Well friends, it's been a busy and interesting ten days!
Gail didn't tell me before we set off for Torridon a week last Tuesday that she would be spending most of her time conducting surveys of local plant life, having volunteered to take part in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme, and that I, Nobby, would be assisting her with the field work.
Well I am pleased to report that I took to the role like a duck to water (and believe me, there is plenty of water in this part of the world).
Look, here's me, guarding the SW corner flag of a 5 m square of 'wet heath' on the Kinloch Estate, wherre Gail was surveying the plantlife with fellow volunteer Graham.
I should point out here that Gail was planning to leave me in the car but Graham said no, no, he'll be fine, let him come with us. What a nice man, don't you think?
While the humans got stuck into identifying different types of heather, sedges, moor grasses, bog myrtle and bog asphodel etc. I gave them absolutely no cause for concern by scrambling up and over nearby rocky ledges, and I even helped by making sure the marker poles did not fly away in the wind.
You have probably already figured out that botanical field work in NW Scotland does not wait for warm and sunny weather.
The next day, we ventured into the birch woods on the steep northern flank of Ben Shieldaig, where primroses were still in bloom and the rocks were covered in a baffling variety of mosses. We are in 'temperate rainforest' habitat here.
When Aberdeen neighbour Kirsty came over to stay in the middle of the week, we took a bit of time off the plant stuff and went for a nice walk along the coast (see 25 May post).
But on the following morning I was disappointed to be left in the car while Gail, Kirsty and Graham checked out the plants in a native pinewood area (located too close to the North Coast 500 road for my safety).
Finally, and just 'cos it's pretty, I'll leave you with a picture of me amid the bluebells near our cottage.
Happy Nature Friday friends! Do go and visit the other posts in the LLB Gang's always enjoyable blog hop.