Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Burren

The area where we’ve been staying for the last three days is called The Burren. It’s a very strange, rocky landscape called Limestone Pavement. There are big slabs of Limestone everywhere called Clints that look like giant crazy paving. These are full of cracks called Grykes that often have plants growing in them. For what looks at first sight like a completely rocky landscape, there are masses of flowers growing and it’s really like one massive rock garden.

#100DaysOfNature Day 36

The Burren, with the Aran Islands in the distance
We stopped at the side of the road and walked through a little gap in the stone wall. All around, there were Harebells, Carline Thistles and Eyebright growing on the rocks. There were lots of plants growing in the cracks in the rocks as well, such as Herb Robert and ferns.

I don’t think it’s the rarity of the flowers that makes this place so special, it’s more that the flowers are growing in what seems like somewhere made entirely out of rock. You also find plants living in the same environment, that you would never expect to find there, such as alpine and Mediterranean plants and woodland plants growing out in the open with no shade from the trees.

Bloody Cranes-bill

Carline Thistle

Sea Campion

Self Heal


#100DaysOfNature Day 37 - Eyebright

More Eyebright

Ferns growing in a Gryke

Maidenhair Spleenwort

The Burren is well known for all the orchids that live there. It’s a bit late in the year for most of them, but I did find a few that I think are orchids and must have flowered fairly recently.

We also saw Wild Thyme, a plant with red berries on it (maybe a type of Rose, not Beetroot as Bug Mad Girl suggested) and a red plant.
Wild Thyme

As well as the plants, there are lots of animals living on the Burren. These pretty pink and brown snails are everywhere and we’ve seen slugs and spiders. This spiders web looked silver with pools of rain water caught on it.

We’ve seen lots of birds, including seagulls (that we saw sitting around at the bottom of cliffs, face into the wind), Pied Wagtails and a Warbler (maybe a Chiff Chaff)
Herring Gulls

Pied Wagtail

Warbler (maybe a Chiffchaff?)

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