If I have time when I'm at Ards, I take a slight detour from the trees and wander down to the grassland area near the sea and have a look at plants which I rarely see.
The Harebell is the 'Bluebell' of my youth in west Scotland:
Lady's Bedstraw is closely related to Cleavers ('Sticky Willie') and the other Galium species, but is the only one with yellow flowers:
Thyme grows at the fringes of the grassland and on the dunes. I'm always tempted to take some home for the kitchen, but I find its smell is very muted when compared to the cultivated versions:
It's worth mentioning that this wide, flat area of grassland between the forest and the sand dunes is a particularly defined habitat known as Machair: a habitat type unique to western Ireland and Scotland.
As I was walking back to the car park, I noticed this larva of the White Ermine moth digging in a depression in the sand. It appeared to be making no effort to leave the shallow hole and actually appeared to be making the hole larger. Most odd.
|Larva of White Ermine moth|
This was above the high water mark, so perhaps it was simply looking for somewhere to pupate.