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buzzy

What I do on Mondays!

In the summer, on most Monday evenings, a group of us (named The Eccentrics) go out for a walk in the countryside. In the winter a slightly smaller group, those of us who are retired (The WorkShy Eccentrics) go for a walk during the day.

We usually aim to find some particular species of interest, either because it is attractive to look at, or rare (sometimes, but not always, both at the same time).

Yesterday the target was the Violet Crown Cup, an uncommon fungus. Attached is a picture. You may think it is not especially violet - the usual excuse from our guide "We ought to have come last week, it would have been much better!"

Henry



VM

Sounds a bit like a fisherman talking of the one that got away.

Quite a cool fungus anyway.
sean

Visiting gardens is the same you should always have been there a week ago or be coming in a week's time.

Cool fungus though.
dpack

a very similar floor to the only time i have found one

tis nice to see a rarity
Mistress Rose

Have never seen that one. Interesting. A good way of spending a Monday.
sueshells

Excellent idea - and a lovely fungus.
buzzy

This Monday we went out during the day, hoping to see Green Hairstreaks. But the weather put a stop to that.

But we did see Houndstongue just coming into flower.




Henry
Mistress Rose

Your area seems to be completely different from ours. Not a plant I am familiar with. We have things like twayblade, the tail end of the goldilocks buttercup and wild garlic flower just finishing too. Sure there will be other flowers including red campion along, but most of our woodland flowers are in the spring of course. Hairbells on the downs in a little while I would expect.
Woo

What great pictures, the walking group sounds nice too.
I wouldn't have known the first one was a fungus.
The flower was very pretty. My daughter was delighted by the image.
Thank you for sharing them.
Ruth
Mistress Rose

You do some interesting exploring with your group, and as Woo says, some lovely pictures. Will be interested to hear what else you find through the year.
buzzy

You do some interesting exploring with your group, and as Woo says, some lovely pictures. Will be interested to hear what else you find through the year.


Glad you like the pictures.

Below is what we found the Monday before last. An uncommon weevil that landed on the bonnet of one of the cars. It looks remarkably like a bird dropping, which is presumably some sort of protective colouration.
Its name is Platystomos albinus and is described in the book as "Very local and usually rare"




Henry
Mistress Rose

Interesting. I sometimes wonder with some of these rare things if they really are rare or if people just don't notice them. A friend found a rare fungus in our wood a few years ago. It may have been rare, but as it was only a tiny one, rather suspect there is more of it about than is thought.
buzzy

Interesting. I sometimes wonder with some of these rare things if they really are rare or if people just don't notice them. A friend found a rare fungus in our wood a few years ago. It may have been rare, but as it was only a tiny one, rather suspect there is more of it about than is thought.


You make a good point. I once found a fairly uncommon beetle by sweeping, during the winter. My coleopterist friend said he'd never found one that early, but "nobody sweeps in the winter".

Another friend did some sweeping at night, and found a totally different range of insects.

There are some rare fungi which are found in quite common habitat. There is lots of (apparently) identical habitat where these fungi haven't been found (yet), so either there is something different about the places where they do grow, or mycologists just haven't looked hard enough.

Wildlife presents an endless challenge.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Without being a fungus or a beetle you wouldn't know really would you. Very Happy

There can be very marked differences over a fairly small distance but sometimes it is to do with temporary conditions like light because of the way the trees have grown.
buzzy

Meadow Cranesbill from yesterday evening's walk.




I am always happy when I find these lovely flowers!

Henry
Mistress Rose

They are beautiful aren't they. We have some in our 'lawn' and I always love to see them. Went for a wander in the woods yesterday and found we have some elder in flower and another dog rose. Thought we only had 2, so this makes another. Found some twayblade a week or so ago that I didn't know were there too. Have had the woods for about 11 years now, and things still pop up to surprise us. buzzy

Another one from last Monday evening;




Common Broomrape - a parasite on the roots of a wide variety of plants. It has no chlorophyll, getting its nourishment from the plants it parasitises.

There were lots of spikes in this particular field - dozens if not hundreds (we found it at the end of our walk and did not stay to count more accurately!).

Henry
Mistress Rose

Interesting. I think I have seen that once or twice, but not often. Where we stay on holiday gets a type of broomrape, but I have never been able to fully identify it.

