Archive for March, 2014

Carabus and Apricot

March 23, 2014

Sounds like the latest food fad but is actually a summary of a visit to the polytunnel.  The apricot tree has been in bloom for some time but there are not many pollinators about so I am at it with a small paintbrush to help.

Apricot Blossom

Apricot Blossom

Down at ground level I found this ground beetle that looks like Carabus violaceus to me but I have sent an image to Richard Moore, author of The Beetles of the Isle of Raasay, as he notes in his book that C. problematicus is commoner:



Either way, it is a welcome predator in the polytunnel.

Endless Hours of Fun

March 21, 2014

Jim asked me to look at how to put an OS map behind a distribution map and after much effort today I have come up with what I think is an acceptable approach:

oralb OS final

However, if I were to do this for another vice-county, it is not obvious how I could transfer it to another vice-county recorder as it does not correspond to a file that I could copy and send….. and whilst I could detail how to do it, the objective was to produce something transferable.

Talk Tonight in Portree

March 18, 2014

Tonight (Tuesday 18th March) at 7.30 at Tigh-na-Sgire, Peter Cairns will give a talk under the auspices of the Skye Members’ Centre of the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This is part of our celebration of SWT’s 50th Anniversay. All welcome.

Peter Cairns -Poster for 180314

Beech Woodwart by the Arish Burn

March 13, 2014

I took a wander up part of the Arish Burn on Raasay today as a preparatory look before a more serious survey later in the season as there are hopes of putting in a run-of-river hydroelectric scheme. I found no plants that I hadn’t seen before along there but they included Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s-tongue), Polystichum aculeatum (Hard Shield-fern) and Carex remota (Remote Sedge). Various bryophytes had fruiting bodies already and the first of the Luzula sylvatica (Great Wood-rush) was in flower:IMG_2990a

Something new to me was Hypoxylon fragiforme (Beech Woodwart) on a dead beech tree:


Beech Woodwart (1)


Beech Woodwart (2)

Thanks to Dave Genney for the i.d.

A Beginners’ Botany Group

March 4, 2014

Steve Terry is hoping to start a Beginners’ Botany Group based in Broadford.  Anyone interested should contact Steve at