Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garden Pond Flisk North Fife

A history of gardens in Britain with special reference to the evolution of different styles and the changing importance of native and exotic plant species. In a much-anticipated addition to the New Naturalist library, Stefan Buczacki takes a broad look at the relatively unexplored world of the garden, and its relevance within the context of natural history overall. Though gardens are often viewed merely as artificial creations rather than easily accessible places to observe and encourage wildlife, 'Garden Natural History' rectifies this misconception. By viewing gardens within the wider context of the British ecological landscape, Buczacki follows the garden's development as a habitat within which vertebrates, invertebrates and native and alien plants alike have been introduced and to which they have adapted. 'Garden Natural History' offers a fascinating insight into the diversity of organisms and ecological processes that constitute the garden, whilst also highlighting the role of the gardener as conservator and showing how the garden can inspire all naturalists. I haven't read this book yet but I hope it may provide understanding of my plight.

Garden Pond Flisk North Fife

This year has been one of the wettest I can remember and yet my garden pond has lost over 2 feet of water and is now a kind of bog. It has provided a breeding place for frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies, damselflies, darters, snails and much else. The groundwater has found a new way to go and I would love to correct the loss.

Gooseberries North Fife

Gooseberries grow wild in many places in north fife, in the field edges by the River Tay and along the roadsides. Tonight I went along to a prolific site to find the council had last year cut the bushes right back with only new growth and berry less evident. Next year, loads. This is the view from the site towards Brunton with an already cut winter Barley and a field of oilseed rape waiting for harvest.

North Fife Sycamore Seeds

This year north fife began with it being unusually warm, every plant, tree, shrub abounded with blossom. This is one outcome of a Sycamore Tree which self seeded anyway that has taken up residence in the hedgerow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Apples North Fife

"The Story of the Apple" reveals the solution to a long-standing puzzle. Where did the apple come from, and why is the familiar large, sweet, cultivated apple so different from all other wild apple species with their bitter, cherry-sized fruits? This book will fascinate gardeners who wish to know more about the origin and natural history of the plants that they grow in their yards or orchards, researchers and students in botany and horticulture who want the evidence from DNA, geology, anthropology, archaeology, zoology, and Classical history, and anyone with an interest in diet, well-being, and the benevolent effects of plants on the emergence of humankind.

It's July and this quite young Bramley Apple tree is abundant with fruit, given the size now, by October/November the fruit could be huge.

Wild Flowers North Fife

Along the way from Upper Flisk today there are on the verge of the road small clusters every 40 meters or so of Scabious flowers. For a month or so the flowers provide a rich supply of nectar to many insects. A small tortoiseshell butterfly illustrates.
A complete photoguide to all the wild flowers of Britain, in the same format as the bestselling "Complete British Wildlife". There are 1039 main entries, which include wildflowers, shrubs, aquatic plants, grasses, sedges and rushes. A botanical hotspots section includes 100 rarer species and focuses on which places to visit in Britain which are particularly rich in flower species. The introduction gives information about habitats and general background information to making identifications. Comparison pages show different leaf shapes, flower clusters etc, so that you can quickly and easily navigate to the right section of the book to make your identification. Maps are included for all species to show where they can be found.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Moths Flisk North Fife

A Reviewer Reported, "This book was a complete treasure to find. Having only started my interest in Moths just over a year ago I had only been able to find books with insufficient information or one's that were too technical. The Moths of the British Isles by Bernard Skinner is an excellent book but too technical for a beginner and how often do you see moths with their wings spread out as in the images he gives for identification. With the Field Guide to Moths of Great Britain and Ireland the authors have been able to demonstrate what the moths would look like in different natural positions and described what I should be looking for in straight forward terms. It is an excellent reference book for beginners and the more experienced and is well worth reading. Well done I hope they go on to write other wildlife books in this format as I shall be in the queue to buy them".

The Hebe shrub in the garden here in Flisk has provided a rich supply of nectar to many kinds of insects. These moths are but two of them.

A wee break from North Fife

Samye Ling Tibetan Centre Temple. It was good to return, visit and join in with the many good friends I have in Eskdalemuir. A large proportion of my life has been involved in the development and growth of Samye Ling. In a sense I have moved on but freely acknowledge the benefits of Buddhist teachings, practice, wisdom and guidance from Akong Rinpoche towards an understanding of the nature of mind. I live 108 miles to the north in Fife and always enjoy to return.

