If you go down to the woods today, be sure of a great surprise. Well that's what they say isn't it? For our intrepid explorers, off galavanting again we certainly enjoyed this little surprise. Moneses uniflora 'St Olaf's candlestick' or the 'One Flowered wintergreen' - one of my favourite little flowers. Rare in Scotland, delicate, a little shy at first but once you get your eye in, quite beautiful spotting little enclaves of them. I snapped a few, but the photos hardly do it justice, sorry!
Taking a photo of this little beauty takes time, I've my proper shots of this flower at home, and hundreds of them, as I spent a lovely summer in the North East of Sutherland, a village called Golspie doing transects in Balblair woodland (walking back and forth and back and forth again, til almost dizzy) just to make sure it wasn't in decline (as previously suspected). Pesky little flower, a red data book species too, its rhizomatous (what a fantastic word eh?) which means than rather than stay in a quadrat for monitoring it likes to move about scaring the life out of ecologists who find it gone........if that isn't pesky behaviour I don't know what is. Its thoroughly delightful, beautifully scented, and so beautiful - if you ever get a chance to hunker down on all fours and have a look at its beauty I'd thoroughly recommend it! There are also enclaves of the Twinflower (Linnaea borealis), the peedie orchid, Creeping Lady's Tresses (Goodyera repens) and the little odd 7 flowered Starflower (Trientalis borealis).
The other great surprise was to introduce Haggis to the forest. Being a creature of an island in the north of Scotland, great swathes of Scots Pine are not familiar to him. Therefore, as part of his education from [His 'Mistress of the Flowers'], this is quite i portant. So we took him to one of our favourites. These were planted in 1905 after a storm, making them 107 years old I guess - that's pretty impressive, especially for a puppy who's never been in a forest before.
He was so impressed, he sat on some of the flowers, thankfully he's very light and no Moneses were hurt in his exploits. Silly puppy, doesn't he know how rare this beauty is. Peedie of course a Moneses expert - having spent many an hour in this lovely woodland, as his companion desperately tried to get the flower in focus! It was lovely to meet a couple of fellow botanical enthusiasts in the forest, Haggis was a little exhuberant, so I'm sorry about that, time for your lead Sir!