To the station and back

A poppy near the church in Bittaford, and some more poppy buds and capsules further on. All along the verge there are patches of zigzag clover, which is less common than white and red clovers but is plentiful here. Note the tapering, pointed stipules and widely spaced brightly coloured petals. Another interesting flower is agrimony, its tall…

South Brent island

There were loads of common red soldier beetles on hogweed and yarrow at the Island.   This is a broad centurion, a type of soldier fly. They are called soldier flies because of their brightly coloured ‘uniforms’. Broad centurion males have bronze abdomens, like this one. Females have blue-green abdomens. This moth is a beautiful golden Y….

Peas, hawksbeard and mutant plantains

Many relatives of the pea are flowering now. At Ivybridge station there are two sorts of medick, spotted medick, black medick, and lesser trefoil. Black medick, with dense pompoms of flowers and a tiny point – mucro – on the tip of each leaf: Lesser trefoil, with looser flower heads: Vetches and clover are part of the…

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…

Biodiversity

I counted over 90 different species currently flowering between Moorhaven and Green Lane, starting with the weeds in our garden (1-36), progressing to Moorhaven communal gardens where Perforate St John’s Wort (37) and Dark Mullein (38) were growing in a weedy border (they could have been planted there originally), and then via Wrangaton Road to the…

Dandelions

Dandelions can reproduce asexually, without pollination, which means that a random mutation can create a new ‘microspecies’. There are several hundred of these microspecies but all have the familiar yellow flowers, toothed leaves and sappy stems. Despite their reputation as a persistent weed, dandelions have benefits for gardens attracting bees, moths and butterflies, particularly early in…

Happy New Year

I am trying to capture in pictures the variety of flowers in a one-mile stretch of south Devon hedgerow from Moorhaven to Green Lane. Today there was winter heliotrope, the first primroses, campions, daisies, bush vetch, herb robert, ivy, bright green new leaves of hedge bedstraw and cow parsley, a rain-soaked celandine, and some small yellow flowers…