Saturday, 29 July 2017

Scottish Primrose

You may be familiar with my felt ball project - examples below - my latest is of the Scottish primrose, albeit at a larger scale than the flower. Hopefully we will find some on Orkney next month, where it is supposed to have a second flowering season! The idea is that the balls are made and then photographed in their natural habitat, hopefully with a specimen of the flower they portray. Note the bottom two photographs are of Xanthoria lichen and sea urchins ...both in situ.

Scottish primrose.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Potfest in the Park 2017

Some highlights of another splendid show at Hutton in the Forest, Penrith.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Parton, West Cumbria ...more beach finds and the kelly kettle.

A pleasant walk out with the folks along the beach at Parton. Lots of seaglass and sea pottery, two codd bottle marbles and a ceramic marble. Also a white-line dart moth - flapping around on the beach, which although common in Cumbria has not been recorded that often on this stretch of coast.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Summer moths in North Cumbria

Finally, a night where we could get the moth trap out without the risk of a rogue shower or howling gale! ...36 species and only 141 large yellow underwings!

Top left: gold spot; middle left: Lempke's gold spot; bottom: burnished brass.
Top right: plain golden Y; gold spangle 

Pebble prominent and lesser swallow prominent.

Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing.

Left hand column: dark arches; spectacle x2; lesser yellow underwing
Middle column: poplar hawk moth; swallowtail; scalloped oak
Right hand column: early thorn; drinker moth - female 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Sanaigmore to Gleann Tuath

A shorter walk today, but good none the less. Three hares; flint and pottery fragments; drinker moth; garden tiger; goose barnacles; harebells; stone and whinchats; peregrine and gannets.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Soldier Rock, Islay

From Kintra across to Soldier Rock - peregrines, buzzards and wild goats. On the actual rock there were 10 black guillemots, 30 razor bill, 10 guillemot, 2 shag and a couple of fulmars.

Walking across to Soldier rock there were both sand-digging wasps and hunting solitary wasps in addition to the species already mentioned.  

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Allonby art exhibition 2017

Well another year has passed and it's time, once again, to drop off paintings for the annual Allonby Art Exhibition. This year it runs from Friday 28th July until Monday 31st July inclusive. In addition to paintings I'll have a browser and cards. So this morning was spent hand colouring prints of Allonby. I hadn't intended doing a sunset over Allonby (the middle one below) - I just got bored of doing blue skies!

Colonsay day trip.

Off first thing to Port Askaig to catch the Hebridean Isles  to Colonsay - lots of sea gooseberries, comb, compass, moon and lion's mane jellyfish and also a good shoal of herring. On Colonsay walked across the strand (barefoot) to Oronsay and the Priory. Explored this lovely site - good to see the old crosses.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Machir Bay to Kilchiaran

Lots of ravens and choughs behind Machir Bay and eider ducks and chicks playing in the surf on the beach. Hares and  a calling corncrake; buzzard and peregrines followed by tea and cake at Rockside.

Julia Garner - Summer exhibition

Well the exhibition is finally up at Mae's Tearooms and Gallery in Uldale. Here are just a few shots of the show - thanks to all those that came to the preview - it was a very pleasant evening and thanks to Mae's for hosting the event.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ballygrant to An Claddach, Islay

We call this 'The guaranteed otter' walk and once again the walk lived up to its name! Lovely views of a golden eagle in a silvery light too. Burnet moths; dark green fritillaries; roe deer; speckled wood; red deer; greater skull cap; cow wheat; eggar moth; emperor moth caterpillar and seals ....the list goes on!

Kildalton cross, Islay.

Kildalton Cross is one of the finest early Christian crosses in Scotland, the High Cross of Kildalton, is closely related to three major crosses in Iona, St John's, St Martin's and St Oran's and dates from the second half of the 8th century. The cross stands 2.65 metres in height, with arms 1.32 metres across. It is fortunate the local grey-green epidiorite stone, a single slab of which was used for the Cross, is not only very hard rock, but also seems to be resistant to lichens for, although somewhat weathered, the main features can still be identified. (

After walking up Beinn Bheigier a quick visit to Kildalton Cross, with lovely blue skies! 

Beinn Bheigier, Islay.

The next walk was up Beinn Bheigier. Parked up at Claggain Bay and then followed the track up to the summit. Good views of a buzzard flying with an adder in its talons amongst other things!

Top left; looking up to Beinn Bheigier.
Top right; Claggain Bay
Others ; summit views.
Drinker moths; golden plover; emperor moth caterpillar; small pearl-bordered fritillary; heather; golden ringed dragonfly and fir club moss.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Gelli print patchwork

Three different patchworks from prints that weren't good enough in their own right, but combined they are quite pretty. Sorry for the poor quality pictures - it was a bit late to take them really!


New yellow horned-poppy record!

The next day was spent walking from Bowmore, along the coast,  to Laggan Point. The highlight of the day was finding a big stand of yellow horned-poppy which has since been confirmed as a new to the vice-county of Islay, Jura and Colonsay. The closest record previously was from 2001 from Mull and Kintyre.

Another highlight was the otter that popped up while stopped for lunch together with the usual seals, black guillemots, dunlin, fulmar, a juvenile golden eagle and large flocks of twite.

Eel grass and Japweed seaweed.

Monday, 17 July 2017

From Killinallan towards the base of Bholsa, Islay.

...and back to blogging the Islay trip ...This time approaching Bholsa from Killinallan. A walk of twenty miles plus a little. Lots of dark green fritillaries, common blues and meadow brown butterflies, common lizards and a dead ferret! Apparently ferrets are on the island - introduced in the 1980s but it was unusual to find one so far away from the two main (declining) feral populations.

Spectacular coastal scenery. 

Common blue, garden tiger, common lizard and dark green fritillary. 

West Beach, Silloth.

While I'm trying to catch up on the family's trip to Islay, I still need to blog today ...a quick walk out on a lovey evening.

....and Rocky enjoyed himself too. 

The Isle of Jura.

The next days walk was the classic Jura - from Feolin Ferry port north along the track below the Paps of Jura and then cutting down, by what we call the 'dragonfly pond, to the coral beaches and back along the coast to the ferry.

The views...
The wildlife....

The plants (elongated sundew and bog pimpernel)....

The insects ( six-spot burnets; golden-ringed dragonfly and speckled wood) ...

.......and the water.