Signs of autumn

Autumn hawkbit (above) and camomile on the golf course. At the base of the hedgerows, there are tangles of redshank, knotgrass and water-pepper. There is lots of wild marjoram opposite the top of Green Lane, by the golf course sign, and enchanter’s nightshade at the bottom of Leigh Lane.       The last of the wild…

Bumblebees

There is a large patch of Russian comfrey just past the top of Green Lane and it was humming with bumblebees. Two species were present (assuming my ID is correct). The shaggy yellow one in the top left picture with a gingery tail is Bombus pratorum, one of the first bumblebees to appear in the spring and quite…

Ugborough Beacon to Aish

A lovely varied walk around Ugborough Beacon to Three Barrows and back to Moorhaven via Corringdon Ball and Aish.  The grass on the more sheltered eastern face of Ugborough Beacon was full of heath milkwort in colours ranging from ultramarine through white to pink. I checked the bracken above Peek Moor gate to see if…

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…

Hazel

Hazel is putting on a good display at the moment, with the tiny red female flowers clearly visible as well as the yellow catkins.         Creeping comfrey flowering early on Leigh Lane         and some more lichens. These grow on our car:

New Year’s Eve

Holly and ivy for Christmas and lots of new growth in the hedgerow, notably cow parsley, goose grass (cleavers), and shining cranesbill. Spotted medick leaves are easier to see now than in summer. New flowers of lesser periwinkle, dog’s mercury, winter heliotrope and pink purslane alongside a few scattered flowers of shining cranesbill, rough chervil, nipplewort,…

Halloween

A first primrose out in the garden and campions still flowering in the hedgerows, along with wood sage and self-heal between Moorhaven and Green Lane. By the Dart at Totnes, there are late-flowering bristly ox-tongue, charlock, and scentless mayweed. Narrow-leaved michaelmas daisies escaped from a garden at some point in their past. Marsh ragwort was…

Ferns

Ferns really come into their own at this time of year, looking fresh and lovely while many flowering plants are dying back. I’m finding them hard to identify though! Two easy ones are maidenhair spleenwort and wall rue, both small but impressive for their ability to cling to seemingly bare walls. Male fern and soft shield fern…

October 1st

In the vegetable patch, plenty of weeds are enjoying the autumn sunshine. Daisies, foxgloves, catsear and nipplewort are still in flower in the grounds of Moorhaven while the hedgerows sport a mix of late specimens of summer flowers, like campions and rough chervil, and autumn flowering cyclamens, marjoram and water pepper. The cyclamen is an…

More things that look like cow parsley

Wild angelica is majestic in late summer. Tall and strong like hemlock water dropwort (which is over now), it grows in similarly damp places. There are several specimens beside the small stream where Leigh Lane meets Wrangaton Road. Apart from the late flowering season, distinguishing features are baggy sheaths where the leaf stalks meet the main…

The end of August

A mix of late-summer flowers and autumnal fruits, with hedge bindweed stealing the show. Climbers like bryony and vetch are still hanging on, while persicaria, knotgrass, knapweed and the magically-named enchanter’s nightshade are in their prime. Early traces of autumn include blackberries, rose hips, hazelnuts and dandelion clocks.

Docks

I’ve been trying to tell apart the different docks and it is getting easier as the fruits develop. Four species are common around here. Broad-leaved dock is the most familiar and probably the one you reach for to neutralise nettle stings. Note the frilly ‘tepals’ around the fruit or ‘wart’. Curled dock has distinctly curled…