20 June 2010

Ben Dorain

Yesterday was just about the most perfect day for hillwalking - dry, warm and sunny but with a fresh breeze.

I went up Ben Dorain, which always looks rather spectacular when seen from the south as you pass it by road or on the train.

Before starting the walk, I came face to face with these two red deer which were only a few yards from the car park.

The ascent from Bridge of Orchy station to the west of the hill is nothing like as steep as the south side. Ben Dorain itself is out of view on the right.

Near the top there were many colourful patches of Moss Campion (Silene acaulis) which seems to be flowering exceptionally well this year.

In a crack in the rock I found Roseroot (Sedum rosea), Scurvygrass (Cochlearia sp.) and Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifraga nivalis)*.

The view south from the summit looks down over the road and railway to the location of the first photo above.

From the summit there is a fine ridge walk.

The view north...

...and south

At the end of the walk I explored a tiny stream and found large numbers of Sundew plants (Drosera anglica and D. rotundifolia and their hybrid, D. x obovata). This one had caught a large fly.

*Note that I originally identified this as Starry saxifrage (Saxifraga stellaris) but it has since been identified as the much rarer Saxifraga nivalis.

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