LYING above Dollar, Hillfoot Hill makes a great little nature walk, following an easy-going track, which offers many splendid panoramic views.

At this time of year, my eyes are always drawn to the grassy verges of such hill tracks, for they are wonderful places for spotting wildflowers.

By a watery ditch, the pink frond-like petals of ragged robin shone out at me, and just above them on a steep slope, pastel-blue harebells nodded in the hill breeze.

In the past, harebells were very much a part of our country folklore and associated with magic and witchcraft, carrying such names as "witches' thimbles" and "fairy bells".

They were also sometimes known as "aul man's bells", where the aul man (old man) is a euphemism for the Devil.

One reference from 19th century Scottish literature states that the plant was held with "dread" and "commonly left unpulled".

Why this benign flower should hold such mythical fear is hard to fathom.

Ragwort was also abundant on my walk. Although the yellow flowers are attractive to the eye, the plant is viewed with disdain by farmers as the leaves can be harmful to grazing livestock, especially horses.

Ragwort is sometimes known as 'Stinking Willie' in reference to the foul-smelling odour from the leaves if bruised.

Up in the air, a buzzard circled overhead, mewing continuously. It had fledged youngsters nearby and I could hear them calling too, a rather monotonous seagull-like sound.

Buzzards have had a good breeding season in the Wee County this year and I have seen several family groups about, including near Alloa.

I followed the track in a circuit around Hillfoot Hill before returning down the same route I came. Once more, my eyes were drawn to the ground, attracted by the exquisite little flowers of eyebright.

This little wildflower gem is so-called because in the 18th century it was thought extracts from the plant were a good remedy for poor eyesight.

Our wildflowers have so many stories to tell; they are part of our very fabric and culture, and as such, one of the bedrocks of society