Guru Rinpoche Tibetan Chanting

Anyone is welcome to enter, below is what one could see. Taking Refuge is the first formal step on the Buddhist path. This concise text explains that what is meant by refuge is protection and eventual freedom from the confusion and suffering of cyclic sources of spiritual refuge, which are called the Three Jewels: the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche here explains the importance of receiving refuge from an authentic and unbroken lineage of transmission, the role of faith and trust, and how to relate to the refuge ceremony itself. Rinpoche emphasises the importance of taking refuge with the motivation to practice the path until we reach full spiritual awakening – and to do so not just for ourselves, but for the benefit and enlightment to all beings.

Guru Rinpoche Tibetan Chanting According to tradition, Padmasambhava was incarnated as an eight-year-old child appearing in a lotus blossom floating in Lake Dhanakosha, in the kingdom of Uddiyana, traditionally identified with the Swat Valley in present-day Pakistan.[1] His special nature was recognized by the local king who married him to one of his daughters, Mandarava. She and Padmasambhava's other main consort, Yeshe Tsogyal, developed into realised practitioners. Many thangkas and paintings show Padmasambhava in between them.

Padmasambhava's ability to memorize and comprehend esoteric texts in a single hearing established his reputation as a master above all others. Knowing that the life force of the wife and son of evil minister was about to end, he constructed an accident which resulted in their death. As a result, Padmasambhava was banished from the court and exiled in a charnel ground. Transiting various heavens and hells, he developed the power to transcend the cycle of birth and death, accomplishing the so-called great transference.

His fame became known to Trisong Detsen, the 38th king of Tibet (742–797), whose kingdom was beset by evil mountain deities. The king invited Padmasambhava to Tibet where he used his tantric powers to subdue the evil deities he encountered along the way, eventually receiving the Emperor's wife, identified with the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal, as a consort. This was in accordance with the tantric principle of not eliminating negative forces but redirecting them to fuel the journey toward spiritual awakening. In Tibet he founded the first monastery in the country, Samye Gompa, initiated the first monks, and introduced the people to the practice of Tantric Buddhism.

In Bhutan he is associated with the famous Taktshang or "Tiger's Nest" monastery built on a sheer cliff wall about 500m above the floor of Paro valley. He flew there from Tibet on the back of Yeshe Tsogyal, whom he transformed into a flying tigress for the purpose of the trip. Later he travelled to Bumthang district to subdue a powerful deity offended by a local king. Padmasambhava's body imprint can be found in the wall of a cave at nearby Kurje Lhakhang temple.

Padmasambhava also hid a number of religious treasures (termas) in lakes, caves, fields and forests of the Himalayan region to be found and interpreted by future tertöns or spiritual treasure-finders. According to Tibetan tradition, the Bardo Thodol (commonly referred to as the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was among these hidden treasures, subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa.

Guru Rinpoche Drubcho at Samye Ling.

Monk Gyamtso and Lama Yeshey Losal with Sangha and lay practitioners join to conduct Guru Rinpoche Drubcho in commemoration of 40th Anniversary of Kagyu Samye Ling.

Forth Road Bridge to North Fife

Forth Road Bridge A bumpy ride across a decaying bridge that needs replacement or radical refurbishment. Anyway, I made it home to North Fife after a very pleasant visit to Eskdalemuir.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newburgh river Tay North Fife

Newburgh river Tay North Fife. For 29 years I have travelled this road and every time the view is different. Today the sun was cloud-bound and it was possible to shoot this wee video to show Newburgh, Mugdrum Island, the river Tay at lowish water and the Carse of Gowrie in a 180 degree sweep.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Red Deer in North Fife

Red Deer in North Fife can be found occasionally but usually Roe Deer are frequently seen as they run wild over the entire area. This example of a Red Deer Stag is at the deer farm near Auchtermuckty in North Fife run by John and Nichola Fletcher.

Silver Bird Broach made in North Fife.

Silver Bird Broach made in North Fife. Bird broach with moonstones hinged pin and clasp. At the time of making I was exploring the technique of repousse which allows one to create form out of sheet metal.

Sterling Silver Broach made in North Fife

Sterling Silver Broach made in North Fife. I was approached and asked to make a Granny piece of jewellery and given a silver cigarette case as part payment. This I melted down and converted into sheet and wire to produce what you see, it has a hinged pin and clasp. Actual size is about 2 inches diameter.

