As I drove over the hills to Niarbyl I was engulfed in the wonderfully cosy mist of Mananan’s cloak, as you can see in the feature photo. By the time we started our walk ten minutes later this had most dissipated. Such are the joys of island living.
Some walks are long; some walks are short; and other walks like this are very short with interest. My next post will be a similar walk ‘with interest’ as it is our Flower Festival this week and Port Erin Secret Gardens this coming weekend.
I have joined a group called Manxwildflowers.com led by the very knowledgeable Simon Smart. This was my first outing with them. We parked at Niarbyl and the total distance we walked was to White Beach and back, just a stone’s throw along the cliff, but what wonderful flowers and natural features we saw along the way. So first of all, to set the scene. Here is Niarbyl and its wonderful coastline:
We hadn’t even left the car park before Simon introduced us to the Common Toadflax, common in the Uk but not so common here on the Isle of Man.
Not far away, we came across hybrid orchids looking proudly out over the sea. It is that time of year and the meadows are ablaze with various shades of pink and purple orchids, not least at the Curraghs in the north of the island.
In all, I took 23 photographs of different wild flowers and made notes on many others. I will not bore you by showing you every single one individually, but just pick out those I found interesting and put the rest in a slideshow at the bottom.
The Wild Carrot has a distinguishing feature in its green bract beneath its white canopy and the sea radish that you will see everywhere on the island does taste of radish. The seedheads were delicious. I would have never known these were edible. And all around the island the thyme is flowering. Today I saw lots and lots of painted lady butterflies lurking around the thyme at the Sound.
And here is the beautiful purple bindweed which was lying close to the shore by the waterfall on White Beach, and just a little further on was the ubiquitous Pennywort, which is not the most exciting plant to look at but you will see it growing out of rocks and walls everywhere at this time of year. I didn’t take photographs of stonecrop this time, but it is plentiful right now and is stunning to see en masse.
So to end, here is a slideshow of the best of the rest: