Sunday, 19 April 2015

Skye at Night (groan)

We travelled south just over a week ago because I had to attend a meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland London.   On the way down at 5.06 am on the 10th we saw a meteorite, a  fireball, over in the north east.   At first we thought it was a marine flare, but clearly, where it was in the sky suggested that explanation was incorrect. There was a  bright streak moving down and then broadening out to a greenish ball.  All very exciting but rather brief and puzzling, needing some reflection to work out what we saw.

We are now back on Skye, greeted by yet another bright and sunny day.   It's never-ending!
The trail camera picked up the otter family early this morning leaving the holt; each lingered in front of the camera for once.    

Spring is progressing at pace.   Out in flower on the croft are Marsh Violets and Common Dog-violets and among the rocks on the shore there is Danish Scurvy-grass.

Danish scurvy-grass

Marsh violet

In addition to the comprehensive marking of butterfly orchids, I marked the position of around 120 plants of the other orchid species and hybrids that flowered last year.  I want to see when they leaf and the churn rate, the percentage of plants that repeat flower.    There are leaves appearing on three of of those marked orchids, so the first ones should be in flower towards the end of May.  The time interval between leaves and flowers is typically 5 weeks. 
Early marsh orchid with last year's spike remnant

Heath spotted orchid (Heavy blotching atypical)


  1. Nice to see Marsh Orchids and Marsh Violets. Latter only found at one site in VC55 and you have them outside your door. Lucky man!

  2. Just checked on NBN. Marsh violet is found just about everywhere in Britain except for the central and eastern counties of England, broadly avoiding the NE - SW run of Jurassic and Triassic sedimentary rocks.