Aug 1, 2011

Field Gentian

I had a visit to the Black Craig by Stromness this lunchtime, the idea being to have a look for passing whales and dolphins. Right enough it was calm and smooth but unfortunately the sky dropped to the sea as I reached the cliff edge and began to set up. I was shut down before I started as the horizon sped towards me. With that there was little more to see than occasional razorbills, fulmars and Bonxies emerging from the gloom. I had a poke about the cliff top to keep my interest and circulation up. I am glad I did though as I wandered in to a huge display of Field Gentian. Field Gentian is one of those bogey plants that I just haven’t seemed to come across on my travels despite seeing sightings of it posted on various sites ( I even have it misidentified in a photo album on this very blog!! ) The duck was about to be broken though as I realised I was sat besides a flowering Gentian, along sides this there was another and another. It didn’t take long to see there was a carpet of Field Gentian spread before me. Its so often the way of things, you wait for a bus and three come at once. I had looked for individual plants in a couple of roadside verge sites with out luck yet here were literally thousands just breaking into bloom. This spectacular display is not alone though as there seems to have been a huge cliff top blooming of Eyebright as well, turning the cliff tops frosty white as they disappear in to the soft mist. All in all it a fine sight and well worth a look. Take the path to the Black Craig, straight past the renewable spy station and down to the cliff edge stile. Cross the stile to the right and the display starts just a few yards in. Please watch for trampling plants though!!

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