The bad weather stopped for long enough to give me a peaceful couple of hours walking between Balmaha and Milarrochy Bay along the West Highland Way on beautiful Loch Lomondside, looking at the spots and the plants I’m monitoring. Spring definitely suffered some slowing. I’m writing this paragraph on 1st June and it’s a bit on the cool side!
Exploring seasons and seasonal change for my John Muir Award, ‘unseasonal’ seems a better word for what’s been happening in the last few weeks. There was a sprinkle of fresh snow on the mountain tops this morning. And right now, hail showers and very strong winds….
In recent days I could see masses of different wildflowers because so many of the early spring ones and the late spring ones were out at the same time. The bluebell is wonderful, lighting up the woodlands now as we go into June. I spotted a lovely little white bluebell amongst its more typical peers.
Red campion is looking great beside the bluebell and stitchwort near Manse Bay.
Resplendent, light-reflecting globeflower, part of lovely big patch beside Loch Lomond.
Water avens was a new find for me; it’s a lovely plant but my photos don’t seem to do it justice!
I’m getting more tuned in to wildflowers – part of the plan that’s guiding me in my John Muir Award tasks. Still lots and lots to do.
My oak tree, being monitored for the Track a Tree project as part of my JMA efforts, is causing a bit of anxiety: some of the easily visible leaves look a bit unwell/damaged. I wonder what the culprit is? I have asked some knowledgable friends and will try to investigate for myself as well. Oak trees support lots of other life forms – maybe a caterpillar has eaten this leaf, so that a bird can eat the caterpillar, so that a sparrow hawk can eat the bird…Here’s a picture of the damage. The tree is not absolutely fully in leaf – so probably one more visit before I can tick that box on the Track a Tree website.
These two photos to show a big change in the tree between 1st May and 20th May.
On my lovely last visit I recorded more ambient sounds as well as images of my ‘fixed points’ as I walked from one to another. It’s quite special to get to know an area a wee bit better and to enjoy greeting each place and plant!
One of my regular photo points is a little promontory of sorts, just north of Manse Bay. With five photos taken over eight weeks, I’m pleased to see the changes but I’m really looking forward to having a lot more photos over the coming months: I’m thinking about how I can create a short movie of these stills (and of other points in sets) and upload it here, complete with ambient sounds from the site. But nothing is as simple as it sounds! The limitations of my photos will be clear to all I would think. The three photos here are from 3rd April, 1st May and 20th May. The fluctuating level of Loch Lomond is as much a feature as the emerging leaves on the trees.
What of the other plants? The guelder-rose has really come into leaf now. Here it is on 20th May compared with just three weeks before.