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


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


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