Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer flowers in Hatton

June is a wonderful time for wild flowers and this year has been exceptional, or so it seems.  I wonder if it is just that I have been noticing them all around as I walk through the village.

Bluebells in the woods beside Auquharney House

Bluebells in the woods beside Auquharney House

It all started this year for me when I went looking for bluebells which seemed to be very late blooming and then I noticed so many other flowers around.  It sent me looking for my wild flower book to help me identify some of them. And now every time I am out, going to the shop for the paper, walking the dog in the field or round the back of the all weather pitches I am noticing the flowers.

I am no expert in flowers but I decided I would try to record the flowers I came across in Hatton.  I have not gone for the rare or unusual, nor am I trying to be complete, just sharing what I happened to have seen.

Buttercups in the field looking towards Hatton Mill

Buttercups in the field looking towards Hatton Mill

 Pink Purslane beside the sleepers laid across the burn in the field beside the temporary bridge.

Pink Purslane beside the sleepers laid across the burn in the field beside the temporary bridge.

Comfrey and Pink Purslane bloom beside the sleepers laid across the burn in the field beside the temporary bridge.

Comfrey and Pink Purslane bloom beside the sleepers laid across the burn in the field beside the temporary bridge.

Buttercups adorn the field beside the temporary bridge.

Buttercups adorn the field beside the temporary bridge.

Buttercups beside the burn which flows under the temporary bridge on Hatton Farm Road

Buttercups beside the burn which flows under the temporary bridge on Hatton Farm Road

Red campion gives a splash of colour beside the Water of Cruden

Red campion gives a splash of colour beside the Water of Cruden

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Lady’s Smock or Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis) beside the all weather pitches

 

Lady's smock among the buttercups in tge field.

Lady’s smock among the buttercups in tge field.

Cow Parsley beside the Sewage Works Road

Cow Parsley beside the Sewage Works Road

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Yellow Vetch on the Auchlethen Road

Yellow Vetch on the Auchlethen Road

Yellow Vetch

Yellow Vetch

Vetch gowing in the field beside Park Place

Vetch gowing in the field beside Park Place

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May Blossom on the Auchlethen Road

May Blossom on the Auchlethen Road

A Rowan tree in flower on the road to Auchlethen

A Rowan tree in flower on the road to Auchlethen

a chestnut tree in full bloom at the foot of Rowan Terrace

a chestnut tree in full bloom at the foot of Rowan Terrace

a Red Hot Poker pushes its way hrough the weeds outside the Village Hall

a Red Hot Poker pushes its way hrough the weeds outside the Village Hall

Dandelion clock

Dandelion clock

Hatton seems to be blessed with glorious patches of Orange Hawskweed.  (Hatton car park)

Hatton seems to be blessed with glorious patches of Orange Hawskweed. (Hatton car park)

Orange Hawkweed outside Mill Cottages

Orange Hawkweed outside Mill Cottages

Orange Hawkweed in Rowan Terrace

Orange Hawkweed in Rowan Terrace

We must not overlook the lovely daisies. (Hatton carpark)

We must not overlook the lovely daisies. (Hatton car park)

Clover makes a lvoely splash of white besdie the hatton car park

Clover makes a  splash of white besdie the Hatton car park

Red clover is growing in the ground behind the all weather pitches.

Red clover is growing in the ground behind the all weather pitches.

Red clover is a favourite with bumble bees, so I am told.

Red clover is a favourite with bumble bees, so I am told.

Most of the Willowherbs as not get in bloom.  This one turns towards the sun in the Hatton car park.

Most of the Willowherbs are not yet in bloom. This one turns towards the sun in the Hatton car park.

Kidney Vetch besie the all weather pitches

Kidney Vetch besie the all weather pitches

Kidney Vetch looks quite mysterious when you get up close.

Kidney Vetch looks quite mysterious when you get up close.

I think it's a forgetmenot?  (IN the Hatton carpark)

Ribwat Plaintain - but I grew up in Brechin where we called them "Carl Doddies".  What do you call them in Buchan?

Ribwart Plantain – but I grew up in Brechin where we called them “Carl Doddies”. What do you call them in Buchan?

Ribwat Plaintain outside Mill Cottages

Ribwart Plantain outside Mill Cottages

There are lovley rose bushes between the Water of Cruden and the all weather pitches.

There are lovley rose bushes between the Water of Cruden and the all weather pitches.

White roses too.  You can smell the scent as you walk past.

White roses too. You can smell the scent as you walk past.

A foxglove risks growing beside the skateboard park

A foxglove risks growing beside the skateboard park

There seem to be a kit if irchids blooming in Hatton this year.  This is on the bank between the all weather pitches and the School.

There seem to be a lot of orchids blooming in Hatton this year. This is on the bank between the all weather pitches and the School.

An orchid shares space with the all pervasive litter.

An orchid shares space with the all pervasive litter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wee Osprey Tour stops at Cruden Church

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Fiona Kennedy is no stranger at Cruden Church.  She is a regular visitor when staying at her house in Cruden Bay.  But her visit last night was professional.  She made Cruden Church one of her stops on The “Wee Osprey Tour” and generously donated a proportion of the ticket sales to the church windows project.

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Fiona was accompanied by 13 year old Ruairidh McDonald from Aviemore and together they sang, danced and chatted through a delightful couple of hours with a Scottish theme, particular about emigration.

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Fiona and Ruairidh sing “We’re a couple of Swells!”

They show (as was one of the songs) was entitled “The Kist” and Ruairidh made a dramatic entrance out of one of the two kists which adorned the stage.

