"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

16 February 2008

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather and the seasons, plus the flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. This separate "colour supplement" displays some more pictures, in a larger format. Here is this week's crop of Scottish views!

Spring has arrived recently with a sudden rush, after appearing to be behind schedule. In addition to the usual Snowdrops and early Crocus, there are a few specially bred varieties of plants that normally come into bloom later in the year - such as this Cherry that produces a profusion of flowers at this time of year.

Winter Aconites (their "proper" name is Eranthis) usually pop up at this time of year, sometimes forming a carpet of yellow. This is a particularly attractive variety, with far more than the usual layer of single petals.

Cambo Estate in the north of Fife has a national collection of Snowdrops, with over 200 named varieties growing in the woodland area of the estate. Lady Catherine Erskine there has been a major supporter of the "Snowdrop Festival" in which many major gardens put on a special show of these heralds of spring. The particular variety shown here is known as "Jacquenetta".

Looking a bit like large Snowdrops on long stems, these Snowflakes (Leucojum) produce these bell-like flowers with green markings. Other variants of this bulb produce flower spikes up to three feet high while others bloom in the autumn.

With those markings on the petals, it is perhaps not surprising that this Snowdrop should be named "Grumpy"!

The gardens at Cambo have a wide range of Helleborus plants, with their cup-shaped flowers borne on upright stems. From a photographer's point of view they can be a nightmare as the flowers often point downwards, making it difficult to photograph the detail of the blooms.

Cambo Estate is near the coast, so after a pleasant walk through woodlands (with drifts of Snowdrops along the way), you reach the beach and rocks. That was where I spotted this Rock Pipit - though its markings allowed it to merge in with the rocks when it was foraging for food.

Towards the end of a sunny afternoon at Cambo Estate on Tuesday of this week, I took this photo of the stream and the woods, with the setting sun streaming between the branches. A fitting finish to an excellent visit!

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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