Lindores Loch North Fife

Lindores Loch North Fife. Looking North West from Dunbog farmland with Clatchard quarry in the distance eating into the hill which screens Newburgh and the River Tay.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Herbalism in North Fife

Herbalism in North Fife. Matthew Wood explores how herbs are not only invaluable for healing, but as reference points for exploring the natural world. He mixes descriptions from botanical and homeopathic literature with the clinical truths he has discovered as a healer.

Herbalism in North Fife My partner Kerstin has trained in Tibetan and Western Herbal Medicinal Practice, as a consequence our garden is home to many plants as well as various local growing habitats being known to us, for example the post below. There are many and in time I hope to post on other examples.

A recent revival of Western Herbalism, along with other systems of natural, traditional and holistic medicine, has brought to light a missing link, namely a system of medicine by which the herbs could be applied to the human body. Herbalism does not fit into modern biomedicine and the original system of medicine has disappeared. In contrast, a background philosophy and system of medicine accompanies homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Now, this book resuscitates and brings Western Herbalism up to date in relation to the human body.

Bistort on the road to Abdie North Fife

Bistort, a wild medicinal plant that we grow in the garden, but this form has smaller leaves and an incredible dark pink flower instead of the usual lighter pink. The spring shoots and rhizomes can be cooked as a tonic. The astringent leaves and roots treat mouth ulcers, catarrh and bleeding gums as a gargle. It is anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial. Another potentially useful plant in North Fife.

Abdie old church Gravestone North Fife

Abdie old church Gravestone bearing the name John Tod of Carnie Hall.

Abdie old church Lindores North Fife

Abdie old church Cemetery Lindores North Fife.

Abdie old church Lindores North Fife

Abdie old church Cemetery Lindores North Fife.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Abdie Gravestone North Fife

I am drawn to this Abdie gravestone by the the design and quality of the workmanship, it's a pity the columns are missing. There are many very interesting stones within the confines of this ancient place of worship. The Parish of Abdie has reduced in size over the centuries, notably by the growth of Newburgh.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Abdie Lindores North Fife

Today I wandered across to Abdie churchyard to have a look. It so happened that along the way I noticed that the Gean (bird cherries) were ripe and beginning to fall. Indeed they are of such profusion this year that there are far too many for the birds to consume, I too was well satisfied with the unexpected mid morning snack. Nice Eh!

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

Abdie Looking across Lindores Loch to Normans Law.

by Robert Herrick

SO smell those odours that do rise
From out the wealthy spiceries ;
So smells the flower of blooming clove,
Or roses smother'd in the stove ;
So smells the air of spiced wine,
Or essences of jessamine ;
So smells the breath about the hives
When well the work of honey thrives,
And all the busy factors come
Laden with wax and honey home ;
So smell those neat and woven bowers
All over-arch'd with orange flowers,
And almond blossoms that do mix
To make rich these aromatics ;
So smell those bracelets and those bands
Of amber chaf'd between the hands,
When thus enkindled they transpire
A noble perfume from the fire.
The wine of cherries, and to these
The cooling breath of respasses ;
The smell of morning's milk and cream,
Butter of cowslips mix'd with them ;
Of roasted warden or bak'd pear,
These are not to be reckon'd here,
Whenas the meanest part of her,
Smells like the maiden pomander.
Thus sweet she smells, or what can be
More lik'd by her or lov'd by me.

Factors, workers.
Respasses, raspberries.
Pomander, ball of scent.

What sentiment,
as penned by, Robert Herrick, poet.

Abdie old church Lindores North Fife Scotland

Along with the Pictish stone pictured below this stone is housed in the same place. I am quite taken by the strong design which is particularly well drawn and executed.Any heraldic coats of arms which may have been depicted on the shields are no longer evident.

Abdie old church Lindores North Fife

This Pictish Stone is housed in a little out-building next to Abdie Church Cemetery. Over the centuries It has been made into a sundial, the Roman numerals within a square and a deep central vertical slot in the centre where the Gnonom was fixed. At a later date in the nineteenth century a surveyors bench mark was added without regard to its origins. The detail is more evident by a click on the image. It may actually have started out as a sundial, the knowledge and use of has been around for over two and a half thousand years. Who knows? Whatever, it's a stone that many craftsmen have been connected to and it survives.

An Inconvenient Truth in Fife

An Inconvenient Truth. I make no apology for posting this video as it clearly demonstrates potential change, whatever the causes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Newburgh Highland Games North Fife

Cycle racing Newburgh Highland Games.
With the unexpected loss of the normal venue this year Newburgh Highland Games was cancelled. I am assured that alternative sites have been identified and Newburgh will rejoin the Highland Games circuit next year.

