West-Lothian

arch of the fore entrance ▴ linlithgow palace, west lothian, scotland

king james v commissioned the entrance to linlithgow palace around 1533. the four european orders of chivalry to which james v belonged are engraved above the arch of the fore entrance: “the order of the garter”, “the order of the thistle”, “the order of the golden fleece”, and “the order of st. michael”.

Fantastic fungi I've found

Over the course of the last few months I’ve been quietly snapping away at the various fungi I’ve encountered in West Lothian and the Lomond Hills of Fife.

I’ll readily admit now that I’m not a fungi person by any stretch of the imagination.  I do find them utterly fascinating and will snap hundreds of photos of them, but I find identifying them difficult.

This isn’t surprising, for there are believed to be around 12,000 known species of fungi in Scotland.  And identifying them can be even more problematic because the ones that we can see above ground change appearance at different stages of their lives.

It’s entirely possible to find two fungi in different places that look completely different, only to find they’re the same species at different points in their life cycle.  As the dome-shaped caps open up into parasols, it’s easy to get confused.  And I do.  Regularly.

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And here it is in video form. The Weirdness of Ophelia…….seen from an insanely murky West Lothian this afternoon. This was pretty much the only moment of brightness all day. At one point, when I was walking through a beech woodland, I really could have done with a torch it was so dark!

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The Howe, Pentland Hills, West Lothian, Scotland

 by Jimmy Dunn

Linlithgow Palace royal residence since C12th. Engraving, Slezer’s ‘Theatrum Scotiae’ 1693. 

Note the old crown spire of St Michael’s, in 1820 a report concluded that it was in danger of collapse and that local tradesmen all agreed that the crown was too heavy for the tower. It was reluctantly decided that the only course was demolition and, in the summer of 1821, the old crown was removed. It wasn’t replace for some time, the modern aluminium crown wasn’t erected until 1964, it still has it’s haters!