I popped over to Ilkley Moor this weekend to check out the large stand of Chickweed-wintergreen (Trientalis europaea) after hearing from Peter Kerr that it was looking good this year. It is a plant I last saw on an undergraduate trip to Scotland (shockingly that was nearly 30 years ago now), so long overdue a reacquaintance. It really was looking good, but more on that in a moment.
On the way to the Chickweed-wintergreen, I climbed up the Cow and Calf onto the ridge above to get my bearings. I could of course just tracked straight to my target using a GPS, but where is the fun in that? Half the pleasure is in the exploring and seeing what you find on route, and in my view it is always more satisfying to find the right spot the old fashioned way with a map and (hopefully) a good sense of direction.
So, up on the ridge a flash of gold caught my eye. This turned out to be, rather surprisingly, the golden cultivar of Tree Heather (Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold'). I can't believe that it has seeded itself all the way up here, so I assume it was planted by someone at some point in the past. Perhaps as a memorial to a loved one. It seems well established now though.