Algy has his own secret garden 🙂 And many of the plants are flowering late this year, with more varieties flowering together than usual, because it has been so very cold and wet, and everything is out of sync. It certainly has been an exceptionally odd spring and summer in the West Highlands of Scotland, but the result is undeniably pretty, and Algy loves to sit among the flowers and watch the meadow butterflies and other insects flitting about.

On the west coasts of the Scottish Highlands and Western Isles, there is a very special environment which bursts into flower once a year, in late spring and early summer. It’s known locally as the machair.

Although Algy’s area does not have the best example of machair (he would have to visit the Outer Hebrides to see that), he is always thrilled when the masses of tiny flowers appear, and he loves to see how many different ones he can find. Many of the flowers are minute, and grow very low to the ground to escape the worst of the wind, so it’s necessary to get right down among them to see each one. (If you are looking at this on the Tumblr dash, please click to see the flowers in more detail.)

Algy hopes that you will all have a happy weekend, with a sprinkling of pretty flowers xoxo

[Visit Algy’s own web site.]

(Machair occurs where grassy areas immediately inland from – or among – the coastal sand dunes are improved by the fine shell sand blown off the beach, providing lime and other nutrients to the otherwise very acid soil of these peaty and infertile areas. It’s said that the machair environment is unique to the west coast of Scotland and the Western Isles.)

In the first half of the summer, the normally drab sand dunes of the West Highlands and Western Isles are full of wonderful surprises 🙂 Algy went exploring, and discovered an amazing patchwork of colour among the spiky grasses. He was interested to see that in this exceptionally dismal and very wet year, in which the sun has rarely deigned to put in any kind of an appearance, there were even more flowers than usual!

This unedited photo is a tribute to the PWS photosworthseeing “no edit Friday”. Algy sends all his friends at PWS a big fluffy hug and a huge wingful of wild thyme xoxo

This post is also dedicated to Algy’s friend mdeanstrauss who may find this and Algy’s next post of interest 🙂

[Visit Algy’s own web site.]

At the end of the day, Algy went in search of a pool of fresh water, so that he could wash the green dye out of his hair. The pools in the peat bogs were all far too mucky for hair-washing, but when he looked near the beach he found a shallow lagoon on the machair – a seasonal pool with a clean, grassy bottom, which had been formed by the excessive winter rain. It also provided a perfect mirror, in which he could check that his hair was restored to its natural yellow, and watch the reflections of the clouds and waving Marram grasses at the same time.