I WADED across this shallow stretch of the River Devon near Tillicoultry and then out onto a shingle bank on the far-side, attracted by the allure of its numerous wildflowers.

Their pull was strong, especially since blue and yellow is such an eye-catching colour combination, and here the azure-coloured blooms of water forget-me-nots and the lemony petalled monkey-flowers provided a perfect foil for one another.

Water forget-me-nots are especially attractive, and the name is believed to derive from German folklore where an armour-clad knight had picked a clump of the flowers for his lady as they strolled along the river.

Unfortunately, the hapless warrior fell in the water and just before he drowned, threw the flowers to his love, crying 'forget-me-not'.

It is a wonderful tale for a most beautiful plant – a wildflower which Samuel Coleridge eloquently described as 'that blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook'.

Monkey-flower is a foreign import to our shores, originating from western North America and now a plant that is quite common along our riverbanks and by damp margins.

The lipped bright yellow flowers are subtly flecked with red and are stunning. Near the shingle bank, the most incredible deep flower-heads of giant bellflower also shone out at me.

This eye-catching plant, with its lilac blooms, seems to be getting commoner along the River Devon.

After savouring the floral beauty of this little part of the Devon, I splashed my way back across the river, putting to flight a sandpiper in the process.

The seasons pass so quick, and this charismatic little wader will soon be heading back to its wintering grounds in Western Africa.

The impending departure of the sandpipers evoked a wave of sadness rippling across my soul, for their piping calls have brought so much vibrancy to the river over the last few months.