We had something come up in our lawn one year. I told husband, and he said it must be broomrape until he looked at it. Turned out to be pyramid orchid. There are a number in the verge on the opposite side of the road to us, so hope the strimmer monkeys don't get them.
buzzy

This Monday we found, amongst other things, the Stingless or Fen Nettle, which as far as I can tell, by reading my books, and briefly looking on the interweb thingy, may be a separate species (Urtica galeopsifolia), a subspecies of the Common Nettle (Urtica dioica subspecies galeopsifolia) or just an extreme variant of the Common Nettle.

Sorry, didn't get a picture. Looks like an ordinary Nettle with narrow leaves (and no stinging hairs). Appears one might need to do chromosome analysis to get closer to what it really is, and that's not something I do every day.

Henry
Rob R

and that's not something I do every day.

Henry

Only on Tuesday's?
buzzy

and that's not something I do every day.

Henry

Only on Tuesday's?

Nope. On Tuesdays I'm recovering from Monday!

Smile

Henry
buzzy

From last Monday.




Royal Fern growing in front of a big stand of Bracken.

This is possibly the only wild Royal Fern in the county.

Henry
Rob R

and that's not something I do every day.

Henry

Only on Tuesday's?

Nope. On Tuesdays I'm recovering from Monday!

Smile

Henry

Laughing Wild thing.
Mistress Rose

Not unnaturally, I have never seen that one. Really lovely fern. We have several in the woods, but not sure if all have been identified. We had someone who belonged to a fern group, whatever they are called, as a volunteer for a while. He identified several more than we thought we had. Our prize one is intermediate polypody, and we have two hearts tongues ferns. One is in the lee of a fallen tree root, and the other by the side of a catch for water along a track.

Your Monday walks sound really interesting Buzzy. Sadly, among the people I know, I am the 'expert' on plants, apart from one man who has graduated from normal plants to things like mosses and liverworts. Really annoys me when I find something in the woods I can't identify.
buzzy

From this Monday.....




Marbled White.
Always pleased to see these - one of my favourite butterflies.




One of two lizards that we saw. This one is very green, and appears to have lost part of its tail, which is not unusual.

Henry
buzzy

Also saw this introduced species, which has spread on this site from one plant, over the last few years.




Crown Vetch




Crown Vetch. A general view of some of the plants.

Henry
Rob R

Very Happy Mistress Rose

Haven't seen any marbled whites yet Buzzy, but the silver washed fritillaries are flying well, and we have seen a couple of white admirals as well as the red ones. That crown vetch is lovely, pity it is probably not wanted.

We had been mowing an area of bracken, taking care that the flails were set high, and after we had finished husband say a big common lizard. Son went to look, and lizard climbed up the outside of his leg to use him as a lookout post. It stayed for ages, and we were unsure whether we should remove it as know some lizards are protected.

Your Monday walks sound very interesting. Wish we were closer as I would love to come.
buzzy

An additional picture from Monday.




Viper's Bugloss (foreground) and Weld (background).

The VB was a lot bluer than the picture shows.

Henry
Mistress Rose

It is quite intense blue with some purple in it. We get that and weld growing in our local country park. When Butser Ancient Farm was there, we used to get some of the weld for dyeing yellow. A good clear colour. Sounds like you have similar soil to us Buzzy. buzzy

It is quite intense blue with some purple in it. We get that and weld growing in our local country park. When Butser Ancient Farm was there, we used to get some of the weld for dyeing yellow. A good clear colour. Sounds like you have similar soil to us Buzzy.

These were seen on a trip to a limestone quarry.

My house and garden are on heavy clay (former brick pit!)

Henry
Mistress Rose

We are on chalk, but just down the road, where I was brought up, we have brick clay. There used to be several brick works there, and we have gault clay as well. Not sure if that is the same, but both awful to live on. Our soil is very light, but must say I prefer it on the whole. buzzy

This Monday the prettiest thing (in my view) was one of these (actually several of these but this one was conveniently positioned for photography).




This is a gall on White Willow, called variously Cabbage Gall, Rosette Gall or Artichoke Gall. It is a much modified bud. Caused by a Gall Midge - apparently the naming of these galls is still 'under discussion', and there may be more than one species of midge involved.

These galls gradually turn brown and withered and remain visible on the tree throughout the winter, but at this stage are very beautiful.

