"Scotland Week by Week" contains a selection of flowers, animals, birds and scenery typical of the time of year. The photographs were previously part of a regular "Colour Supplement" which ran for nearly four years as part of the original Scottish Snippets newsletter. While seasons do vary, this collection gives a good idea of the flora and fauna typical of central Scotland at each time of year.
Blue skies and sunshine can often be in short supply, so when they appear, they are appreciated even more. This photo of the Bellisle golf course in Ayr shows that many of the trees are still without any foliage.
Dean Castle Country Park is a popular attraction in Kilmarnock, with woodland walks and paths beside the Fenwick and Craufurdland Waters. There were a large number of Ladybirds to be seen, both on the conifers and on the grassland. Despite being a beetle, which most people dislike, Ladybirds have had good public relations and are regarded as attractive. This is one of the "Seven Spotted" variety, one of the commonest in Scotland.
Spring blossom is gradually appearing. This Prunus (it could a be cherry or apple) has been giving pleasure in Bellisle Park for many years.
As the daffodils gradually fade, it's time for the tulips, with their "coats of many colours" to take their place. Tulips originated in Turkey and came to Western Europe 400 years ago. Since then, plant breeders have been creating ever-more colourful varieties. The ones pictured here were growing in the walled garden of Kellie Castle.
Cambo Estate, on the north coast of Fife, near Kingsbarns golf course, is a delightful spot, especially in the summer when all its many herbaceous border plants are in flower, creating a riot of colour. But it is equally charming in the late spring, with the cherry trees flanking the new, green leaves of the weeping willow.
Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender, Stoechas Lavender, or Topped Lavender) is a perennial shrub with flowers which are pinkish-purple (lavender-coloured), produced on spikes 2-3 cm long at the top of slender leafless stems. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, bright sterile bracts, 10-50 mm long. This type of lavender has become quite popular in gardens in Scotland as it is slightly hardier than Common Lavender. Stoechas Lavender is used commercially in air fresheners and insecticides.
The bell-shaped flower of Fritallaria Imperalis is the largest of the fritallaries and the stems can grow as high as five feet, in the right conditions. This one was growing in the walled garden of Kellie Castle.
In recent years there has been an explosion in Scotland in the number of fields of Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Oilseed Rape. It is very widely cultivated throughout the world for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption and there has been a growing use in the production of biodiesel. The bright yellow flowers have transformed many landscapes as more and more farmers jump on the band-wagon with newer varieties that grow well here and which produce a good crop.
This is the broad sweep of the Firth of Clyde, looking north towards Loch Long. "Firth" is the Scots word for an arm of the sea reaching inland, often formed by the estuary of a river. Other well-known firths are Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay in the east, the Solway Firth in the south-west and Moray Firth in the north. The word is related to the Norse word "fjord" and came to Scotland with the Vikings.
The Treecreeper bird is well named, running up tree trunks and branches, probing the bark with its curved bill looking for insects. It never runs down - it takes to the air to go down and start the next ascent. It is rarely at rest and as it scampers up trees, this small bird can easily be mistaken for a mouse!
Anemones come in many different varieties, providing flowers from spring through to autumn. This one was providing a welcome splash of colour in the walled garden at Culzean Castle Country Park, where the summer herbaceous border looks bereft of flowers at this time of year.
If you want to look back at other editions of these photos of Scotland week by week, there is an Index Page
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