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The Osprey title of the tour is a reference to Lady, Scotland’s oldest breeding Osprey who returned this year again to the Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld.  Inspired by the long journey which the old osprey makes each year to and from west Africa Fiona has written a song “Fly lady, Fly” which Ruairidh and she performed to a very warm reception from the audience.

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Fiona is a natural with perople.  She was chatting naturally to perople after the concert and I was able to capture a lovely picture of her helping clear up the tea cups as the crew were setting up for the concert.

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Haste back, Fiona and Ruairidh!te.

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Cruden Country Sunsets

Mary, my wife summonded me to see what was on the television the other day.   The BBC2 programme, Landward was encouraging viewers to submit photographs of sunsets for their Midsummer Live Programme which will be broadcast on 21 June.

Well that was a challenge, but quite frustrating, as the sun managed to hide itself away each evening as sunset was due.  However, the sun did shine last night and I have now put in one or two pictures.  I wonder if they will appear?

The sun sets over the Moss of Cruden.  Taken from the path behind the Manse in Hatton.

The sun sets over the Moss of Cruden. Taken from the path behind the Manse in Hatton.

The sunset lights up the buttercups in the field behind the Manse in Hatton.

The sunset lights up the buttercups in the field behind the Manse in Hatton.

Sunset over Hatton, taken from the Auchlethen Road

Sunset over Hatton, taken from the Auchlethen Road

While searching for a sunet  took this shot of one of the 3 large wind turbines on West Knock Farm looking towards Stuartfield.   Taken from Coynach Hill.

While searching for a sunet I took this shot of one of the 3 large wind turbines on West Knock Farm, looking towards Stuartfield. Taken from Coynach Hill.

The sun goes down over the dunes at  Cruden Bay beach.   Not quite a sunset because of the clouds.

The sun goes down over the dunes at Cruden Bay beach. Not quite a sunset because of the clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

A carpet of buttercups

IMG_0297What started off as a quick walk with Lily the dog today beside the River Ythan at Ellon turned into a feast of photographs.  The buttercups are out in abundance at the riverside walk near the Meadow Sports Centre.  And the sun was out too. The yellow carpet of flowers quite took my breath away.  I have noticed buttercups blooming in the Hatton field and along many of the roadside verges, but this was quite spectacular.

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It is not just buttercups.  The banks of the river are also covered with Russian Comfrey. (At least I think that is what this flower is.) and there is red campion blooming too.

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Is this Russian Comfrey?

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This is a wonderful area for a walk.  It is a shame that flooding makes it quite difficult, if not impossible to negotiate  at some times during the winter.   But today it was dry and I was able to sit down on the gross and get up close and personal with the buttercups.

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Guillemots and Razerbills

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I had spotted a good place for bird photography some days before on the cliffs south of Whinnyfold at a place called Green Bow. Now one early June evening I spent a fascinating hour photographing the guillomots, raserbills and the inevitable gull, which lined the cliff ledges.   Armed with my big telephoto lens I was able to get a good view of these delightful birds.  I notice for the first time that some of the guillomots were of the ‘bridled’ form with a white ring round the eye and stripe behind it, almost as if they were wearing glasses.

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Guillemots on the cliffs south of whinyfold. One is in the “bridled” form.

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As for the razerbills, my angle on them was not great and it is harder to see them against the cliff face.

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Razerbills

Flowers in the mist

Lily and the boys rushed down the cliff path to the beach at Winnyfold.

Lily and the boys rushed down the cliff path to the beach at Winnyfold.

One thing I have learned about the east coast of Scotland in the summer is, beware of the haar. A few days before I had spotted what I hoped would be a great picture when I was struggling up the cliff path at Whinnyfold.  The Red Campion is in full bloom just now and I thought it would make a great foreground to a view of the stony beach below. (How I love when the campion is out adding wonderful colour to the countryside!) However it was not easy to take a photograph whiile watching grandchildren on the steep path, Lily the dog on the lead, not to mention carrying all the stuff we had taken down to the beach, and the “treasure” that the boys had gathered and needed to take home.  To put it bluntly the shot was a failure.

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Red campion blazes in the forground, but the headland in the distance is out of focus.

I waited for another sunny day then drove back to Whinnyfold. But the best laid schemes…..the dreaded haar appeared before I reached Cruden Bay.   The light at Whinnyfold was interesting, quite bright through the mist.  A builder working on a house extension was not optimistic about my chances of a picture, as he greeted me with, “The haar has spoiled your photographs then!”   But he was wrong.  Although it was not the photograph I had planned I did take several very atmospheric pictures of flowers in the mist. I got my picture of red campion with the haar beyond.

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I am happier with this picture. The red campion is a great contrast to the murky, haar covered headland behind. Haar doesn’t always spoil the photograph.

We walked on through the village and south along the cliff path.  I spotted an interesting  picture of thrift on the clifftop with the misty sea below.  While I was checking out thrift on the internet I cam across this wonderful wild flower website: www.ukwildflowers.com  The pictures of thrift were taken at Rhoscolyn in Anglesey where my daughter and her husband have a house and we have spent happy holidays. I I will look out for the thrift there the next time we visit in the summer.

The sharp eyed may notice a razorbill turning his back on me with  guillemot beyond  The area where I took the shot is called Green Brow on the map and it certainly is a lovely grassy area gently sloping down to the cliff edge.

The cliff ledges were alive with birds.   I must go back when there is no haar!

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The mysterious light as the sun tried to cut through the haar gave this shot a magical feeling. Thrift on the cliff top at Green Brown, south of Whinnyfold

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Coming in closer, the bright pink of the thrift lines the forground.