Ragged robin

A single flower of ragged robin has appeared in the boggy patch at the edge of the pond. I had scattered some seeds there from ragged robin in mum and dad’s field. I’m pleased I restrained myself from pulling up the seedlings, which look like slightly twisted willowherb.

Sunny garden

Among the yellow rattle is a single bulbous buttercup. Even though it is common according to my book, I haven’t knowingly noticed one before. Its defining feature is downward pointing sepals but the leaves also look different from those of creeping buttercup, which tend to be mottled and not softly downy like these. At soil level, the stem…

Evening in the garden

My camera insisted on using flash on a bright evening, with some nice results. There is a wild patch under the sycamore tree where red campions are thriving, and also the last few early dog violets.

Moorhaven to Green Lane

I haven’t done this walk for a while and the big change was clumps of three-nerved sandwort at the side of the Moorhaven drive. On the sunny southern verge just past Leigh Lane, lots of shining cranesbill and ransoms, greater chickweed, and creeping buttercups. Past the golf course, there are stunning displays of bluebells on…

Saints’ days

Lots of bluebells at Andrew’s Wood nature reserve on St George’s day, some brimstone butterflies, and a bloody nosed beetle slowly walking across the path. Daldinia concentrica helps decompose ash trees. This fungus is called King Alfred’s cakes after the king who was left minding the cakes baking in a cottage where he was hiding…

Owl pellet

We found an owl pellet on the trampoline. Inside was a myriad of tiny bones and teeth. Insects were enjoying the sunshine in the garden: a bee fly, red admiral and a bumble bee were those that stayed still long enough for a photo. The drone fly looks a lot like a honey bee but…

Pond in April

Lucy and I were trying to film pond skaters with her waterproof camera but could not get a well focused shot. The longer we looked though, the more we saw. Lots of tiny diving beetles, a small water boatman and, best of all, lots of caddis fly larvae in jewel-like cases made from pieces of…

Spring flowers and another alien

Not a great photo, but this may be another alien species, Kontikia ventrolineata, so called because of the stripes running along the midline. Found under an old metal parasol base. There are better photos on this website.       In the woods at Shinners Bridge, lots of dogs mercury, snowdrops, and split open seed capsules…

Mini beasts

I’m still resisting the urge to sweep up leaves and pull up couch grass, to avoid disturbing hibernating hedgehogs and toads, so instead I swept the patio and disturbed smaller things. I’m pretty certain this is an Australian flatworm, which should not be in the UK as it eats our earthworms.     Another flatworm, this…

February

I need to learn more about ferns because they are confusingly similar. I got excited that this one was lanceolate spleenwort, which is rare but has a small stronghold in south Devon, but maybe it is common black spleenwort. I thought a key feature might be the opposite pinnae but then noticed that on the other frond…

Hedgehog

Early one morning in late autumn, Lucy spotted a small hedgehog rooting among fallen yellow acer leaves. We both watched as it carried its chosen leaves to a small heap. We hope it is snugly hibernating inside, and we shan’t be gardening here until the spring because it would be easy to overlook such a small nest.  

Pond

We have been trying to make our garden more wildlife friendly. We have marked off some areas of lawn as wildflower areas, made leaf and log piles, and put up a bug hotel. The biggest change was digging a pond. We planted it out with mainly native plants from Devon pond plants: lesser spearwort, common…