Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A wetland and two cliffs plates

Here's the last 3 months' plates.....

The first painting in the set is the last of the wetland flowers plates.
Plate 1:From top left clockwise we have, monkey flower, marsh cinquefoil, heath spotted orchid, northern marsh orchid, amphibious bistort and mares tail.

Following this are the first two of the clifftop flowers plate.
Plate 2: From top left, clockwise, the flowers are spring squill, the lichen -  sea ivory, eyebright,
alpine meadow rue and mountain everlasting.
Plate 3: From top left, clockwise, the flowers are scottish primrose, wild thyme, cat's ear, roseroot and autumn hawkbit.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Shore, dunes, links and dry grassland

Shore, dunes, links and dry grassland

                                                        Sea Bindweed

We were able to see how dunes and links were formed by following the plants and wildflowers that stabilised the shifting sands. At No4 this succession takes place over a distance of at least 150 metres whereby the shore sand is stabilised firstly into yellow dunes, usually with Lyme Grass, and subsequently into grey dunes which are often characterised by Marram Grass. At Eastside the process takes place over a much shorter distance and the three stages can be found over a width of less than 30 metres.

Our visit coincided with the first trumpet blooms of Sea Bindweed – this is its only location in Orkney and grows no nearer to the county than Montrose in the east and the Hebrides in the west. By contrast the Lesser Meadow-rue was at its best and over the years I have never seen it looks so well. It is an understated plant and one which occurs only on South Ronaldsay, Sanday and Deerness.

                                              Lesser Meadow-rue

Shore: Orache, Sea Sandwort, Sea Mayweed
Yellow dune: Lyme Grass
Grey dune: Marram Grass
Dump: Colt’s-foot, Groundsel
Cliff: Hedge Bindweed, Red Campion

Track: Lady’s Bedstraw, Yellow Rattle, Field Forget-me-not
Links: Lady’s Bedstraw, Eyebright, Red Clover, White Clover
Shore: Oraches, Sea Sandwort, Oysterplant, Sea Rocket
Yellow dune: Sand Sedge, Lyme Grass, Sea Couch
Grey dune: Ragwort, Angelica, Hogweed, Sea Bindweed, Lesser Meadow-rue, Red Bartsia,
                   Yarrow, Spear Thistle, Smooth Sowthistle, Creeping Thistle, Eyebright, Bird’s-foot Trefoil,      
                   Lady’s Bedstraw, Field Forget-me-not

Birds and invertebrates:
Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Large White, Sand Martin

Acknowledgements: thanks to Martin Moncrieff for the Lesser Meadow-rue images