Category Archives: Clackmannonshire

Summer morning meadow

This rather scrubby-looking meadow beneath the Ochil Hills near Alva, Clackmannonshire, was actually teeming with wild flowers and insects. With my macro lens, I photographed some of the small things enjoying the sunshine in the early morning of 31 July 2013.

[It’s a slideshow with 12 slides; navigate with the buttons at the bottom, or just let it run. Click on a a slide for a larger version, click again for the largest size.]

  • the meadow below the Ochil Hills

    the meadow below the Ochil Hills

  • grasses


  • mating craneflies on tansy

    mating craneflies on tansy

  • possibly a hoverfly

    possibly a hoverfly on ragwort

  • bloody-nosed beetle on thistle

    bloody-nosed beetle on thistle

  • white-tailed bumblebee on ragwort

    white-tailed bumblebee on ragwort

  • hoverfly helophilus pendulus

    hoverfly helophilus pendulus on ragwort

  • bumblebees on thistle

    two bumblebees on thistle

  • wasp


  • empid fly on thistle

    empid fly on thistle

  • cranefly


  • common damsel bug on tansy

    common damsel bug on tansy

Postscript September 2013

I returned to Alva on a beautifully sunny day in mid-September. I was sad to see that the meadow had been mown some time before, and the grass looked short, green and regular. The tall grasses, tansy, ragwort and other wild flowers were gone. There were odd buttercup and clover flowers, and tiny forget-me-nots. The pollinating insects were mostly gone, though I saw a couple of flies and a lone bumblebee buzzed by.  At the un-mown margins seed heads of tansy, ragwort, cow parsley and dock stood stiffly.  The grass, on closer inspection, was bursting with the new foliage of tansy, ragwort, clover, dock, thistle and cow parsley. I doubt I’ll be back this way next summer, but the meadow and its insects will be.

Clackmannonshire meadow


early autumn ochil hills