Tom Gray’s Nature Notes: Butterflies are continuing

Tom Gray
Tom Gray

I was pleased last week to find that the butterfly invasion on my Buddleia globosa had continued with three Red Admirals and a single Peacock taking advantage of the late, nectar-rich blooms. Let me know what butterflies you have had recently on your patch.

However, finally prepared to admit that we were being overtaken by autumn, over the weekend we thought it timeous to go back and check out the ripening of the heavy plum crop we had seen in the Balbirnie area only a fortnight before. Disappointingly the fruit had gone, whether shaken off by recent winds, or stripped by birds, we know not, but there will be no jam with Balbirnie labels in the Gray winter stock cupboard this year.

We checked out one or two other Markinch localities, meeting up with yet another, if solitary Red Admral butterfly on the way and enjoying a few ripe Brambles in the process, but at least we did find enough Sloes which will serve to convert a bottle of vodka to purple Sloe gin by Christmas.

Our autumnal fruit hunt will not be over until we have checked out several favoured sites on the Cleish and Lomond Hills for Blaeberries, though with our children having long since left home the acquisition of the necessary pint of blueberries to provide the puree may well be beyond our parental patience!

There is hope of wild food for free to be found elsewhere with several Fungal Forays being promoted in the area, as was borne out at St Andrews botanic garden last Friday when a farmer from Drumcarro brought in several football-sized Giant Puffball mushrooms for identification.

Sadly the fungi had been moved on before my recipe of slicing and peeling the white flesh before frying in butter, had been received, albeit that photographs taken by photographer Aase Goldsmith can be seen on the web at with the Comma taken in my back garden the previous week

Keep a look out for this exciting edible fungus which have been known to appear unpredictably at variouds localities throughout Fife over the years