Mainly about the wild flowers of Fife

Posts tagged “Himalayan balsam

Kenly Burn in May

After watching a hare running across a field, I walked down to the shore enjoying the spring flowers. The bluebells in the wood aren’t as “abundant” as they used to be, but the Marsh Marigold is hanging on even though its pool has dried up.

There was Sweet Woodruff and violets and celandine and a few late primroses,

There were Doronicums peeping up from below the path.

There were ferns emerging everywhere.

I found a pretty pairing of Alliaria petiolata and Honesty.

But – photobombed by an unwelcome addition, a Himalyan Balsam seedling. They were everywhere among the plants at one spot. I scrambled down and did some serious weeding. I would never normally do this, but there were no HB plants here 3 years ago, and I’ve seen what happened at Newburgh.

I came to the conclusion that HB encourages nettles, as each clump seemed to have a nettle clump next to/among it. Gloves next time. Oh, and I also pulled out a Japanese knotweed seedling.

I worried about why I was doing this, when there are great spreads of Dogs Mercury along the burn, blocking out all the other plants just as effectively. But the thought of the path at Newburgh seemed reason enough. I did a thorough job, but there are bound to be some that I missed or are still to germinate.

Down at the coast there were Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls to compare, and I noticed that the bluebells extend beyond the wood and down to the shore, in a faint blue haze.

I found some pink bells which seemed to be the genuine Hyacinthoides non-scripta, with narrow leaves and creamy anthers. Need to check this.

Further on, a little Wheatear. I had my lunch down where the rock with the ring is – there was a lovely clump of Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

View from the lunch spot was a rocky landscape.

I was intrigued by this patch of texture emerging from the sanded smooth surface of the rock.

I liked the way the lichen looks like a snowy cloth over the stone, draping beautifully over the edges.

The detail is fantastic too.

Coming back, the mossy logs looked quite different without the sun on them. The Dipper appeared. It was all so beautiful and green, and the sound of the water was the finishing touch.

(And the HB in this picture is gone!)


Oh what a beautiful morning

Up early, and I went along to Cults, meaning to explore the old railway track. But a road closure meant I ended up going along toward Burnturk, then decided to follow a path downhill.

Wonderful scabious flowers.

The path went through some trees (looks as if it will be good for spring flowers) and came out at
Bunzion. The barley fields stretched out for miles. No wind today to ruffle them.

The swallows were swooping about over the fields, with one sitting alone on the telegraph wires.

I walked along the main road to Pitlessie, then up Priestfield and back along to the car. Most of the flowers I saw there just a month ago have gone now – the mallow bush still had a few blooms, and there was one last strawberry to enjoy. But going up Priestfield, I was sorry to see the old Himalayan Balsam in full bloom, really taking hold. There was one white plant among them.

This is what it’s all about

The sun was shining and I was out on the coastal path and not at my desk – just what Wednesdays off should be. St Andrews to Kingsbarns, which puts the sun in your eyes but gets the hard bit done first.

It was this sort of a day.
rock at rock and spindle
So many things to look at. Chiff chaffs in a bush – they must be nearly migrating by now. The white-rumped bird, which obligingly perched near me on the sea wall at Boarhills, and let me see that it’s a Wheatear. Female eider ducks but no males.

Looking across to Angus, the light was pure Monet, September at Argenteuil. Transient. Ethereal.
the other side

At the rock and spindle, I noticed a washed-down patch of grass on the shore – wonder if it will survive the winter and start a sand dune? I went and deleted the picture by mistake.

At the rockslip, I noticed tiny primrose leaves. Further along were the fossil markings – are they trees? I was trying to see branches in the stone. And then there were similar little moss-filled depressions in a stone – also fossil?

fossil rock2

fossil rock
fossil rock moss
Interesting hole in the rock.

hole in rock

There had been a real high tide, and in several places the shingle had been washed up to the path, and new beaches seemed to have formed.
new beach
No Shelducks today, but I had my lunch sitting on the pink rock along at their bay.
lunch view 2
lunch not view
Mayweed in the fields at Boarhills.
At Kenly Burn the japanese knotweed is spreading, and further down the burn I found this.
himalayan balsam
Beautiful but sinister Himalyan Balsam – on the other side of the burn it has already spread everywhere.

Looking across the burn I saw a flutter and thought it was a bird – but when I got the binoculars sorted out, it was a red admiral butterfly sunning itself on the liverwort. Didn’t get a picture of the butterfly, but this one shows how the liverwort coats the stones.
shade and leaves

At the mouth of the burn I was watching a group of Mallards, when a fox came into view. I watched him lope along the beach, then up into the scrub. Beautiful.

The tide was right in, coming along to Kingsbarns, leaving marram grass roots exposed and knotted.
marram grass roots
marram grass roots 3

marram grass roots and sea
And some sand art.
sand art

And who knew Sea Sandwort had such long roots?
sea sandwort roots
Final treat was a flock of turnstones resting on a large boulder. And the noise of the sea over the pebbles.