14 June 2011

After the storm

It's just over 3 weeks since the storm of 23rd May. The effects on trees everywhere have been noticeable, but at the coast the results have been dramatic.

Yesterday we visited Ardmore Point near Helensburgh. Unfortunately the weather was very overcast most of the time, so I was unable to take many pictures in good conditions.

In this picture, taken by the car park which is quite sheltered from the worst of the wind, one tree is bare and the hedge is brown.

This isolated tree and those behind it look quite autumnal.

Many trees lost all or many of their leaves.

Ash trees in particular were left bare.

Closer examination showed that most trees, including this ash, were beginning to sprout new shoots.

On the west coast of the peninsula, all the leaves of the trees were totally brown.

Even in more sheltered places, many leaves were damaged.

This rose had shrivelled leaves, but the flowers were unaffected.

The picture below shows the windward west side of a hedge.

On the east side of the same hedge, the leaves were protected and remained green.

An isolated tree which had been stripped nearly bare of leaves.

An ash tree with few remaining leaves, despite being in a more sheltered position on the east side of the peninsula.

Another bare tree by the shore.

Brown trees along the main coastal road at Helensburgh.

Today we went further inland, well away from the coast. Even here, many trees were browned, with fallen branches lying along the verges.

Below - Copper beech leaves from far inland showing storm damage.

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Largs & Millport Weekly News

12 June 2011

Eigg in late spring

At the end of May we returned to the Isle of Eigg for a week of rather mixed weather. After the recent storms, only one beach, that at Kildonnan, was good for finding shells.

The others were either covered in seaweed or tiny fragments of smashed shells.

We had some sunny weather, and this picture was taken at Kildonnan, a short distance from the beach in the picture above.

Near Kildonnan, we found this freshly emerged Poplar Hawkmoth.

We were staying quite close to the new pier.

Green Island is a favourite place of ours, though this beach no longer has good shells, due to the new pier.

In the grounds of the Lodge is a Chilean Fire Bush (Embothrium coccineum). This is a tall tree, and at this time of year it was flowering well.

While on Eigg, we were asked to survey Small White Orchids (Pseudorchis albida), which is one of the species listed in the BSBI Threatened Plants Project for 2011. We found these at two site, and they seemed to be well out on 31st May when we did most of our recording. We noticed that many flowering spikes appeared to be damaged, possibly by a late frost or salt spray from the recent gales. This plant, at Cleadale, was in perfect condition though.

I found this abnormal flower of Water Avens (Geum rivale) by the road near the pier. It appears to have a second flower growing from the centre. This had not opened by the time we left.

A visit to Howlain at the north end of the island on a rather damp day.

The first Northern Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza purpurella) were coming into flower, including this one which was growing in the lawn at the Lodge.

16th October 2011

In response to Linda's query (below), here is a picture of the wreck of the puffer Jennie as it was when I last saw it on 14th August 1994.

If you compare this picture with the third picture on a forum at OneGuyfromBarlick which was taken in 1988, you can see that there was some deterioration in the 6 years between the two pictures.

Fred thought there was almost nothing left by now, but there is a picture taken in 2010 which shows that there is at least something left.