Mainly about the wild flowers of Fife

Up above Cupar

Catching up from a couple of weeks ago.

I ambled up the Owlets Wood path, stopping to listen to yet another invisible chiffchaff in the trees – but this time, I managed to spot him singing. Result. And of course, now that I’d seen one through leaves and branches, on the way back one came and sang from a branch just a few feet away, giving me a perfect view.

However, no pictures. Garlic Hedge Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, is much easier to photograph. This was the first I’ve seen in flower this year.

At the top of the woods, I found a squirrel’s dining table, complete with chewed pine cone.

I turned left along to the road, and stopped again to listen to an invisible willow warbler (in a willow tree). But no luck this time. I thought the track should continue on the other side of the road, going up the hill – but the field was ploughed. However, I kept going, avoiding the crop, and at the top squeezed through a fence into a grassy field leading to the line of beeches I’ve often admired from a distance.

I followed the path next to them just to see where it might lead – will explore this more another time. Then I backtracked and went up to the top of the hill. Most days there would be wonderful views, but the mist was in and the air was hazy.

In the uncultivated ground at the top, there was a spread of Corn Spurrey.

Also, lots of Cerastium glomeratum (I think, because of cluster of flowers in the flower head) with Speedwell and Red Dead-nettle. Somewhere to go back, later.

Then I headed over the grassy field (stopping to look at some moss, which I have decided isn’t Brachythecium albicans, but don’t yet know what it is, and spotting Parsley Piert with it).

There was a gate through to a path downhill through the trees, lovely with new leaves, and this took me to the track back to the road – not where I thought it was. I left further exploration for another day, and headed for the road. Found this mystery seedling.

And another.

Then I looked in the ditch at the side and there were thousands, all along it. The penny dropped – Himalayan Balsam.

Coming back down the Owlet Wood path, there were lots of one of my favourites – Three Nerved Sandwort, Moehringia trinvera.


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