Friday, 11 September 2015

Lochan Tom Mhic Iain

The lochan could have been called Lochan Mhic Iain - MacIain's lochan - but instead it's named after the hill to the left in this picture, Tom Mhic Iain, tom meaning knoll. It wasn't recorded as Lochan Tom Mhic Iain in the 1872 6" OS map but as Lochan Dhonuill Duibh, which I take to be Black Donald's lochan.

Whatever it's called, it was beautiful when we visited it a week or so ago, with half its surface covered in waterlilies. These are white waterlilies, nymphaea alba, which are described.... growing in nutrient-poor waters, though these were being fertilised by numerous flying ants which were drowning all around them.

On the margins of the lochan we found a lone emerald damselfly, a female - the male is easily recognised by its startlingly blue eyes.

Also along the lochan's margins we came across a pair of late-flying six-spot burnet moths making sure that, despite the dismal year they must have had, there will be six-spot burnets flying again in 2016.

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