What a difference a week makes. We’ve gone from drought to downpour in a week…but that’s Scotland in summer for you. I’ve not actually taken all that many pictures this week because it’s been so wet….and cameras don’t like getting soaked through! But we have managed to grab a few watery shots in the odd half-hour it wasn’t hammering down!
Aboyne, just down the road, was the wettest place in the UK on Wednesday. It certainly felt like it in the Vat, with the water roaring thunderously down the waterfall.
We had a Junior Rangers group twice this week and the weather wasn’t great for them either day. Our efforts to illustrate biodiversity via a moth trap took a bit of improvisation- we had to put it out in a tent!
Prize catch was probably this Beautiful (that’s its name, not just a description) Golden-Y moth We only had three species in the trap- brown rustic, flame shoulder and the “Y”- so the moths weren’t liking the rain either.
Unless, of course, they’d all been eaten by the spotted flycatchers? There are three large youngsters in the nest now and they’re big enough to see their heads poking out. Unfortunately couldn’t get a good picture though- it was too dull and dark to let the camera focus properly – and that was in the daytime!
The peanut feeder has become popular again. Keeping warm in the wet uses up a lot of energy and both birds and mammals are after a quick and easy feed. The siskins have been much in evidence, as have some rather soggy-looking red squirrels.
The bracken is fairly shooting up in the rain. I swear, you can almost hear the grass and bracken growing in this! Long grass and bracken makes a huge amount of work for us at this time of year, what between keeping the picnic area tidy at Burn o Vat and strimming the path edges. There are less pleasant things to walk through than high, wet grass and bracken, but it’s hard to think what they are as freezing water soaks you from ankle to waist. So we try and keep the path edges cut back …but it’s a big job! Who was that bloke in Greek legend who had to push a boulder uphill, only for it to roll back down again? That’s what it feels like!
Even though we grumble, I don’t think I’d like to live in a totally arid part of the world. I love the green-ness of the woods and vegetation (even if I do wish death upon the bracken on an almost daily basis). And, without the rain, we wouldn’t have our wonderful wetlands like the lochs or bogs. The lochs are coming up to one of their finest times of year, with the water lilies just starting to come into bloom. These are worth seeing, so if you’re on the reserve in the next month or so, take a walk down to the loch and enjoy one of our most spectacular wild flowers.