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…

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…

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.

April on Bittaford Road

Early purple orchids are flowering at the junction near Ash Rosettes. Beautiful, but far fewer than last year. Cow parsley, hogweed, and garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge) are giving the verges some height now. An early specimen of red clover, rather chewed.

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…

White Oxen and Zempson

Lots of crosswort in the damp meadows at White Oxen and hedgerows around Zempson. The first early purple orchids are flowering, and the first ragged robin, bugle, buttercups, and yellow pimpernel. Also in flower were lady’s smock, bog stitchwort, cornsalad, primroses, common dog violets, sticky mouse-ear, wavy bittercress, thale cress, daisies, germander speedwell, red dead-nettle and red campions….

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,…

Flowers, fruits and flies

Lots of pink on the last day of July: rosebay willowherb and great willowherb,  brambles, buddleia,   knapweed, anad persicaria. Hogweed provides food and shelter for numerous insects, including this bee-mimicking drone fly and a relative of the house fly called graphomyia. These caterpillars emerging from their silky nest are larvae of the parsnip moth. Their usual host…

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…

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…

Weeds

In the garden, a tiny specimen of common ramping fumitory, some lady’s smock and yellow rattle that we planted to kick-start a wild flower patch by parasitising the lawn. There are five species of speedwell: germander, wall, thyme-leaved, ivy-leaved, and slender speedwell. Other flowers thrive through lack of weeding rather than by design. Common cow-wheat in woods in South Brent

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…