Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter> includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather, flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. There are so many such graphics worth including that a separate "colour supplement" is created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop!
That fountain in front of Culzean Castle looked more attractive than usual on a very warm, sunny afternoon this week. Although the temperature rose only to 21C (70F) that day, the lack of wind and the sheltered aspect of the low garden area beside the castle felt a lot warmer than that - encouraging thoughts of a cool paddle!
Tulips are all but over but the fringed varieties, such as this one, are amongst the later-flowering kind.
The unsteady-looking young deer had been born only shortly before this photo was taken at Culzean Castle Country Park. It was still at the staggery stage when we first saw it, but a few visits to the "milk bar" and licks from mum soon got it going. It was doing a few skips by the time we dragged ourselves away. Mum was most unconcerned and continued to munch the grass most of the time. One of the staff commented (with a hint of justifiable pride) that it was the 10th calf this year - the National Trust for Scotland maintains a medium-sized herd of red deer in the country park.
Although there were a number of butterflies to be seen in the walled garden at Culzean Castle, they were too busy flying around to stop long enough for a picture! Even this Red Admiral refused to spread its wings and allow a picture of its more colourful upper wings. Still, the camouflage pattern seen here has its own attractiveness.
Growing against a stone wall beside the castle, these Osteospermum flowers created a vivid splash of colour from a distance. And close up, they are also pleasing to the eye, with their colourful centres.
Initially, I was taking this picture of the Wisteria flowers trailing down the wall but I soon realised that through the gate, it also gave a good impression of the long - very long - herbaceous border within the walled garden. The border is at its best in July and August but even so there were plenty of different varieties of Aquilegia and Geraniums to add a splash of interest and colour at this time of year.
The Iris is named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow and they certainly come in a rich range of exquisite colours. The sun was shining from behind these plants, adding to the brightness of the white petals.
Oystercatchers always look a bit incongruous with their out-of-proportion orange beak, strutting walk and strident alarm call. They look even more out of place in the countryside, far away from any oysters to catch - though many of them take up residence there. Their nest is usually just a depression on the ground - but the parents will attack anything that comes close - sheep will get a nip on the leg, for example. The tactics seem to have paid off for this pair of Oystercatchers as they had two chicks running around, looking a bit lost. Young Oystercatchers don't feed themselves and depend on their parents until they fly, about four weeks after they hatch.
If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page
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