Good Grief

My first long and hilly walk of the season yesterday and temperatures on Skye reached 26.7C according to the BBC. I am definitely not hill-fit yet.

I went back to Healabhal Bheag (MacLeod’s Table South) to see if I could find flowers on the hybrid Vaccinium that I found last July. I found the plants but there were no flowers, nor does it look likely that there will be this year. Drat.

However, I carried on into tetrad NG62B which had no previous records and added 67. No doubt later in the season I would have got over the magic 100 which would have made this a “well-recorded tetrad” by Atlas 2020 guidelines. Also, I had run out of energy and didn’t get to Beinn a’ Chapuill which might have added a few.

During the day there were some nice plants like Carex laevigata (Smooth-stalked Sedge), Diphasiastrum alpinum (Alpine Clubmoss), Thalictrum alpinum (Alpine Meadow-rue) and Neottia cordata (Lesser Twayblade):

neottia cordata

Neottia cordata (Lesser Twayblade)

May is the peak flowering season for this little orchid, though the general form stays the same throughout the summer when it is in fruit.

I often see red petioles on Alchemilla glabra (Smooth Lady’s-mantle) alchamilla glabra red veins 2

but there were some plants with strikingly red leaf veins (as seen from below) as well:

alchamilla glabra red veins

I also spotted this large cocoon on heather which is made by an Emperor Moth pupa. (Thanks, Nigel.)

cocoon 2


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