"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

22 July 2006

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!

This pretty wild flower goes by the name of "Bird's-foot Trefoil". It's a member of the clover and pea family. It was spotted at Dobbies Garden Centre on the edge of Stirling. You might ask why a wild flower was growing in a garden centre. But in addition to the plant sales area, the company has created a large section beside the river Forth, which has been given over to wild plants, animals and insects. They have deliberately planted flowers such as Bird's-foot Trefoil which are attractive to butterflies. A Heron regularly flies in to feed in a man-made stream (which this year has produced a large number of frogs - a tasty snack for a Heron).

The Dobbies Garden Centre's efforts to grow plants that are attractive to butterflies certainly succeeded as far as this Small Tortoiseshell is concerned. Although very colourful on the upper wings, this butterfly has a dark camouflaged underside, which it tends to display while feeding.

The temperatures in Stirling on Monday, when these pictures were taken, were in the high 70s Fahrenheit (around 26C) and the bees were busy gathering nectar. This one - with large, red pollen baskets on its hind legs - was working hard on a Scabious flower.

A green cow? Well, yes. This topiary version was "chewing the cud" in the sunshine at Dobbies Garden Centre. You can see Ben More in the distance, to the left of the tree.

A view of the tranquil river Forth on that sunny afternoon near Stirling, with the mountains of the southern Highlands in the distance. HV Morton in his book “In Search of Scotland” described Stirling as “the brooch which clasps the Highlands and the Lowlands together”.

Bingham's Pond is just over a low wall from Great Western Road, one of the busiest arteries in Glasgow. For a long time it was a neglected area, but a pond naturalisation project was carried out in 2003 by the city's parks department. It has been transformed into a wildlife haven, with water birds happily breeding there for the first time and with damselflies and aquatic plants thriving. This Tufted Duck chick may have been part of a "second brood" - with the earlier family now independent. Young Tufted Duck look after themselves very soon after hatching and can even dive for their own food. Certainly, although they look like little balls of fluff, the two families of Tufted Duck on the pond this year were only watched from a distance by their mums. Dad Tufted Duck departs after the eggs are laid!

Glasgow's famous Sauchiehall Street was pedestrianised many years ago, allowing the shoppers to wander between the various stores without being concerned about traffic. A few years ago, the surface was re-laid and "street furniture" added to make it even more attractive.

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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