Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Fri 19 May 2006 Broadford

Sphaerechinus granularisThe shell of the Purple Sea Urchin, washed up on the beach.  It was 10.3 cm diameter.  They are said to reach 12 cm maximum.  When alive it is covered with purple spines, but when dead these turn white and fall off; there are a few remaining in the picture.

Sun 21 May 2006 Ord

Taraxacum aggA sunny day, warm in sheltered places but chilly in the wind.  Parked by the shore and saw a Roe Deer bouncing away as I got out of the car.

This picture shows a bright clump of Dandelions on one of the shore rocks.


Potentilla anserinaSilverweed flowering on the shore at Ord, among stones of many colours.  There were very few flowers on it elsewhere so this patch was exceptionally early.


Luzula sylvatica   Luzula sylvatica

A magnificent clump of Great Woodrush, perched high on the coastal rockface.  The tree above it is a Rowan.  Zoom shot of the delicate Woodrush flowerheads on the right.

Cardamine flexuosa   Hymenophyllum tunbrigense

Wavy Bittercress growing in a rock crevice, seemingly too dry a habitat for it but there was moss around its roots to keep it moist.  Into the woods and found a wonderful bank of Tunbridge Filmy Fern, not mixed with Wilson's as it often is.  Here is a small section of it.

Ulmus glabra   Ulmus glabra

After exploring the woods went up the Ord River for a bit.  This Elm looks to be in leaf but actually there is not a leaf on it.  The green is all from the fruits.  Close-up on the right, including the still-closed leaf-bud at the end of the shoot with the fruits on.

Aglais urticae   Callophrys rubi

A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Dandelion and a Green Hairstreak on Birch.  Also saw the first dragonfly of the year, the inevitable Large Red Damselfly.

Unknown red organism in rotten wood

Anyone know what this is?  Could it be a Slime Mould?  It was in a crack in the rotten wood of a long-fallen branch, probably of Alder as it was under an Alder tree, though Birch was growing nearby.  I don't seem to have noted the size of it but the LH pic below shows it at a more normal resolution, with some grass for comparison.  In the LH pic below the piece above is on the right and viewed from the other side, so looking inverted.  The piece on the left in the LH pic below is shown in close-up in the RH pic below.

Unknown red organism in rotten wood   Unknown red organism in rotten wood

Inside it is solid and gelatinous, the same colour as the outside.  It doesn't smear but it does stain.

The Cuillins from the woods behind Ord

The Cuillins through the trees of Ord.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer