Monday, 16 June 2014

The Wildlife of Druim Reidh-dhalach

With the longest day only a week ahead, it's frightening how quickly we are moving through the summer.  The bell heather is out across the hills, though it does seem to be early and still patchy, and....

....the first cross-leaved heath is in flower.

Some flowers are getting to the end of their year, like the lousewart which, having enjoyed a very good season, is forming its seed pods - from which, one assumes, it gets its other name of red rattle. By comparison, the bog asphodel, which is at its best in July, is either late or beginning a bad year.

With some of the wild orchids already finished, it's good to see heath fragrants still coming into flower.  We noticed this one because it seemed a deeper pink than most of the other local ones.

We're getting better at identifying our local wildflowers but we still come across specimens which leave us stumped, even after poring over two of our bigger wildflower books.  This tiny pink flower is an example, with what should be very distinctive, slightly waxy leaves....

....and this very pale blue flower - again, so small we were lucky to spot it - is another.  It's leaves should have helped.

Several of these large golden ringed dragonflies were darting around, but only this one was kind enough to sit long enough to offer a photo.  At least they're such a size that one doesn't have to get too close for the snap, while....

....the camera had to be very close indeed to get a picture of the only azure damselfly we saw.

Oak eggar caterpillars seem to like sunbathing on exposed rocks, usually a risky business.  Either their hairiness or their warning colours must deter potential predators.  We see a fair number of these caterpillars - not surprising really, since one of their main foods is heather.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely set of pictures. Definitely worth the view in full screen, they come alive. Thanks.