Tossing the caber, what a proud man he must be.

Newburgh Highland Games North Fife. One of the Heavyweight events, hurling a weight over an ever increasing high bar.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pheasants that may soon be in North Fife

Extraordinary Pheasants
The author and photographer who brought Abrams Extraordinary Chickens (now in its fourth printing) is back with another singular and charming book. With gorgeous color photographs and informative text, Stephen Green-Armytage turns his attention to the pheasant family, capturing with his camera pheasants of all sizes, shapes, and colors and illuminating gorgeous feather patterns and other decorative details worthy of French fabric designers. The varieties included range from the noble Ringneck pheasant, so popular with hunters, to the gorgeous Congo peacock. Breeders and enthusiasts will find this volume a treasure they must own; for others it will be a revelation, worth having for the sheer enjoyment of the striking photographs and the amazing birds they portray.

It has long been my intention to breed and release some of these exotic pheasants into North Fife, How it goes remains to be seen but it is a way of creating a subtle paradise. As conservation and habitat quality are more to the fore of peoples awareness it could become a viable happening. Mind you the thought of them being shot for pleasure appals me. I will be happy to receive any advice on such an endeavour.

Pheasants North Fife

In North Fife they are bred to be hunted and are shot in great numbers. The doggerel "up flies a guinea, bang goes sixpence and down comes half-a-crown" reflects that they are often shot for sport rather than as food. If eaten the meat is somewhat tough and dry, so the carcasses were often hung for a time to improve the meat by slight decomposition, as with most other game. Modern cookery generally uses moist roasting or farm-raised female birds.
Pheasant farming is a common practice, and is sometimes done intensively. Birds are supplied both to hunting preserves/estates and restaurants, with smaller numbers being available for home cooks. Pheasant farms have some 10 million birds in the U.S. and 35 million in the United Kingdom. The Common Pheasant is also one of the prime target of small game poachers. The Roald Dahl novel "Danny the Champion of the World" dealt with a poacher (and his son) who lived in the United Kingdom and illegally hunted common pheasants.

Each year a brace or two nest in my garden at Flisk North Fife, though this nest pictured seems to have been deserted, the hen road killed or a fox had a meal.

The bird was brought to Britain around the 10th century but became locally extinct in the early 17th century; it was reintroduced in the 1830s and is now widespread. Repeated reintroduction has made the pheasant a very variable species in regard to size and plumage. Pheasants were introduced in North America in 1913, being released at Dog Ear Butte. They are most common in the Great Plains, where they are often seen in hay, grass wheat, and CRP fields. A preferred nesting site for them is along fence rows, wheat, and under old machinery.

The Green Pheasant of Japan is very similar to Common Pheasant, but the males have greenish plumage. The Ring-Necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three US state birds that is not a species native to the United States.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Balmerino Abbey North Fife Scotland

Balmerino Abbey North Fife Scotland. This is largest part still standing and is further pictured below.
Balmerino Abbey North Fife.

Sweet Chestnut Tree Balmerino Abbey North Fife

This Sweet Chestnut Tree is thought to be around 700 years old. It is propped up in various places to maintain its integrity but as can be seen is quite something.

Balmerino Abbey Sacristy North Fife

Balmerino Abbey North Fife

Very old sweet chestnut tree in the grounds of Belmarino Abbey.

Balmerino Abbey, a Cistercian monastery situated on the south bank of the River Tay in North Fife was founded in 1229 by the widowed queen of William the Lyon, then destroyed during the Reformation. A Spanish Chestnut tree here is one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
Balmerino Abbey, was the landing-place of the Lady Ermengarde second wife and widow of William the Lyon, daughter of the Earl of Beaumont, and great-granddaughter of the Conqueror, mother of Alexander II, and ancestress of the succeeding sovereigns of Scotland -- when, out of gratitude for the health and the peace she had found at 'Balmurynach 'there is a choice of 36 ways of spelling the name she resolved to plant here a house of Cistercian monks, dedicated to the Virgin and to her relative 'the most holy King Edward,' the Confessor.

This resolve, made sometime at the beginning of the second quarter of the thirteenth century, was promptly carried into execution, and on St Lucy's Day, 1229, a company of monks from Melrose, under Alan, their first Abbot, were able to enter and take possession. The Abbey was a monument of sacrifice, as well as of gratitude, for the foundress had first to purchase with a thousand marks the lands representing nearly the whole of the present parish, to which the Abernethies of Carpow had succeeded as Lay Abbots of the Culdee seat of Abernethy. It was built of a red stone from Nydie, beyond the Eden. In its great days it must have been a beautiful habitation of peace, with a plan conforming to the Mother Church of Melrose, in having the cloister on the north side of the sanctuary and in other details.