Henry
Mistress Rose

That is lovely Buzzy. Have never seen one of those, but not that familiar with white willow. We get goat willow and common sallow in the wood, and of course the usual planted weeping willows in gardens.

Have you ever seen a larch rose? They are the flowers, but aren't often noticed.

Yesterday evening I went round a park with the Trefoil Guild. It is a fairly ordinary park with the usual open grass for kickabouts, tennis, childrens play area and an enclosed bowling green, but there are a few trees. They have published a 'tree trail' so people can see about 10 different ones that are in the park. Most are oak, with a moderate number of ash and silver birch, but there was also lime, hornbeam, white poplar and supposedly Lawson cypress, but they had been cut down after presumably breaking in the high winds over the winter. Not a spectacular trail, but may be interesting to those that know nothing about trees. I was able to add a bit to the information in the booklet.
buzzy

That is lovely Buzzy. Have never seen one of those, but not that familiar with white willow. We get goat willow and common sallow in the wood, and of course the usual planted weeping willows in gardens.

Have you ever seen a larch rose? They are the flowers, but aren't often noticed.

.....................................................

I have photographs of Larch roses, but taken on slide film (remember colour slides?).

One of these days I'll get round to digitising some of my slides!
(But don't hold your breath.)

Henry
Mistress Rose

I have loads of slides too; quite a lot of them 21/4" square ones. They really should be digitised as some of them are very historic.

Was in the woods yesterday and saw a lot of butterflies including a white admiral, and on the field edge a marbled white. We have loads of silver washed fritillaries around at the moment in the woods too, as well as the common ones such as whites, red admiral, possibly a peacock, and lots of meadow browns along the field edge. Could be a good butterfly year.
buzzy

Yesterday we had a woodland walk. Saw a few butterflies, including a White Letter Hairstreak way too high for photography.

Found several Broad Leaved Helleborines, growing in the shadiest part (fortnight at f11 country Very Happy ).

This is the best one:-




Some of the others were rather stunted, and one appeared to have been nibbled by some rampaging herbivore!

Henry
Mistress Rose

Brilliant again Buzzy. We are supposed to have one of the helliborines, but I think the man doing the survey mistook a Solomon's seal, as they leaves are similar in May when the survey was done. I have found all his other plants, but never that one although I have been looking 11 years now. buzzy

This Monday we had another good walk.

Amongst other things we found




Dodder - a parasitic plant that has no roots and no visible chlorophyll. It gets all it wants from the plants it parasitizes. I didn't check what these plants were actually attached to, but it looks as if it likes grasses.

We also found a particularly splendid cluster of




Clustered Bellflower! There were lots of these on the site this year - more than the 'old hands' have seen before.

Also saw a nice Oak Bush Cricket, but photogs of insect generally take more time than I'm prepared to spend on a walk!

Henry
Mistress Rose

I have heard of Dodder but not actually seen it. I assume it has roots of some sort into the plant it paritisises. The bell flower picture is lovely too. We have ivy leaved bell flower out in the woods at the moment and it is a lovely patch of blue against the green of the leaves. buzzy

I have heard of Dodder but not actually seen it. I assume it has roots of some sort into the plant it paritisises. The bell flower picture is lovely too. We have ivy leaved bell flower out in the woods at the moment and it is a lovely patch of blue against the green of the leaves.

Yes, Dodder has things called haustoria, which are its equivalent of roots, and they penetrate the host plant's tissues and absorb nutrients and water.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Thanks Buzzy. Odd plant. We get toothwort in the woods which is a parasite, but the exact nature of its relationship with its host isn't completely known. I have read that the toothwort may trap insects and exchange nutrients with the host plant, so more symbiotic. Bodger

A nice name Dodder, I wonder what the name comes from? buzzy

A nice name Dodder, I wonder what the name comes from?

The internet says:

Origin of DODDER

Middle English doder; akin to Middle High German toter dodder, egg yolk
First Known Use: 13th century.


Am completely puzzled as to what egg yolks have to do with it. If the flowers had been yellow.....

Will see what Geoffrey has to say (if anything) tomorrow.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Doesn't it also mean to walk unsteadily? That would fit better as it meanders over the grass. buzzy

Doesn't it also mean to walk unsteadily? That would fit better as it meanders over the grass.

That makes a great deal of sense. Also possibly the effect of the parasitism on the host plant makes it weak and feeble and 'doddery'.

