I am staying in a stunning area of SW Ireland, on the edge of a beautiful mountainous bog area. Whilst walking, I began to notice a selection of flowers that were common in this area, that I was not familiar with.
There were loads of these stunning blue / violet flowers with a rosette of pale green leaves. I was familiar with the Common Butterwort but this one is the much less common Large-flowered Butterwort.
The hillside is literally covered in these stunning insectivorous plants. Due to lack of nitrogen and other nutrients in the boggy soil, they have evolved to attract insects. When an insect lands on the leaf, it sticks to the sticky surface. The leaf margins roll inwards and exude an enzyme which aids the digestion of the insect thereby giving valuable food to the plant.
Another insectivorous plant common in this area, is the Round-leaved sundew. The leaves have hairs with a little drop of liquid at the end of each hair; this is, in fact a sticky glue-like substance in which the insects get stuck.
Other species thriving in this area are the Cuckoo Flower or Lady’s Smock
Whilst photographing these, a movement caught my eye and, after following it around for a while, it finally alighted on some gorse…
This is Red-eyed damselfly; a species I have not seen before!
I have really enjoyed visiting a habitat that I am not familiar with… it is a very special and untouched part of the world and to find such a unique and intact habitat is really quite wonderful….