Saturday, April 30, 2005

Don't forget your doorstep

It's a truism isn't it that we all tend to ignore what is local. I only got round to the sights of London years ago (living there then) when my cousin came to stay for instance.

Same with nature reserves.
Uphill has some superb reserves as I confirmed last week. I had been before but not looking seriously and not at such a good time. Timing ? Mainly that I wanted a walk close to home for a variety of insignificant reasons.

Then a quick stroll from the house to get Horse Chestnut flowers turned up
Black Poplar hybrid and a nice ornamental oak also in flower...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Mostly Old Favourites

Nothing spectacular photographed this week - but several instances of something I missed the best period for last year and have now improved on - eg Lords and Ladies. These I think are only properly open for a very short time each. Need to be caught at the right time.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Driving round the country

Just the time for the Leucojum aestivum on the River Loddon and also for Pasqueflowers in Gloucestershire. So down the M4 to Reading, long walks on the wrong banks (initially) of the Lodden and then finally some good photographing of the local wild population of these native British flowers.

The "wrong banks" were spoilt by huge works I think for the benefit of fishermen - grrr....

A quick sarnie in the car and off to a site north of Cirencester for Pasqueflowers. Well worth it but this is not my style. I much prefer to drive to somewhere I know better and which is closer to home and spend most of the day in botanical searches - or even just enjoying being out and up on the hills etc.

Another rant - aren't the garden forms of Narcissus in all their gaudiness destroying our springtime road verges ? No problem when they are a massed, subdued variety of course - try the old bit of the "M4" (whatever it now is called) between the old Severn Bridge and Magor.

Friday, April 08, 2005


The season is definitely under way now, and with a much more informed strategy, new species gathering thick and fast.

Mousetail is now pretty rare on a UK wide basis but still has a "stronghold" in West Sedge Moor in Somerset. I found it after walking along one of the main droves a mile or so, but even prepared in a way for what to look for it took a while to spot - very easily confused with grass at a distance but far from similar close up.

Smaller than I imagined and a plant with a delicate beauty. It seems to depend here on "big tractors" to make the mud ridges that form its habitat. I don't like this as a strategy for survival - who knows what the next agricultural developments will be in an area like this and will they suit ?

West Sedge Moor is a peaceful haven to enjoy for it's own tranquil beauty - even at this time of year. Was that a pair of skylarks I heard and enjoyed watching tumbling this early ?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Dawlish Warren

This is the time of year for the Sand Crocus - which grows only in Dawlish Warren in the UK (a few other sites have existed but currently thought extinct at them). It is common in Tunisia though so at its northern extreme in sunny Dawlish.

It's a place well worth a visit in any case and a sunny day (the flowers open only in sun) at the end of March begining of April is the time for Sand Crocus or Romulea columnae. While walking around we found several other early flowers and lots of signs for more to cdome.

I visited with David Fenwick - see his site for more great flower pictures.