up the sand in Lower Largo

Spectacular clouds.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Pooley Bridge

One of my favourite trips in the Lake District is to take the boat on Ullswater from Glenridding up to Pooley Bridge then walk across the bridge and have lunch or afternoon tea in the outdoor café just over the bridge listening to the mallards squabbling in the river.
Took this photo in Pooley Bridge less than two months ago on a beautiful October day. So sad to hear that this beautiful 18th Century bridge has collapsed in the devastating floods in Cumbria.
A tranquil River Eamont taken from the bridge.
From the other side of the bridge the River Eamont flows into Ullswater.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Out in the Forth

 Three oil platforms out in the Forth at sunset.
One of the platforms brightly lit.
 The platforms viewed from Keil's Den
The platforms lit by the afternoon sun shining through the clouds. Perhaps they are parked because of the downturn in the oil industry, although this afternoon  I noticed that one of them had gone.

Monday, 23 November 2015

A Gulp of Cormorants

There are quite often a few cormorants sitting on the rocks opposite Lower largo Pier, but yesterday there were a lot more than usual. I looked up the collective noun for cormorants and found two - a flight (but these weren't in flight) and a gulp which I rather liked..
Some of the cormorants were in the water suddenly diving out of sight.
At the other end of the rocky outcrop one cormorant spreading its wings also some gulls and oystercatchers.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day

At the end of August this year, poppies at the edge of a field of potatoes in Lower Largo.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Sharing a Rock

Last week on one day there were two seals sharing this low level rock just off Lundin Links; the next day there were five. They were balancing on the rock, in typical banana shape pose. First time that I've seen them at this spot; more usually on the rocks opposite the first fairway of Lundin Golf Course, but these were on the rocks opposite the swings on the Massney Braes.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Season of Mists.....

The last few days a  misty shroud has fallen over Largo producing some atmospheric views. Down at the pier can just see the viaduct and out to sea just unremitting greyness.
In the Serpentine Walk the path disappears into the mist.

 Largo Law with its misty cap on.
Spooky trees.