Sunday, 31 May 2009

more from the world of small flowers

the unbelievably exotic flower of the pick-a-back plant (aka tolmiea menziesii), which is very small but spreading everywhere shady, and, below, the mysterious beard at the entrance to cowwheat. What do all these bits and appendages do?

Saturday, 30 May 2009

four orchids and a fun day

the fourth orchid of the day, the southern marsh orchid, and below, a close up of the very small but very beautiful eyebright. We are working hard on these close ups to keep up with our friends in the USA.

four orchids and a fun day

closer inspection revealed three denizens of the insect world

who, following introductions,

clambered over each other; it is not clear who is going to be whose breakfast. I think the coloured spider in the top photo may be the male of the white species (which may be a crab spider (see link)) and he is taking avoiding action before he is eaten.

four orchids and a fun day

a late daffodil, variety unknown and one we have never seen before, presumably a remnant of the days when these meadows were used to grow daffodils. Further research indicates that this is a very complicated area (of course!), see this link

four orchids and a fun day

the lesser butterfly orchid, iridescent in the morning sun. There were also some greater butterfly orchids in the meadow but they are not yet in flower.

four orchids and a fun day

pink purslane, campion and Spot; a dog in clover

four orchids and a fun day

heath spotted orchid in a field full of yellow rattle. The sky really was an amazing vivid blue (see top left corner). One of four species of orchid we found this morning, of which more later, plus other excitement!

Monday, 25 May 2009

and the yellow or flag iris

and another denizen of damp, shady places, the flag or yellow iris.

wild columbine

the genuine wild columbine (aquilegia vulgaris), growing in a damp shady wood. Usually if you find an aquliegia it is a garden escapee. The flower is mysteriously complicated and exotic, with five long nectar horns

Sunday, 24 May 2009

May is out

the hawthorn is out, so out with the clowts/clouts (see link). Classic lane view as well.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

more yellow things

the top picture shows the speckled yellow moth, quite common at this time of year, and below the speckled black ... unable to fly far but looking increasingly moth eaten.

buttercup flyby

in one of the last markers of the full arrival of Spring the martins are back, and nesting under the eaves of our house, and whizzing about in the field next door which is covered in buttercups. It is always a great relief to see them, and feel the blood pumping through the veins of Nature.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

ok, just one more bluebell picture

the bluebells in the banks by the road into our village make even the drive into work a pleasure!

Monday, 18 May 2009

our wisteria

at long last, despite the arctic cold, our wisteria is out. Please note that no one takes any note of the admonition on the doormat. Why is this?

Monday, 11 May 2009

more from the woodland folk

this little path through the wood wends its way along the crest of the valley and is surrounded on each side by acres of wild garlic. The hillside faces south east but is very shaded, except at the top where the light is very dappled.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Why we should always take a camera

well we very nearly didn't, we have done enough bluebells and spring stuff for one year, but Spot insisted so we went back to the house to pick it up, and lo we came across a kingfisher nest, and were treated in a few minutes to a display of fishing and flying. We didn't stay long because we did not want to disturb the kingfisher, but what a wonderful treat.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

ocean of blue

It is really difficult to convey to you either in words or pictures the sheer beauty of the woodland floor at the moment. This year everything has come together to flower at the same time. The woods by the mouth of the Inny are an ocean of blue. It is the most wonderful, peaceful, English sight. (ps I haven't altered the colour of this picture of Spot in the bluebells in any way).

Sunday, 3 May 2009

gill ale rarity

one for plant geeks, this is the rare pale pink variant of ground ivy (see link on earlier page for normal variant of this pretty little plant). I have never seen it before.


Spike and the Laurel cottage mob reported these strange little flowers in their garden (actually where he is not allowed). In fact they are mousetails, closely related to lords and ladies, a member of the arum family. As my book says they have "almost ludicrously" long tails, certainly longer than Spike's. They are not native, but maybe the warmer climate is encouraging them to spread. The blue flower to the lower left is bugle (see earlier pages as well)

Friday, 1 May 2009

furrows to plough

These wide smooth furrows have appeared in fields on the road to Launceston, creating pleasing geometric patterns in the soil. We remain very busy blurbing. But not so busy we couldn't appreciate the beautiful symmetrical complexity of a dandelion seed head.