I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Tuesday 17 June 2014

TENACI. (17/06/14)

I have had an entertaining day. As Graham predicted I could see sod all for the sea fret and once I got away from the coast it was foggy and raining.

I had got about two thirds of the way and just hit the single track when I spotted a Lotus heading my way so gave it a quick flash and pulled into a passing place. It stopped alongside me and he hopped out of the passenger side. It wasn’t a Lotus it was a very posh car; a Spyker. The driver was from northern Europe. We were just past the junction on the A838 to Kinlochbervie. They are upgrading the A838 but to call it an A road does not adequately describe it to anyone but locals. It does have more passing places than a B road, they have C roads as well. The truck fits okay on C roads but they have grass growing on them and no barriers if you are silly enough to try and fire up a fag on a bad corner with a big drop. To anyone south of Inverness the A838 is just a glorified mule track.

He explained he was short of fuel. It doesn’t run on diesel and the only petrol I have is cooking 2star for the gen set. I did suggest to him it might be cheaper to get the car towed rather than pop 2star, Scottish Fuels 2star to boot, into a twin turbo 500bhp V8. He purchased the contents of both my one gallon cans for twenty pounds and away he went. The nearest proper fuel is either Inverness or Fort William. Good luck to him. Even my old van doesn’t enjoy Scottish Fuels or Gleaner which is what they have at infrequent intervals and vast expense round here. I would love a car like it but it is as wide as a truck and probably only does about ten miles to the gallon. I would have left it at home and brought my Range Rover. Dream on Adrian, dream on.

In case you are wondering what the title to this post means it means tenacious. Spyker cars, not Spyker Aircraft company, have a motto. Nulla tenaci invicaest via. It translates : For the tenacious no road is impassable. Silly Dutch folk, they obviously haven’t been here.

We arrived at Sango Sands Durness. We were over a mile away when the dogs woke up had a sniff and started yipping. It is a year since we have been here yet they know where we are. I parked up and went to look for the Frog Orchid.

_V0G3623    First we had to have a look at the beach. It is my second favourite beach. It is the dogs number one, I suspect because it has fresh water flowing into the far corner.Their first port of call was to sample the burn. They then set off along the sand. They even remembered finding a dead seal here and were nonplussed to find it gone. It was behind the second rock to the left in the foreground. They spent ten minutes looking for it and investigating the sand around rocks.

I love autumn for the fungi but I’m getting into the flower business. Little tiny flowers are what I find interesting.

_V0G3616  This isn’t a good picture but it is a Marsh Orchid. We are about as far north as one can get so It’s a Northern Marsh Orchid. It has spots on it’s leaves.

_V0G3629    These ones are different they don’t have acne. I have got a bit boring and have been looking at lots of web sites about orchids. I found one where a really educated anorak had drawn pictures of all the flowers as a guide to identification. I see what he is trying to do but I just get confused with all the Latin names for bits of plants.

_V0G3627     This is a picture I love. It could be an Orchid it looks like one starting out It has tiny oval leaves. There are so many little plants and grasses here and whilst lying down I noticed that the leaves on some things have hairs on and leaves on others have little spikes. My Collins guide doesn’t mention any of this. This is macro at 1:1 so only an inch and a half of the local flora.

burnet    I’m sure enough to present it properly but only 45% sure.

Milfoil      There are lots of Milfoils. 20% certain . These are really tiny and grow on the limestone here.

Untitled-1  I’m pretty sure, 80%.

Now a drum roll, fanfare of trumpets, the Queen curtseying, the works. I knew it should be about but could I find it. Took two hours to find it.

frogochid    It wasn’t where it was last year but I found another two. I’ll go out with the MP-E 65mm for some definitive shots. I know it looks dead but I do know what it is. It is an Orchid in camouflage. 100% right.

There are loads of tiny things to look for here. Scottish Primrose, Sea holly, fern or something I’ll get on, get on looking and watch E-Bay for a knackered Spider. Whoops Spyker. Cosworth would only charge a couple of grand to rebuild a posh Audi V8. Surely it couldn’t cost more? I bet a pond to a shilling it would.

Have fun.


