Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Spring Botanising

I've been so busy out botanising and looking for butterflies that I haven't had time to blog about it. Trouble is the weather's been so good and it's a shame to waste it by sitting at home on the computer. So this will be a bit of a catch up post featuring all the botanising we've been doing so far this year. Next there will be one on butterflies, hopefully tomorrow.

East Anglia

At the end of March we spent a couple of days in Norfolk and Suffolk, mainly looking for early Breckland specialties.


 Wild Grape Hyacinth.
 These are smaller and darker than the garden variety and are surprisingly easy to miss in the long grass. As they are such a dark colour they do look a bit more like grapes than the bright blue garden form. It was foggy and wet when I took the first picture below but we returned to see them again a bit later when the sun came out (second photo). I think they look just as good in both!


Grape Hyacinth - Muscari neglectum


I thought this branch looked like a weasel. It does, doesn't it? Or is it just me?! 


Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquifolium 
Naturalised and doing rather too well in the Brecks.


Cypress Spurge - Euphorbia cyparissias


White Comfrey - Symphytum orientale



Breckland Speedwell - Veronica praecox 




Fingered Speedwell - Veronica triphyllos


Yellow Star of Bethlehem - Gagea lutea


Suffolk Lungwort - Pulmonaria obscura

Cotswolds

Early in April we spent the day in the Cotswolds and visited North Meadow in Cricklade, Wiltshire on the way there to see the spectacular display of fritillaries.


We visited Barnsley Warren to see the Pasqueflowers at there best as we were a bit early last year. 


  Pasque Flower - Pulsatilla vulgaris


Cotswold Pennycress - Thlaspi perfoliatum 

We re-visited the site where we saw this plant last year, hoping that the better weather this spring would mean there would be more plants and they may be bigger too. They weren't, we only found five tiny plants in the same spot as last year.



Snake's Head Fritillary - Fritillaria meleagris

Cornwall 

Last week we spent a couple of days in Cornwall mostly on The Lizard where we caught up with of few of its early spring specialties.


Purple Ramping-fumitory - Fumaria purpurea
 This one not on the Lizard but worth making a detour for on the way.


Flattened on the kerbs and verges around the village green car park and looking a bit worse for wear were many plants of the rare casual Pink Shepherd's Purse.


Pink Shepherd's Purse - Capsella rubella


 Common Scurvygrass - Cochlearia officinalis


The very aptly named Hairy Greenweed.
Even the flowers are hairy!



Hairy Greenweed - Genista pilosa


Spring Sandwort - Minuartia verna


The Spring Squill can only be described as rampant! 


Spring Squill - Scilla verna



We thought we might have trouble finding Western Clover but it was quite easy to see in certain spots 


Western Clover - Trifolium occidentale  


Western Clover and Spring Squill 


Three-lobed Water-crowfoot - Ranunculus tripartitus  


Garston Wood, Dorset 



A beautiful  almost white Bluebell suffused with pale blue.
 

A clump of extraordinarily deep pink Wood Anemones.



Goldilocks Buttercup - Ranunculus auricomus

  

Solomon's Seal - Polygonatum multiflorum 

Blashford Lakes Hampshire 

We popped in here on the way home from Noar Hill on Sunday especially to look for this diminutive plant. We'd seen it before on the Somerset coast but not in flower. There were hundreds of plants at this location and many were in flower. Getting a photo wasn't at all easy!



Sea Stork's-bill Erodium maritimum

Finally, somewhere in North Dorset, a stunning little orchid which was discovered last year. It is believed to most probably be a hybrid of Fly Orchid and Woodcock Orchid. Though how it came to be in Dorset is a mystery as Woodcock Orchid doesn't occur in the UK. Looks quite like the Bee x Fly Orchid but is much smaller with flowers a similar size to Fly Orchid.



 Putative Ophrys x nelsonii (O.scolpax x O.insectifera)


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Summer in Purbeck

This is about the last of my backlog of photos from last year, featuring wildflowers and few insects, from May, June an July seen in the Purbeck area of Dorset. There are lots of photos so in the interests of it not taking me all day I'll just post them and keep comments on them to the bare minimum. First some clovers..



Subterranean Clover - Trifolium subterraneum



Clustered Clover - Trifolium glomeratum 


Zig-zag Clover - Trifolium medium.


Suffocated Clover - Trifolium suffocatum


Knotted Clover - Trifolium striatum


Slender Trefoil - Trifolium micranthum
 
And a couple of violets..


 Hairy Violet - Viola hirta 




Pale Dog-violet - Viola lactea




Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed Pilosella peleteriana



Chrystotoxum Sp. Egg-laying on Tor Grass - Brachypodium rupestre


Feeding pattern of Lulworth Skipper caterpillar 


 Lulworth Skipper Caterpillar
 

An early Lulworth Skipper - Thymelicus acteon
Photographed on May 30th.



Allseed - Radiola linoides
 

Bog Stitchwort - Stellaria uliginosa
 

Fen BedstrawGalium uliginosum


Lesser Stitchwort - Stellaria graminea
 

Three-nerved Sandwort - Moehringia trinervia



 Watercress - Nasturtium officinale


Sea Pearlwort - Sagina maritima


Climbing Corydalis - Ceratocapnos claviculata


 Sticky Mouse-ear - Cerastium glomeratum



Annual Knawel Scleranthus annuus




Field Pepperwort - Lepidium campestre 

 


Shepherd's Needle - Scandix pecten-veneris


Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum umbellatum
  


Dwarf Mallow - Malva neglecta


Marsh Cinqufoil -Comarum palustre  


Amorous multi-coloured triple-decker Reed Beetles!!


  
Early Gentian - Gentianella anglica



Sea Milkwort - Glaux maritima


 Slender Speedwell -Veronica filiformis


 
Small-flowered Cranesbill  - Geranium pusillum 


Tufted Forget-me-not - Myosotis laxa  


Common Meadow-rue - Thalictrum flavum
 


Smooth Cat's-ear - Hypochaeris glabra 
 

Smooth Cat's-ear - Hypochaeris glabra with Small Cudweed - Filago minima



Trailing St. John's Wort with unidentified green eyed fly.
 

 Trailing St. John's Wort - Hypericum humifusum



Trailing Tormentil - Potentilla anglica  
 




Hoary Cinquefoil - Potentilla argentea 



Hairy Buttercup - Ranunculus sardous


Hairy Bird'sfoot Trefoil - Lotus subbiflorus


Thread-leaved Water-crowfoot Ranunculus trichophyllus


Caterpillar of Marbled White  


Common Heath - Ematurga atomaria




A very early Silver-studded Blue seen on 6th June 


Sika Deer 

Finally three photos taken at Coward's Marsh not in the Purbeck area but still Dorset. 


 Nodding Bur-marigold - Bidens cernua
 


Tubular Water-dropwort - Oenanthe fistulosa