Skip to main content

The best kind of green

July means plant survey time in Aberlady Bay for me!  A weekly opportunity to spend the morning messing around amongst a significant percentage of the 600 odd species of wild flowers, grasses, mosses, reeds and sedges in this lovely nature reserve (the first in Britain when designated in 1952).  Some of the information we have to record is a bit too scientific for me, I just go along to help identify plants, and hazard a guess at the technical stuff!  It's a joy and a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to this on-going grassland survey which is being carried out by East Lothian Council.  

Some of the lovely things we saw on Saturday, a cinnabar moth on tufted vedge,
meadow vetchling amongst the red and white clovers
viper's bugloss, which is a magnet for bees and butterflies
Grass of Parnassus
and the tiny white stars of marsh bedstraw.
I was really pleased when the dark green fritillary butterfly stopped long enough, on a red clover, for me to take a few photographs.
 Nestling in amongst the pennywort, the bright little yellow flowers of silverweed
 and in this photo you can just about see the 2 metre square we were minutely studying.
Up behind us, on the hill, there was the parallel universe of the Scottish Open golf tournament taking place on Gullane golf course.  It was of absolutely no interest to me, but they did at least have a good day for it!  We've had lots of good days over the last month.  A real summer - hooray!
This is the kind of green I would rather be staring at, as opposed to a golf green.
We spend quite a bit of time poring over plant books, trying to identify different things, in this case, sea arrowgrass.
A beautiful place to be, with just the sound of the sea birds in Aberlady Bay, and as time goes by, the waves on the shore beyond the dunes.  A morning well spent.


  1. Such a small area to be studying when you see it marked out. Beautiful photos and I can smell the sea air, hear the bird sounds with the occasional mutterings from the disenchanted golfers (hee hee) xx Happy Days Mrs RW xx

  2. It's one of eighteen sites across Aberlady Bay. Once we have examined as much as we can in the 2m square we then mark out a bigger area in the same vicinity and do a general sweep to catch any other species that are not in our smaller site. Good fun and a glorious way to spend a morning!

  3. It looks fantastic...good for you xx


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Coastal walk from Gullane to North Berwick

By the time I have walked about four miles, my toes are screaming at me - it's the arthritis, you see.  One of the joys of being that little bit older than I was.  However, for a long time, I have been keen to walk along the beaches, and follow the coastal path, between Gullane and North Berwick. So, having worked out the tide times, I decided today was the day, and off we went.
Below is our starting point, the bay at Gullane.  It's a lovely beach, very popular with dog walkers. This is looking east, the direction Tilly and I were going to take.
Looking back, up the Forth, the unmistakable bulk of Arthur's Seat, and Edinburgh's skyline, just clear enough to see.
For most of the walk, there is the choice between wandering along a series of beaches, or following a path along the top of each.
There's no denying it, at heart I am a shell-seeker.  I have loads of shells at home.  We lived on one of the out islands in the Bahamas for a just over a year, a long time ago, and …

A vase on Bonfire Night Monday

I have another vase of wild flowers this week.  It wasn't my intention, but as I was out walking the dogs on Sunday afternoon I passed billowing masses of a delicate pink cruciferae (which I can't find a specific name for) growing next to a pile of logs.
Growing alongside were two or three plants of golden yellow corn sow-thistle.  It was a beautiful sight, and there was my vase!  The cruciferae, which has a flower just like rocket, also has the most fabulous seed pod.  It is positively exotic and reminds me of Aladdin's shoes, with very long pointy toes. The lovely sunny face in the photo below is a good old dandelion.  I love dandelions.  I love their rich yellow flowers and the complex and beautiful seed head.  Who hasn't blown a dandelion dock to find out what time it is?  And you can eat the leaves in a salad!

Long gone garden

Ihad about 23,000 photos on iPhoto, which, not surprisingly, has been slowing my MacBook down!  Over the past weeks, I have been having a massive cull and in the process siphoned off favourite photographs, and also I have been on a trip down memory lane.  There is one group of photos I am compelled to post here because for me they form a glorious record of my long gone and much lamented garden, at our previous house.  I have a tiny garden now, which I am enjoying, but in our last garden there was room for lots of joy.   

Regrettably, where there were tulips and fritillaries in the long grass, there is now hardstanding for cars, and I heard yesterday that my beloved lavender hedge has now been taken out, which is the final nail in the coffin of a place bees once loved to visit.  I am not sure that a static row of box balls is going to quite cut it with the pollinators.  I used to count up to one hundred bees, of various types, along the spires of lavender when it was in bloom.