Ermengarde and her son Alexander, another great benefactor, visited here repeatedly. They would ferry over from Dundee, or from Invergowrie, when coming from the royal palace at Forfar; for the Queen much affected the haunts, as well as the religious example, of her grandmother-in-law, the saintly Margaret. In 1234 the body of the foundress was laid to rest here. But, like other landmarks of Balmerino, the grave will be looked for in vain. Her stone coffin, containing her skeleton, was supposed to have been found, on the spot indicated by the records, by the tenant of the farm while, in the summer of 1831, he was engaged in 'carting away hewn stones from the piers and south wall of the church' to build a house in St Andrews. It was covered by a graveslab, which was 'broken in pieces,' while the bones found within were 'dispersed as curiosities through the country.'

Mary Queen of Scots was certainly a visitor here in 1565, and more than likely lived in the Abbot's House as a guest of Sir John Hay, the first Lay Commendator of the Abbey. Later the lands were erected into a barony, in favour of Sir James Elphinston of Barnton, the first Lord Balmerino, who after being sentenced to death, died quietly of a 'fever' at the Abbey. The more ill-fated Arthur, the sixth lord, who suffered for his part in the 1745 rebellion, is supposed to have hidden in the ruins, after an earlier adventure in 1715, and before he escaped to a vessel in the Firth of Tay which took him to France.

Of the Church itself there remains above ground only portions of the walls of the nave and north transept. Enough of the Chapter-House is left to show how endowed it was in ornament and proportions. What remains of Balmerino Abbey is kept now kept in good order and condition. Although Daniel Defoe, who visited it in 1727, saw 'nothing worthy of observation, the very ruins being almost eaten up by time,' it is well deserving this reverent care, if only for the ancient trees that are gathered around it. Chieftains among these are a magnificent old Spanish chestnut and a walnut of like or superior age. Another reason to visit Balmerino is the beautiful views of the Firth of Tay, the Carse of Gowrie, and the Sidlaw range of hills, with glimpses of the more remote Grampians, including Ben Voirlech on Loch Earn - a distance of about fifty miles in a straight line.

Balmerino Abbey North Fife

Balmerino Abbey North Fife was visited again by Fifelets group for the summer picnic. A splendid sunny and warm day where little trading took place but a good opportunity to catch up and just enjoy the relaxed ambience of being in these historic grounds.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lindores Abbey BBQ Newburgh North Fife

This BBQ in Newburgh North Fife provides a good meeting point where people catch up, meet others and generally deepen the connection between. I myself re-met someone from years ago and forged new friendships with others as did many. Newburgh is small, yes but although we acknowledge each other in passing, it's only on such random gatherings is time spent really getting to know others in a relaxed convivial atmosphere.

The young and not so young work it off.
Lindores Abbey BBQ Newburgh North Fife. An Annual event where local Newburgh peoples meet and enjoy a relaxed time in the ancient ruins of Lindores Abbey. Permission for use of the venue kindly provided by Robbie McKensie Smith. Custodiand of the grounds.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Clatchards Quarry Newburgh North Fife

Clatchards Quarry Newburgh North Fife as viewed from Dunbog. It is now owned and worked by Enstone Thistle, It is an immense excavation which is slowly but surely removing a very large hill to be dispersed as tarmac, railway ballast, hard core and blinding. This process has gone on for well over a hundred years, once employing boats at Newburgh on the River Tay, a rail connection but now all goes by road. My fear, and I really wish it isn't the case that it will become a massive landfill site.

Tour Scotland on the Best Scottish Tours

Tour Scotland on the Best Scottish Tours. One of the American visitors demonstrates his accomplishments after attending the Clown School in Dunoon.

Bramble Flowers North Fife

There are many free foods for the taking in North Fife and this complete guide will help you to safely identify edible species that grow around us, together with detailed artworks, field identification notes and recipes. First published in 1972, this updated edition of Richard Mabey's cult bestseller has been revised to reflect the ever-increasing eco-awareness and popular interest in finding different, and more natural, sources of food. Each of the 240 types of fruit, nut, flower, seaweed, fungi and shellfish featured has its own identification field notes and artwork. Understand and learn about the fascinating edible species that you may come across and, with the help of the numerous recipes also included, find out the best way to pick and enjoy them. Beautifully illustrated and written, 'Food for Free' will inspire you to take more notice of the natural harvest that surrounds us, learn how to make use of it and conserve it for future generations.

