"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

23 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!

Last week's Colour Supplement included "Jacquenetta", an unusual, double (triple?) snowdrop with green markings at Cambo Estate in Fife. This snowdrop has similar characteristics and has an aristocratic name of "Lady Beatrix Stanley". This is one of many named varieties in the walled garden at Colzium Estate in North Lanarkshire.

With spring advancing quickly at the moment, I thought it would be best to cover snowdrops in this issue - some may still be in bloom in future weeks, but there will be a succession of other spring flowers pushing for inclusion! This one is called "Magnet" and it is also from the walled garden at Colzium Estate in North Lanarkshire.

Culzean Castle and the main visitor centre are not open at this time of year - but the Culzean Country Park is open all year round. Many visitors to Culzean are surprised to find date palms growing in front of the castle - Scotland is on the same latitude as Labrador, after all. But such trees are quite common on the west coast of Scotland, where the effect of the warm water of the Gulf Stream has most impact.

A couple of weeks ago I came across a single Camellia flower - but the Camellia bushes at Culzean were covered in glorious pink and red blooms - though much of the red in the background to this graphic comes from berries on a neighbouring tree.

Last summer, the Osteospermum plants in front of Culzean Castle produced a profusion of blooms all summer long. There were still blooms to be seen in November. I have not previously been down to Culzean in February - so I was most surprised to find the new season's Osteospermum already opening up.

Mallards have been domesticated for centuries, to provide meat during the winter. During that time, many different plumages have been evolved, ranging from black to white (with various permutations in between). This white one seems to have settled in with the resident Mallards on the Swan Pond at Culzean. It seemed able to look after itself - chasing off other less aggressive Mallards in order to get any bread being provided by us humans!

Robins always look so cheeky and bold - and this one was no exception!

Culzean Country Park provides many woodland walks - this one is along the cliffs above the sea, between the Swan Pond and the Castle. Along the way, visitors can admire the Snowdrops at this time of year, or drop in to the Powder Store (no longer full of gunpowder), the Ice House (also not needed these days) and the battery of canons overlooking the sea.

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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