"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

24 May 2008

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!

The pink on the outside of the petals of the apple blossom adds to the attraction of this "bouquet". This is just one small section of over a dozen apple trees trained against a wall in the gardens of Drummond Castle in Perthshire.

The new spring arrivals are now making their appearance, including these Mallard ducklings. Although the male and female pairs stay together during winter and spring, the male takes no part in looking after the young ducklings. The young are able to swim, dive and feed themselves soon after hatching. Which is just as well as their mother is likely to compete with them for food. But she will chase off any other birds which are threatening her brood (which can be as many as 13 youngsters).

Unlike the Mallards, both Coot parents not only look after their offspring, they work hard at feeding their hungry chicks. When they initially hatch, the female stays with them in the nest for the first few days and the male brings them food. Coots are often very territorial and violent fights can break out if a rival bird strays too close.

Chives are part of the Allium family so it is not surprising that this herb produces such attractive flowers. They are referred to only in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than as individual plants. In addition to its leaves producing a useful condiment, it is also has insect-repelling properties which can be used in gardens to control pests.

The formal gardens at Drummond Castle in Perthshire are at their best in the summer and autumn when the parterres are full of roses and colourful bedding plants. But even at this time of year, the Acers and Copper Beech provide an eye-catching scene from the sweeping terraces above.

This is the view of Drummond Castle from the gardens. The clipped trees and the low hedging along the paths and flower beds produce different views of the castle every few paces. King James IV gave the first Lord Drummond permission to build a stronghold on a rocky outcrop on the edge of Strathearn in 1490. The original tower keep was modified and enlarged (see the building to the left) but the lower floors are those built by the first Lord Drummond. The 4th Earl of Perth (the Drummonds moved up in the world over the centuries) built a mansion house beside the original castle (see the building on the right of the picture above).

The flowers of Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis) are usually a pale blue colour but "Victoria Mixed" has blue, white and pink shades. Each flower is less than a centimetre (0.75 inches) across but they are produced in profusion.

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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