Into the woods

Primroses and bluebells in Penstave Woods.        An impressive Drinker moth caterpillar on the verge of Bittaford Road. Note the ‘horns’ of hair at either end. The moth drinks dew. Also the first early purple orchid. I’m fascinated by these mutant plants. They seem to be quite common along this stretch of road. Could traffic…

Spring at last!

There’s a dazzling display of dandelions, interspersed with lady’s smock, at the turning to Ivybridge station. The stitchwort is out in the hedgerows at last, with wood sorrel in shady spots. The first bluebells and buds of yellow archangel are showing in Penstave woods. There are newts in our pond again too.

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…

Shopping

Off to Ivybridge via the moor. This has to be the best walk to the shops. Along Leigh Lane, shade-loving wood sorrel is just opening and there are new marsh violets unfolding in the bogs near the Lud brook. The sunshine brings out the vivid reds, greens and yellows of the moss. The mysterious hole, with some new scratches nearby….

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…