18 August 2009

Lake of Menteith

Today I had the opportunity for a botanical excursion to the Lake of Menteith - the only "lake" in Scotland (all the others being referred to as lochs).

Inch Tulla (on the left) is a very small island with a castle, and Inchmahome (on the right) has a ruined priory.

As we had the use of a boat, we had a great opportunity to look at aquatic plants.

Of the three water-lilies that we saw, the least common is the Least Water-Lily (Nuphar pumila). Unfortunately the flowers were already over. The edge of the top of the ovary is scalloped.

Yellow Water-lily (Nuphar lutea) was also present. It is much larger, and the edge of the top of the ovary is smooth and not scalloped.

Its conspicuous flask-shaped fruits are responsible for its alternative name of "Brandy-bottle."

The commonest is the White Water-lily (Nymphaea alba).

There is one other species of Water-lily which is not found on the Lake of Menteith, though it is found nearby. This is the Fringed Water-lily (Nymphoides peltata). It is not related to the other water-lilies. Below is a picture of it which I took on 31st August 2003.

Fungi are now appearing everywhere and we saw some conspicuous ones.

The Lake of Menteith is also a good place for birds.

We saw large numbers of Great Crested Grebes,

...a pair of Mute Swans,

and several Herons.

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