Walking today I was drawn to this particular Blackberry Blossom which is super-abundant in Stamens. (male) I'm not sure if the plant will produce small or large fruit as a result. Perhaps a reader could comment if known. It's true that here in North East Fife Brambles produce large amounts of fruit but of varying quality and size.

Sharons Hairdressers High Street Newburgh North Fife

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lindores Abbey Newburgh North Fife

The Bear and Ragged Staff dug into Parkhill Newburgh.
Norman arch entrance to Lindores Abbey ruins. Strangely it has a wooden keystone, inserted when? Who knows but slippage can be clearly seen as the wood shrinks with age.

Newburgh, in North Fife, on the banks of the River Tay, has had a settlement or a village on the present site from a period much earlier than the end of the twelfth century, but it was at this time that the village grew in importance, due to the founding of Lindores Abbey.

Perhaps the most important and historic event ever witnessed at Lindores Abbey was the meeting here in 1306 of three puissant knights, Sir Gilbert Hay of Errol, Sir Neil Campbell of Lochaw, and Sir Alexander Seton, and the sealing before the high altar of the vow they made to " defend the King Robert Bruce and his crown to the last of their blood and fortunes. "

William Wallace was also here when he stole hither out of Black Earnside Wood for water for his wounded men. And in Newburgh tradition, the Clatchard Craig, which faces the Abbey with a sheer cliff of two hundred feet, is pointed to as the stone whereon he whetted his great two-handed sword !

Lindores Abbey, which was once a wealthy Abbey, older and more famed than Balmerino, is now deserted and in ruins. Yet, Kings Warriors and Statesman who had a considerable part to play in Scottish history have frequented this ancient site. Brave men have walked here. Brave words have been spoken here, and for centuries men worshipped and praised God in this now inconspicuous site.

David, Duke of Rothesay, the ill-fated heir to the throne was quickly buried here in 1401 after having been put to death in Falkland Palace. For many years James the ninth and last of the line of the " Black Douglases, " found retirement here.

David, Earl of Huntingdon, was the founder of this Benedictine House of the Tyronesian Order, which was colonised by monks from Kelso at the end of the 12th century and dedicated to St Mary and St Andrew in gratitude for the taking of Ptolemais in Palestine. Other visitors were William the Lyon; the second and third Alexanders, one of whom brought interdict on Lindores and Scotland through his quarrel with the Pope, while the other had his son and heir buried here.

Edward I, the " Hammer of the Scots, " was here in 1296. Lindores also saw David II, many Stuart sovereigns, including of course, Mary. Before her visit, and angry Dundee mob had, in 1543, assailed the abbey, ejecting the monks and destroying much of the furnishings.

The most famous Abbot was the great theologian and inquisitor Lawrence, one of the founders of St Andrews University.

The village of Newburgh was erected into a burgh-of-barony by Alexander III, in 1266 in favour of the Abbot and Convent of Lindores. In 1457 it was converted into a royal burgh. In 1631 Charles I, confirmed the ancient royal charter, but the burghers never exercised their right of sending a member to the Scottish Parliament. In the wall of a building in Newburgh High Street, and facing north, is an interesting relic of Lindores Abbey. It shows a badge with a shield above surmounted by a crosier or pastoral staff. The badge is the same as was borne by the ancient Earls of Warwick - namely the bear and ragged staff. The stone must have at one time been part of the Abbey's decorations or the Abbot's residence.

The bear in the stone harks back to the time of Arthur and the Round Table. One of his knights was Arthgal, whose name in the British language was Arsh or Narsh, signifying a bear. The ragged staff is attributed to Morvidus, an earl of the same family remarkable for his courage and skill, who slew a formidable giant by means of a young tree, which by his great strength he had torn up for the task.

Lindores Abbey Newburgh North Fife

Here one can see Gothic arch construction, the entrance gate is earlier with a Norman arch. Lindores Abbey Newburgh North Fife.

Newburgh funday arriving at Lindores Abbey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bumblebees North Fife

Bumble bees are far more evident than honey bees at present but do the work of pollinators very efficiently.Here they can be seen working the Hebe and Honeysuckle flowers. I am pleased with way that my Samsung NV7 digital camera has captured the little buzzers.