Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Sun 15 Jun 2008 Glen Lonan
Discovered some basic rock outcrops in Glen Lonan. Brittle Bladder Fern, shown here in the underhang of a dripping rock, was quite frequent, and there was a lot of Limestone Bedstraw, mostly not in flower but I finally found a bit that was, as shown on the right. Green Spleenwort and Globe Flower were among the other attractions, and some ledges had Dog's Mercury, a long way from its usual home of woodland or scrub.
After a fairly steep climb to about 400 m the land levels out and is dotted with small lochs. Lochan nam Breac Reamhra (the Loch of the Fat Trout) has Long-stalked Pondweed, shown on the left with its fruits on their long stalks (the green stems in front are Water Horsetail) and Perfoliate Pondweed, of which a washed-up piece is shown on the right, easily recognised as the leaf bases go right round the stem.
Fri 20 Jun 2008 Craobh Haven
At Craobh Haven there are three small islands joined to the mainland by causeways to create a sheltered harbour. I walked round one of them and found an imposing stand of Greater Pond Sedge. One of the botanical attractions of Argyll for me is the variety of large "pondy" type sedges; Skye was rather deficient in these. Purple Loosestrife was more abundant on the island than anywhere I'd seen it, so there's no excuse for this untidy picture. Also of interest was a stand of Bush Grass (Calamagrostis epigejos - no photo).
The web-spinning Depressaria daucella caterpillars were defoliating Water Hemlock plants. Thanks to Martin Honey for the caterpillar ID. The books and websites say it only eats the flowers and stems but these had eaten some shoots completely leafless.
This Broad-leaved Willowherb in deep shade had its leaves in whorls of 3, unusually. From the base the first seven nodes had whorls of 3 leaves, the next three had single leaves, and then the flower. The flower is normally mauve but white ones are quite common.
Couldn't get very close to these Lion's Mane Jellyfish - not that one would want to get too close...
Mon 23 Jun 2008 Kilmartin
The Nether Largie Cairns are among the multitude of antiquities in the Kilmartin area. They cover burial chambers and are spaced at intervals from south to north with the oldest one at the south. From the same spot you can see the more recent burial ground beside Kilmartin Church, which contains gravestones with carvings by local sculptors dating back to the 14th century.
An unknown leaf-mine on Goldenrod, a female Forester Moth on Marsh Thistle, and a young Sand Martin on a railing.
We had the leaves of the mud-loving Ivy-leaved Water-crowfoot
earlier in the year but here it is with flowers. Wild Strawberries provide
refreshment along the way for the hungry botanist.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer