Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Wed 26 May 2004

Just a quick evening stroll today.  First a couple of plants that caught the slanting sunlight, then two in shade.

Plantago lanceolata   Tripleurospermum maritimum

The Ribwort Plantain is very common in a wide variety of habitats.  The Sea Mayweed is also common, but only by the shore.  These were the first flowers I'd seen on it this year, and were the only ones to be seen among a large number of the plants.

Carex otrubae   Neottia nidus-avis

The False Fox Sedge is another seashore plant, but much less common.  It is one of a number of plants that aren't particularly coastal in most of the country but are only found around the shore on Skye.  Others are Skullcap and Gipsywort.  This clump of the sedge grows in a shady spot at the foot of trees whose exposed roots form part of the shore bank.

But if you really enjoy being eaten by midges, try photographing the Birdsnest Orchid at 9 o'clock on a late May evening.  It grows in dense Hazel scrub, but a ray of sunlight managed to find a way through to briefly light up the orchid's tip.  On 4th April I showed the overwintering stems, but today's picture is of this year's growth and is the fourth orchid species shown in flower on this site so far this year.