MY INTENTION was to seek out butterflies, but as I walked-up Alva Glen, a gentle drizzle began to fall and I knew my chances were becoming increasingly remote.

This was a pity, for the south facing aspect of the glen makes it's a great place for insects when the sun shines, and on previous occasions I had glimpsed a variety of butterflies, including small coppers, peacocks and small heaths.

One speciality here is the northern brown argus, with the glen being home to a colony of these nationally scarce butterflies.

On the wing from mid-June to early August, the caterpillars of the northern brown argus feed on common rock-rose, and the Alva Glen Heritage Trust is working hard to encourage the plant's growth, so as to boost the butterfly population.

As well as rock-rose, the glen is a haven for many other types of wildflower, and during the course of my walk I spotted wood sage, lady's bedstraw, viper's bugloss and red campion.

I also glimpsed a lattice heath moth – a day flying species, with intricate scribbles on its pale wings, and which looks very similar to a butterfly.

In previous years, in the more open parts of the glen, I used to often see whinchats, but there were none around this time around, and I've noticed their decline in many other parts of the Ochils, including Glen Devon and Menstrie Glen.

The berries on the rowan trees were turning scarlet – a telling reminder that summer's end is approaching fast, and that nature is on the cusp of change.

Soon, the leaves will begin to turn, and Alva Glen will take on a new flush of colour, and the rowans will ring to the calls of newly arrived fieldfares and redwings, feasting hungrily upon their glistening berries.