Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rockcliffe

On our way back to Durham from Galloway we detoured down to Rockcliffe, near Dalbeattie, to follow the Rockcliffe to Sandyhills Coastal Path, which is strewn with wild flowers along its whole length. This is tufted vetch, with Rockcliffe in the distance.

The beginning of the path borders on a shingly area of shore, where we passed a fine specimen of sea kale...

... in full flower (although for more impressive pictures of this plant, take a look at Wight Rambles blog). Even when it's not in flower, the thick, glaucous leaves of this plant are attractive.

A little further on the path borders salt-marsh, with sea lavender in bloom.

Higher up on the rocky part of the shore we passed some fine displays of dyer's greenweed ....

... that formed part of a natural rock garden display.

At Castle Point there are impressive cliffs and a sandy bay. From the cliff top here you can see the Isle of Man and the peaks of the Lake District.

On the path down the cliffs we passed this beautifully camouflaged grayling butterfly, that steadfastly refused to open its wings ..

... while burnet saxifrage Pimpinella saxifraga grew in the crevices near the base of the cliffs.

 
Castle Point is at the end of the beach .

 
Some of the rocks protruding from the sand were encrusted with reefs of honeycomb worms Sabellaria alveolata.

 
Each of these tubes, contains a worm that protects itself with a casing made from sand grains that are glued together. When they're covered by the tide the waving tentacles of the worms catch minute food particles or capture sand grains to repair the tubes.

 
On the horizon, across the Solway, an impressive wind farm, with row-upon-row of turbines, is visible from the cliff top at Castle Point.

6 comments:

  1. What a great selection of pictures Phil.
    The beauty of our wildflowers never ceases to amaze me.

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful walk which I enjoyed.

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  3. Hi Keith, We didn't spend long enough there to really explore it - but we will certainly be going back.

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  4. Thanks lotusleaf - the coastline in this part of Scotland is really a series of attractive bays. You'd need at least a week to really explore just this section...

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  5. I do like the Galloway area. Lovely set of pictures here, Phil. I'll pop into your other osts to make comments later.

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  6. Hi Emma, it certainly is a lovely area - and quite quick to get to. We'll be going back to explore further.

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