Being a goosecounter on Islay means you get plenty of opportunity to closely inspect gates and fences and, to make the job even more enjoyable, you can make a shortlist of your favourite ones! There are about 23 gates to open and shut and open and shut again on the Oa route and, after a great deal of deliberation, I have chosen this one as my favourite. All I'll say is that it's somewhere on that route - to avoid a mad rush! My reason for choosing it as number one is the plethora of mosses and lichens adorning it. I wish I knew the name of all the species thereon, but one I am (pretty) certain about is the tiny red-headed one - Cladonia floerkeane. You see this often on peaty moorland, often at high altitudes. Here's a close-up of the top of the fencepost with aforementioned lichen:
admittedly not a good picture, so here's another of Cladonia floerkeane at a different location:
so just when you think there's nothing to see in this awful weather, you can go and inspect gateposts and come up with a shortlist of your own!
This is a blog of natural history notes maintained and moderated by members of the management committee of the INHT: Fiona MacGillivray, Martin Armstrong, David Webster, Andrew Kent, Isobel Freeman, Bernard Hannett, Danielle Vessey and Alistair Hutchison, and our Centre Managers, Mandy and Fiona assisted by Beth and Jenny.
We hope that many people, both those who live here and visitors, will contribute their notes and impressions of the natural world on Islay. Please send to:
Photographs, or even short video clips, are particularly welcome.
We look forward to hearing from you
Fiona MacGillivray, Chairperson
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