Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Last of the wildflower walks
We had our last wildflower walk of the season on Saturday 20th August. The classes had been looking at Orkney's various habitats and today's turn meant that we would be heading off into the hill to look at 'heath' and 'dale'. Our journey into the hill took us along the Bigswell Road which was lined with the lilac flowers of Devil's-bit Scabious. It really seems to have had a sudden blossoming in Orkney in the last two weeks.
Our route took us alongside the Burn of Russadale and up to the quarry. The hill was at its colourful best with Ling and Bell heather covering the slopes. The 'dale' still looked lush with swathes of Rosebay Willowherb and patches of Valerian still in flower. The large round leaves of Water Avens were still very obvious but most of the flowers had seeded. We found a couple of clumps of Blaeberry heavy with fruit. At the quarry the little clusters of Fairy Flax had lost their white bonnets and been replaced with brown round seed heads.
Blaeberry heavy with berries
Water Avens - seeding; Devil's-bit Scabious
Fairy Flax - 14 days ago
The same patch of Fairy Flax 14 days later