Wednesday 23 June 2010
Yesterday I went a walk with my parents at Sanaigmore. We walked north towards Ardnave, although we didn't get very far as there was just so much to stop and admire en route. Like Malcolm, we saw many dragonflies and noted how they all went crazy as soon as the sun came out and, whenever the sun disappeared behind a cloud, so did the dragonflies! They, like us, need the vitamin D for energy.
It was a great walk and we were thrilled to see the Marsh Fritillary at last, though looking quite worn at the end of its flight period. We also saw large numbers of Small Heath and Common Blue, a Dark Green Fritillary and mum spotted the first Meadow Browns of the year.
Just as I announced that this was ideal territory for adders and my mum went 'oooh!' (not in a good way!), my dad cried out (in a whisper) 'There's one!' and we watched as it slithered away to safety in the heather. It had gone before I had chance to take a photo and before mum had a chance to see it at all, although, wearing only sandals, she wasn't too bothered about missing it!
It was mum that spotted the otter later on. It just took a peep at us before the Oystercatcher, the reliable sentinel, announced our arrival and it was gone forever. They must be able to hold their breath for ages as, despite watching for ages, we didn't see it again.
The area is awash with yellow at the moment and this is the Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), also known as Wall-Pepper from its peppery-tasting yellowish-green leaves. Superstition claims that, if planted on the roof of a house, the Biting Stonecrop will ward off a thunderstorm and, like many plants, it was considered an excellent medicine in days gone by.
I was also delighted to see the beautiful, delicate Burnet Rose.