The woodland walks have been going well with a group of 10 last Thursday enjoying the summer warmth that has eventually arrived – long may it last. Guided Walks are every Monday and Thursday, meeting at 10am at the ‘Hub’.
One of the Wintergreen family have been in flower in the Deshar and Milton woods as well as Creeping Lady’s-tresses, an orchid of the pine woodlands and the Common Cow-wheat.
The Butterflies have been out in force this week,this fritillary was seen just along from the yard on Bell Heather at the side of the track. Marsh Violet ,which is the caterpillars foodplant is abundant nearby. Others seen were the Ringlet which is fairly common,the Small Heath which was too quick for me and the Meadow Brown which I saw at Milton. Moths like the pineapple smelling Gold Swifts were looking for mates amongst the heather so to was the Light Emerald which blends in with its Cowberry surrounding,but not as good as the Riband Wave Moth who used the Lichen.
The film this week is of a piece of Scots Pine bark stuck spinning on a spiders gossamer thread highlighted in the sun,I thought it looked like another butterfly or moth.
When I explored the giant granny Pine which is lying down near the Kinchurdy track I found quite a few invertebrites which rely on the deadwood for their livelyhood.The Ichneumon Wasps lay eggs with their long pointy thing(ovipositor)into the larva of certain moths who look for the rotting wood to lay in.The longhorn Beetles take about 2 years before they pupate from the deadwood.which is vital for healthy woodlands.
The Roe deer are in their best colours at the moment as you can see from this Doe and Fawn taken at Loch Milton. Roe will bark to warn others of danger,this often gets mistaken for dogs! The lovely purple blue Vipers Bugloss is a coastal plant that prefers sandy ground. Its poisinous to animals and has a nasty spikey stem.