Early in the year, snowdrops and scylla pop up under the old lime tree and along the woodland paths, followed by hundreds of daffodils and carpets of bluebells vying with the white flowers of wild garlic.
Meanwhile the quince blossom bodes well for a good crop of fruit for Barrie to make jelly for the breakfast table. Towards the beginning of June, cherry blossom and hawthorn are outshone by the glories of full blooming rhododendrons. By this time, the young of chaffinch, bluetit, jay and woodpecker are flying off to give way to red admiral, painted lady and other butterflies attracted to the buddleia.
Many shades of foxgloves adorn the edges of the wood and in the wet meadow one dwarf purple orchid from many years ago has spread and now the careful searcher can find the many bright rosy purple heads. Five deer are regular visitors leaping over the ha-ha on their way to the Fithie Burn, seemingly undisturbed by the buzzards hovering overhead ready to swoop on their prey in the field below.
A heron can often be seen standing still near the milldam while a family of ducks make their presence known. Unfortunately in May 2011, a storm felled the huge copper beech at the entrance to our drive. It has left a big gap, taking down rhododendrons in its path. We have not yet decided what to plant in this area. One advantage is we have a stock of logs for the fire in the colder evenings, albeit not for another year while the wood seasons.
Roe Deer At Duntrune
Our neighbour has been out and about around our garden at Duntrune and has taken these action shots of roe deer. They make the daily journey from the hill behind us to the burn below on a daily basis. The hind is due to calf around May.