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…

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…

Leigh Lane and Lud brook

New oak and hazel leaves, holly and blackthorn flowers, and the last few catkins overhead in Leigh Lane. Under foot, bluebells, three speedwells, two violets, and three umbellifers. Yellow dandelions, lesser celandines, and creeping buttercups in Leigh Lane, and gorse and tormentil on the moor. Also in Leigh Lane, pink purslane, herb robert, and campions and white wood…

Zempson again

I found some more photos from White Oxen and Zempson on my camera, which is temporarily indisposed. There was a chiffchaff singing from the treetop – chiff chaff chiff chiff chaff – lots of crosswort, moschatel, yellow archangel and bluebells, and the first bush vetch I’ve seen this year. A frog visited on 8th April, cooling…

the end of May

It’s all change as spring gives way to summer, the bluebells give a final flourish and the bracken unfurls. Campions, buttercups and cow parsley are at their best and pink purslane is still going strong. Look out for garlands of tiny black bryony flowers   You can pick the top few leaves of young stinging…

mid-May sunshine

Greater celandine has appeared this month, a relative of the Welsh poppy and not of lesser celandine. It is named after the Greek ‘chelidon’ or swallow, as it flowers when the swallows arrive. The bright orange sap is said to cure warts and for this reason, greater celandine was often planted around the walls and gateways of houses, where indeed it is still…

Last day of April

I spent some time wondering what this was and ended up going back to have another look, book and lens in hand. It is greater chickweed, with downward pointing buds and seed capsules, 8-10 stamens, and oval, opposite leaves. Common chickweed and lesser stitchwort have similar flowers but 8 or fewer stamens and long, narrow…

Easter

Ransoms are flowering, white stars bursting through their papery capsules, alongside the tiny blue flowers of ivy-leaved speedwell. In the hedge, there are the first flowers of blackthorn. Shining cranesbill and bluebell are prolific, with the first few flowers just showing today. Cranesbills (native geraniums) are named for their beak-like seed pods. Shining cranesbill is easily identified by…

Spring

Some welcome sunshine this week   From a car, Wrangaton Road is fast and litter-strewn, but the views are lovely and the open verges between Bittaford and Ivybridge station support a different variety of flowers from the shady lane between Moorhaven and Green Lane.   Alexanders is just coming into bloom. Also known as Roman parsley,…