  1. Adriaan a nail driving only on roads as smooth as ice, but you have found in the small beautiful miracles.

    1. Bass the Spyker is a super car. You are Dutch and don't have one?
      it is good here good here but I think if you watch then it will be equally good in the polder.

  2. Oh, we'll done on the frog orchid! There's something magical about rare orchIds. My favourite is the bee orchid, but I haven't seen one since I was a child.

    1. Frances, the only thing magical is the mystery of how I found it and the worry about the state of mind that inspired my pursuit of it. I guess I'm just a Macho, Loud mouthed, plant hunter.
      It is fun. I just wished I knew what I was hunting,

  3. Now Adrian, what would you do with a posh sports car? If your joints are anything like mine you just might manage to fold yourself up and get into it, but as sure as hell you would never be able to get back out again! Best leave it as just a dream I think!

    I think the first two Orchids are NM Orchids according to my book they can have either spotted or plain leaves.
    The next ones look like Pyramidal Orchids.
    The next one I think is Sea Plantain (plantago maritima).
    The little white flower I reckon is Alpine Bistort (persicaria vivipara)

    Good find with the Frog Orchid.
    Looking forward to seeing what you find to point that 65mm lens at?...[;o)

  4. Replies
    1. Carol, I am a wreck because I loved fast bikes. I was lucky I was rubbish but bounced.
      Fast cars a do crave but this car was pension fund money. Okay for a Swedish Banker.

  5. You really are into your little machair flowers aren't you? You and CJ should go hunting one day.

    1. Graham, I take the dogs out for a walk then on the way back we sit for a a rest, At this time of the year at the seaside I just happen to squat on what is called round here Ma's Chairs.I think a rest would be in order, then tiny little insects arrive so I light up a Marlboro. One thing leads to another. There are lots of micro plants in mummieschair I just love trying to work out what it is I'm sitting on.
      Almost impossible. Trevor is good. The Assynt warden is purported to be be the dogs bollocks. I have sent him a snap or two. I am awaiting his deliberations. Some of these plants are very complikated. Some are just simple and are jobsworth plants.
      I bet it will take me a year or two to suss the jobsworth, bullshitters from the real ones.
      Be great to go with him if he fancies a stop after the wedding. Remember I'm just after the light and not the plant.
      Plants, unless they are edible are a new fascination for me.

  6. Trevor, it is a wonderful world. The car was just beautiful but now you mention it I did struggle out of a Porche 978 or 987. It was super quick but this little beast must be faster.
    This flower job is so complicated it has got me by the Goolies. I sit in a bit of grass and see things flowering that are so tiny that I then start to wonder what pollinates them.
    Thanks for the identifications. I really try, but only know they are beautiful. I take what I see.
    Thanks for your help. The diversity of plants does my head in. Some of the little tinkers will have got blue flowers tomorrow. I'm wise to that now. Changeable Forget-me Not. Thanks again, I won' forget that devious tinker.

  7. I was turned on to the Orchids, they are plentiful and nice to see. But, great Northern Marsh Orchid I have never seen. Well done Adrian.

    1. Northern Marsh Orchid. I guess it has to be living not twenty miles from Cape Wrath.
      The boring Frog Orchid is the killer. The tiny little bugger takes some finding. Once found it's easy peasy to snap. It doesn't fly away.

  8. Can't believe the bloke put 2 star into a Spyker I wonder how many bits the engine is in! Did you have time to note the homage to the Spyker aircraft company and the scary looking steering wheel?

    1. I didn't see inside. Yes I know the badge.
      I didn't think it was a very good idea. It did look wonderful. I just hope it still is. He may be carrying additive as he won't have any choice of fuel round here.

  9. Tranquilo lugar para disfrutar haciendo fotos a las flores. Ers un experto conoces muchos nombres.
    Buen miƩrcoles.
    Un abrazo.

    1. Laura, yo no soy un experto. Trevor es el experto.

  10. I can see why that beach is a favorite of your dogs, and why it's so high up on your own list of favorite beaches. Amazing how the brown and beige tones play with each other, and the sand is very inviting. I wish you happy stay there.

    Mersad Donko Photography

    1. Mersad, I am hoping for some good pictures from here.