18 October 2011

Fish farm threat to Eigg

The Isle of Eigg is currently under threat from a proposal to site a fish farm on its east coast.

To read more about it, please visit http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/stopeiggfishfarm where you can also sign a petition to oppose this development.

15 October 2011

More about star jelly

During the past few years, we have seen star jelly on a number of occasions. The most common time to find it seems to be autumn, though it is not unknown for it to be found at other times of the year.

There are a number of pictures of star jelly on our original post, but here I want to post some pictures which I believe are NOT star jelly.

The picture above, taken on Eigg, just might be star jelly, but the quantity was extremely small and I had noticed what appeared to be slime moulds several times in the previous couple of days, so I think it is most likely that this is also a slime mould. In the picture below, there is a slightly yellowish fruiting body, and behind it and out of focus is some pure jelly, and I think it most likely that this consists only of the slime mould.

One of the commonest and most likely theories about star jelly is that it is frog spawn, most likely rejected by a bird which was eating the frog. Birds dropping this from a height could be the reason why the jelly was thought to come from the stars.

In the picture above, there are black eggs to the right of the jelly, and a cluster of eggs can also be seen in the picture below.

Unlike the other pictures which were taken in the autumn, those with eggs were taken in March.

Read "Star Jelly Mystery solved on iSpot" for more information about the frogspawn theory, though this doesn't explain why star jelly is most commonly found in the autumn rather than the spring.

Soay animals 2

In the summer we went back to the Isle of Soay, just south of Skye, where we had also been last year. We were looking forward to seeing how all the animals we met last year were doing.

Saffron, the lamb, has grown up and now has a lamb of her own.

We had to put up barricades at the doors to stop Arnold from coming into the house. He is now a full grown ram and could do a lot of damage if he got in.

The geese are now full grown.

There are two new additions - a mother goat and her kid.

In addition, there were bats living in the roof of the house where we were staying. One evening I went to an upstairs window to watch them emerge at dusk. Unfortunately one of the first to emerge somehow managed to come into the room by mistake and flew in circles around me. Later, although I had shut the upstairs door, we found it lying on the floor downstairs. Fortunately it was unharmed, and later flew off outside.