Lochore Meadows – Moss, lichen and logs

At the end of last week, after a trip to Dunfermline, I dropped in to Lochore Meadows for the first time. As I only had a couple of hours, I didn’t manage to see that much of it, but from what I saw it looks like a great place to take the kids (and adults), with plenty of activities on the Loch, and walks around it.

Location of Lochore Meadow Walk.

Location of Lochore Meadow Walk. Numbers represent photo locations.

History of Lochore Meadows

The original loch was drained sometime around 1790, when the landowner of the time, a Captain Parks, wanted to extend his cultivated land. Unfortunately for him, it was a project doomed to failure, as the land remained boggy and unsuitable to exploit commercially. The loch gradually refilled over the earlier parts of the 20th century, at the same time as Lochore Meadows was being used by the Mary Colliery coal mine. The subsidence due to the underground mine workings quickened the pace of the refilling loch. The railway embankment serving the colliery became surrounded by water, and is still visible today as islands in the loch.

My Brief Sojourn around Lochore Meadows

I only had time for a quick look at the woods between the main car park (location 1 on map) and the reinforced concrete winding headgear from the old Mary Colliery. (location 6 on map)

At the back of the woods, there is some open meadowland (location 2 on map), which was very wet from all the rain we’ve had recently. After getting covered in mud, walking sandals was probably not the best footwear to be wearing, I did manage to take a few photos, including this one of a European Black Slug (Arion ater). This is a common species of slug found in many a garden, but out here on Lochore Meadows it’s safe from the angry gardener’s clutches.

European Black Slug (Arion ater) at Lochore Meadows

European Black Slug (Arion ater) still out and about at 8am.

This slug is mainly nocturnal (so this one was late heading back to shade – it was about 8.00am), and an omnivore, feeding on carrion, fungi and vegetation. The mucus of the black slug is highly distasteful to many animals. The slug, however, does have some natural predators, including the hedgehog, badger, shrew, mole, mouse, frog, toad, snake, carnivorous beetle, and a few birds.

Back in the drier confines of the woods (location 3 on map) surrounding Lochore, there is plenty of moss and lichen covered trees and fallen logs, ideal photo opportunities for someone armed with a tripod and camera.

Heather-rags (Hypogymnia physodes) and moss

Heather-rags (Hypogymnia physodes) and moss.

 

Heather-rags (Hypogymnia physodes) on a tree trunk at Lochore Meadows

Heather-rags (Hypogymnia physodes) on a tree trunk.

 

Moss on fallen tree trunk

Moss on fallen tree trunk.

 

Photo of Moss, possibly Ulota phyllantha

Moss, possibly Ulota phyllantha.

 

Moss or lichen on tree trunk of a pine.

Moss or lichen on tree trunk of a pine. I love the colours of this photo.

 

Moss with lichen (heather-rags) on a dead branch.

Moss with lichen (heather-rags) on a dead branch.

 

Whilst walking back towards the old colliery concrete winding gear, I came across these stacked logs, another photo prospect (location 4 on map).

Pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

Pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

 

Black & white photo of a pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

Black & white photo of a pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

 

Another photo of the pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

Another photo of the pile of logs at Lochore Meadows.

 

A bit further on, I found what I initially thought was a member of the Umbellifer family, but once I got home I realised it was in fact Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Having lived in Cornwall for much of my life, I was used to seeing Red Valerian, a very common wild flower down there, but I had never seen Common Valerian before!

Common Valerian flower head at Lochore Meadows

Common Valerian flower head.

 

Common Valerian leaves at Lochore Meadows

Common Valerian leaves.

 

Close to the Valerian plants (location 5 on map) was some Ground Elder with the ever present Soldier beetles clambering around the flower heads.

Soldier beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) on ground elder.

Soldier beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) on ground elder.

 

Close up of Soldier beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) on ground elder.

Close up of Soldier beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) on ground elder.

 

All in all, from my first visit, Lochore Meadows is certainly somewhere that I’ll definitely be returning to, hopefully with a bit more time on the next occasion.

 

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19 thoughts on “Lochore Meadows – Moss, lichen and logs

  1. The black slug is .. weirdly compelling 😀 I don’t like looking at them that much normally ! I love the *common valerian .. and the close ups of the different mosses . So green !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing place to visit Andy! I wouldn’t leave, that is for sure. 😀

    You took such stunning shots of all the beauty there and that slug is so beautiful! The moss and lichen does provide so much colour, doesn’t it? I love the feel of moss and it always makes me think of fairies. LOL!

    It’s wonderful to see the beautiful plant life there as well and I drink Valerian capsules to help me if I can’t sleep. A wonderful herb. It looks like those soldier beetles are having lots of fun there on the Ground elder.

    Thanks for sharing these amazing photos. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s somewhere I really must go back to Sonel, I’ve only been the once, and that was only for an hour. You think the same way I do about moss, I always imagine elves and faeries dancing in amongst it 🙂
      The soldier beetles seem to spend their whole summers having fun!! LOL!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I do hope you go there and take me on a beautiful, virtual tour again.

        LOL! Glad to know I am not the only one that can imagine them between the moss. If only they were real. Can you imagine how much fun we would have had photographing them? 😆

        That is a fact and luckily you were there to capture that. hahaha!

        Like

      • I’ll definitely make sure you know if I post any photos from Lochore 🙂
        And I would love to be able to photo faeries, it would make an already magical experience even more special 🙂 And as to the soldier beetles, that seems all I ever managed to catch them doing, wherever I went during the summer!! LOL! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That would be awesome! Thank you so much. 😀

        Oh, the same here and it would indeed. I would give them treats as well, just like I do with the Vervets. LOL!

        hahahaha! Well, clearly you had fun as well taking photos of them. They can’t be the only ones having fun. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would love that as well Andy and you should keep an eye out for Leprechauns as well. It would be fun seeing them having fun with the Vervets. LOL!

        That I can believe and I can see it in your stunning photos. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • And we mustn’t forget the Cornish Piskies (note, NOT pixies as many people think) joining the Leprechauns 🙂 Actually, piskies are mainly found on top of mushrooms, or in Cornwall, sheltering from the rain under them! Lol!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Never forget them yes. How can I? 😆

        It seems people have many names for them and some even describe them like Leprechauns.

        Can you imagine how much fun it would be if they really existed and we were able to take photos of them? There are so many stories about them for sure. Even Wikipedia have info about them. LOL!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixie

        Liked by 1 person

      • It would be brilliant!!! At that point, the photographing of insects would be ‘out the window’. And like you said, even someone such as myself would be inspired to do some proper writing, telling tales of all their adventures!!
        Thank you for the link, I have just learnt something about the exact area where I came from in Cornwall, ie West Penwith (which is the bit of land west of Penzance), the name for piskies is spriggans! 🙂 These spriggans however, seemed to have a bit of an evil streak to them, and used to play tricks on the Cornish tin miners. Cornwall is famous for it’s tin and copper mines, but they have all shut now 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that is a fact! LOL!

        For sure. They would make great subjects for interesting stories indeed. Can you just imagine?

        You’re very welcome and I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Spriggans do sound like they can be quite naughty. LOL! Maybe they didn’t like miners messing up their environment as well. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t thought of that about the ‘spriggans’ Sonel!! The tin mine activities did make quite a difference to the Cornish environment!! I should have gone visiting all those mine locations at night, I may have seen some spriggans up to their mischievous activities 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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