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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Flowers at Doune

scabiousI’ve been to Doune at different times of the year,   In spring the foxglove dominates the countryside, in summer it’s the wild orchid, and in autumn the blue scabious, such a pretty little flower on a long bare stem, grows in profusion, among the grasses and the meadow hawkweed. 

scabious experiment

 grasses and wild flowers


scabious and stone

These two small photos were just experiments with my camera, but I think they turned out well enough.



This year I found one or two white scabiousesblue and white scabious that I don’t think I have seen before. The two together look very attractive.

This is the meadow hawkweed,not a dandelion quite like a dandelion but with a fine stem, and petals that are flatter at the tips, but still serrated .

 Of course being the middle of September, the heather was still in flower.  In fact even some earlier flowering bell heather was still in bloom.  It usually puts in an appearance in early July whereas the ling blossoms later, in August.heather and bogmyrtle2

Here’s some heather growing with some bog myrtle.  Bog myrtle is quite good for keeping the midges at bay, midges, for the uninitiated, being tiny mosquito type insects that can be a positive pain in the neck in mild humid or damp situations.  On the west there are millions of them – and even if they don’t bite (it’s only the females that do the biting), just their flying around you is enough to really hack you off!  Kenneth McKellar, a very popular Scottish singer of the latter years of the 20th century, wrote a silly wee song about the midges…. describing them as having teeth like piranhas, and a friend says that it wouldn’t matter how many you killed, there would be thousands more that would come to the wake!

heather and bogmyrtle

They really do seem to be particularly vicious on the west coast in summer, and those of you who, like me, are particularly tasty to the little….creatures, will be very grateful for some sprigs of bog myrtle around your person!  You can crush the leaves and rub them on your face and arms, or simply tuck a small spring behind your ears!  The little son of a friend of mine once heard his mum talking about bog myrtle and got hold of the wrong end of the stick.  “Why’s it called bog mental?” he asked,   and bog mental it has remained to us, ever since!bell heather and ling  That wee lad is now about 20!  

Here are both types of heather growing together.  The traditional Scots heather is calluna vulgaris, or ling, and a whole hillside of the stuff scents the air with honey.  In fact heather honey is really the bees knees of honeys, if you’ll pardon my little joke there about the bees!  Bell heather is named for its flower shape, its latin name though is Erica Cineria.

baby bracken and stonesUnfortunately, these days,bracken is crowding the heather hills and choking it.  It’s not ragwort that councils should be pulling out by the sides of roads, it’s the ever evasive bracken.  I didn’t have the heart to uproot this tiny little bracken though!  

 cinquefoil These are just a few more of the flowers we encountered at Doune,  cinque foil – from the five leaves - eyebright a tiny eyebright,like st johnswort

i don’t know the name of this one on the right, and couldn’t find it on the web.  Anyone able to tell me?red clover 

This is our red clover,left,and below is a very late flowering sea thrift.seapink

seed heads






I’m pretty sure these are the seed heads of a couple of  hawkweed flowers.to doune and back 361

No yellow flower but this is the silver weed, the undersides of the leaves appearing silvery.

It wasn’t just flowers I photographed. I also managed to get some photos of tiny toadstools like these orangey yellow one and the tall thin black ones.orange fungi 

to doune and back 703






black toadstoolsThere were lots of fungi around this autumn.

Well, this was going to be Flora and fauna, but I think the fauna has to wait till next time!  I’ve gone a bit overboard with the flowers. Anyway, hope you aren’t over bored!

Talk again soon.


Lesley Mason said...

You are getting so good at photography! Wonderful macro shots of the flowers. I will have to practice some more, you have inspired me. Thank you for all your great comments, I very much appreciate them. Hugs from Oz, Lesley

Katrina said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos! I haven't a clue what the unknown flower is. I tried to grow scabious in my garden but they disappeared. I didn't realise that there are two places called Doune in Scotland until I started reading Evee.

Rita X said...

Amazing macro shots! \With what camera were they taken?

Unknown said...

Your photography just gets better and better. I'm so impressed. These are beautiful flower shots. It looks like you had such a lovely trip!