Today (23rd September) marks the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and we can certainly feel a nip to the air at Loch of the Lowes.
Last week’s storm brought us two unusual visitors – guillemots! They must have been blown off course and were spotted on Lowes on Friday. They seem to have left us already, unless they are hiding out of sight and as we are a long way from both the east or the west coast, we wish them luck returning to the sea.
We were fortunate not to suffer from too much damage but the paths are strewn with leaves, twigs, berries, apples and acorns. There is an old saying that ‘An abundant crop of berries is a sign of a cold, snowy winter to come’. However, there is also the theory that a rich hedgerow harvest is due to good weather during the previous spring when the flowers/fruit are set. Only time will tell which to believe!
Dozens of different types of fungi are gleaming yellow, cream, russet and red, pushing up through the moss and tired grass. Please remember never to touch or eat fungi unless it is confirmed as edible by an expert because some can make you very sick or even kill you.
We are running a Fungal Foray at Lowes next Saturday 29th September, 11am-3pm. This will be a fantastic opportunity to go out with experts and learn all about the different species. Booking is essential, you can give us a call (01350 727337) or book online through our website.
From today, the nights will be drawing in bringing spectacular sunsets, crisp frosty mornings and skies filled with skeins of geese and starling murmurations. There is plenty to see at Loch of the Lowes with red squirrels, fallow deer, great crested grebe, tufted duck, great spotted woodpeckers and, new for us this year, at least two nuthatch!
The trees are still heavy with green foliage but gorgeous autumn tints are already gilding the landscape. Even our children’s hide (indoor play area) is embracing autumn, reflecting the rowan berries, brambles and rose hips bowing branches throughout Perthshire.
Our harvest of sloes on the blackthorn are looking very tempting and (if previous years are anything to go by) their deep purple/blue berries will soon be gobbled up by birds or picked by visitors, volunteers and staff alike, to add to gin (and whisky!).
We look forward to welcoming you for some warm wildlife watching in the coming weeks.
Visitor Centre Assistant