"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

30 September 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!

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good" they say. And that proved to be the case here at the ruined gateway to Culzean Castle. I have tried on many occasions to get this shot, but the contrast between the stonework in the foreground (always in shadow) and the castle and sky behind always created an unsatisfactory contrast. But on this dull, grey day, the sky was not bright and produced an overall effect that the camera's sensors could cope with.

Colchicums are sometimes called "Autumn Crocus", their upright, goblet-shaped flowers looking very much like the harbingers of spring. The leaves of Colchicum usually appear after flowering.

In a visit to Culzean Castle Country Park in early June, I was fortunate enough to see a young fawn, staggering on unsteady legs, shortly after it had been born - see Colour Supplement 10 June 2006. I don't know whether this is the same one, though - the one I saw in June was the 10th one born at Culzean that summer.

Towards the end of the 19th century, a Professor James Lorimer took it over the derelict Kellie Castle in Fife and his rescue is commemorated by a inscription "This mansion snatched from rooks and owls is dedicated to honest ease amongst labours 1878". The castle is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland who have kept the building looking as it was during the Lorimer ownership. Unlike many a grand castle it looks like a family home inside - with toys and a rocking horse in the nursery and cooking pots in the kitchen.

The pictures selected for this "Colour Supplement" are often those that have been taken when the sun shines. But the recent dull, cloudy weather has meant that there has been a shortage of sunny illustrations. So here is one of the river Clyde, on a gloomy day this week. The BAE shipyard at Yoker is in the background with two (of three built) offshore support vessels for the Sultan of Brunei moored at the quay and HMS Daring being fitted out in the dock behind. The ship in the foreground is a Clydeport utility vessel that removes rubbish from the river.

This Red Admiral butterfly was enjoying the nectar from some Michaelmas Daisies (a variety of Aster) in the walled garden at Culzean Castle. By late September, the number of flowers still around for butterflies is becoming limited, so the late-flowering varieties such as Michaelmas Daisies are valuable. Michaelmas Day, on 29 September, is/was a legal Quarter Day, during which rents and salaries used to be paid at harvest time.

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

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