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N 13 B 200 C 1 E Aug 18, 2019 F Sep 18, 2019
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The North most Eildon Hill

Tags:   2019 Country Landscapes Melrose Outdoors Scotland Scottish Border Years

N 35 B 255 C 10 E Jul 23, 2019 F Sep 19, 2019
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Large Red Damselfly:-

Damselflies are very difficult to ID accurately so we have made a best guess on their names to the best of our ability, we are happy to be corrected by anyone with more knowledge. (Gordon & Maureen)

Damselflies are insects in the sub-order Zygoptera (meaning "paired-wings"). All four wings are near enough equal in size and shape. They are usually small, weakly flying insects that stay close to the water margins or water surface. When at rest, most species hold their wings along the length of their abdomen. The Emerald Damselflies are an exception and usually hold their wings partly open when at rest. They are therefore known as Spreadwings in North America. The eyes are always separated, never touching. The larvae have external plates (lamellae) at the end of the abdomen, which act as accessory gills.

In Great Britain and Ireland there are about 20 species that may be encountered and a few that are now extinct. These species fall into 4 families and 9 genera. A partial taxonomic "tree" for the damselflies is shown below.

(Courtesy of the British Dragonfly Society website)

Tags:   2019 Aberdeenshire Castle Fraser Country Damselflies Insects Nature Scotland Years

N 44 B 345 C 10 E Jul 28, 2019 F Sep 19, 2019
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Painted Lady Butterfly: -
This species is a migrant to our shores and, in some years, the migration can be spectacular. The most-recent spectacle, in 2009, is considered to be one of the greatest migrations ever, with sightings from all over the British Isles that are definitely on a par with previous cardui years.
This species originates from north Africa, and it has been suggested that the urge to migrate is triggered when an individual encounters a certain density of its own kind within a given area. This theory makes perfect sense, since this species can occur in high densities that result in food plants being stripped bare on occasion with many larvae perishing as a result.
Unfortunately, this species is unable to survive our winter in any stage. This is a real shame, for not only does this species often arrive in large numbers, but is a welcome sight as it nectars in gardens throughout the British Isles in late summer. This butterfly has a strong flight and can be found anywhere in the British Isles, including Orkney and Shetland. An interesting fact is that this butterfly is the only butterfly species ever to have been recorded from Iceland.

Courtesy: UK Butterflies website

Tags:   2019 Aberdeenshire Butterflies Country Garden Insects Nature Painted Lady Butterfly Scotland Stonehaven Years

N 13 B 165 C 3 E Aug 20, 2019 F Sep 18, 2019
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Smailholm Tower is a peel tower sited high on a rocky outcrop at Smailholm, around five miles (8 km) west of Kelso in the Scottish Borders.

Its dramatic situation, atop a crag of Lady Hill, commands wide views over the surrounding countryside. It is a small rectangular tower set within a stone barmkin wall.

The tower is located, just west of Sandyknowe farm, and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. In June, 2007 it was awarded the maximum "five-star" status as a tourist attraction from VisitScotland, a rating bestowed on only eight other sites in Scotland.

This 65 ft towerhouse was built by a well-known Scottish Borders family in the first half of the 15th century, and today you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside from Smailholm Tower’s battlements.
It was the sight of Smailholm that fired Walter Scott's imagination when, as a young boy, he was brought up by his grandparents at the nearby farm of Sandyknowe.

Tags:   2019 Castles - Abbeys - Historic Buildings Country Kelso Outdoors Scotland Scottish Border Years Smailholm Tower Peel Lady Hill

N 2 B 13 C 1 E Jul 14, 2019 F Sep 18, 2019
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