Dead Man’s Fingers

Foxglove

One of our largest wild flowers which you can see now is the Foxglove which is predominately purple but white also as in the photo. Their name comes from the folklore that bad fairies gave the flowers to foxes to put on their feet to soften their tread, must work as I don’t see a lot of foxes!   The latin for the flower is Digitalis Purpurea. Digitabulum means thimble in latin and the medicine digitalis comes from the plant as well, but beware the plant is poisonous, the juice is known as Dead Man’s Fingers.

Barred Red Moth whose caterpillars feed on Scots Pine

 

I found this moth settled on some cowberry leaves just at the back of Fairy Hill. It was hard to identify as this particular moth has various variations in colour. Its called a Barred Red or Hylaea Fasciaria and its caterpillars feed on Scots Pine trees.

 

 

If you are hearing what sounds like Herons calling in the woods at the back of the Community Hall it may not be what you’re thinking. I have more and more been observing four Jays,with difficulty I might add as these birds are very shy but vocal, watch for the flash of blue and white as they pass at speed.

Another moth hard to identify but I think its a Silver Ground Carpet Moth or Xanthorhoe Montana in latin.

Silver Ground Carpet Moth whose larva feed on Bedstraw

When out walking ,look for the flash of red in the Blaeberry/Cowberry forest floor, you might find this fungi which is parasitic to the Cowberry.

Exobasidium vaccinii fungus that parisites on Cowberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuckoo Spit

Every year people ask me who’s been spitting on the heathers? Well its not us but a wee bug called a Philaenus Spumarius !!! or Froghopper which is easier. Its also known as Spittle Bugs as they produce a foamy substance for the nymph to hide in protected as its very bitter to the birds.

 

Common Spotted Orchid

 

 

 

 

There are a few different Orchids out at the moment, one of the more common being this Spotted Orchid found in a group of three others in the woods at the back of the Hall. It is a species of marsh orchid and hybridises freely with the Heath Spotted/Early Marsh and Northern Marsh Orchids. So identification can be hard sometimes,notice the spots on the leaves and how pale this one is.

 

 

 

The film this week is of a young Long Tailed Tit preening himself. There were seven of them and activity was rapid to say the least,therefore I was lucky just to get this with my wee digi. It was filmed just off one of the tracks leading out of Loch Vaa.

long tailed tit

 

 

 

 

 

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