But my dictionary doesn't seem to think there is a link. Smile

Henry
buzzy

Last week I stayed at home (for a variety of reasons).

This week we went out in the afternoon, and managed to avoid all the rain showers.

There were lots and lots of these about:




The Common Earthball - related to puffballs. (This one is apparently also called, by some, the Pigskin Poison Puffball (it says so on the internet, so it must be true)). It isn't a puffball i.e. it doesn't turn yellow and spongy inside and puff out spores through a pore on the top.

There were, as I say, lots of them. In some places they looked remarkably like piles of droppings from some herbivore!

We also found a swarm of solitary bees, yet to be identified. Watch this space.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Again, I don't think I have seen those. You do find some interesting things. Jam Lady

Dodder I've seen here in New Jersey and previously in Connecticut is a striking orange color.




Very difficult to eradicate, even though seedlings must attach to a host plant within just a few days of germination and before the roots wither away.
buzzy

This week we visited a friend's garden. He just happens to own a flooded gravel pit that he has planted with dozens (possibly hundreds) of aquatic (and other) plants.

This is nice:




Fringed Water Lily - rare plant as a native, but quite commonly found planted or escaped in the wild.

I love this one:




Flowering Rush. I'm not sure if my friend planted this or not. It's certainly well within the native range here.

Henry
Mistress Rose

The flowering rush is lovely. We planted some in our pond but they died out as it probably wasn't suitable for them. The fringed waterlilly is interesting too. I don't think I have seen one of them before. buzzy

We deliberately chose not to go on a walk on Bank Holiday Monday, assuming (correctly, as it turned out) that the weather would be inimical to pleasant walking.

Last Monday was much better. We had a very enjoyable walk, saw several Red Kites, Buzzards and a couple of Kestrels. I didn't get any wildlife pictures, so here is a part of a ruined building against the western evening sky.




Henry
Mistress Rose

Lovely picture. Thank you. So it was mainly a bird day rather than a plant day then? buzzy

Lovely picture. Thank you. So it was mainly a bird day rather than a plant day then?

Well, it seemed to turn out that way, though in fact most of the birding was done as we were sitting in the car waiting for others to arrive!

I think it was supposed to be a fungus day, but the undergrowth had turned into overgrowth since our last visit, and there were not many fungi visible. Crying or Very sad

Henry
buzzy

Today was the second of our 'winter daytime' walks. At this time of year it gets dark too early to make evening walks worthwhile. Went to a woodland, which was notable for the extraordinary number of snails that were climbing/had climbed the trees. Mostly around the one to five feet level, but there were some as high as thirty feet, possibly some were higher, but my neck refused to let me gaze longer at greater heights.

These were on a broken off sapling, but most of the tree had their collection. There must have been thousands all told.




Most were Cepaea nemoralis as in this picture with a few Helix aspersa amongst them.

We also had splendid views of a Sparrowhawk, and I found a nice male Roesel's Bush Cricket.

Henry
Mistress Rose

I have found some snails in odd places too. We sometimes have them on our window, which is on the first floor. We do have a lot of greenery outside to be fair, but it is a bit odd to see them there.

We get those snails sometimes, but I am afraid I haven't usually bothered looking them up. Nice range of colours there. Hope the high snails don't mean more rain this winter.
buzzy

I have found some snails in odd places too. We sometimes have them on our window, which is on the first floor. We do have a lot of greenery outside to be fair, but it is a bit odd to see them there.

We get those snails sometimes, but I am afraid I haven't usually bothered looking them up. Nice range of colours there. Hope the high snails don't mean more rain this winter.

Well, the site does flood occasionally, and there were quite a lot of dead snails on the ground. But going thirty feet up a tree to avoid floods? Shocked

Henry
Mistress Rose

Let's hope they don't know something we don't. buzzy

This Monday we visited a nice piece of FC woodland. Quite a few birds - I saw a small bird zip through the trees just after somebofy said "Look, a Goldcrest". Two of us heard a Raven. There were still some flowers including Marjoram, and a beautiful Red Maple. The fungus enthusiasts went "oooh" and aaahhhh" at several unassuming brown squidgy things, so they were happy, but I found this:




which is Ergot, the fungal disease of various grasses (including crops such as wheat and rye) which causes all sorts of nasty symptoms and is also said to be hallucinogenic. (Don't try eating it, please).

This specimen is actually one I found a few years ago, and is quite a large one. The squares are 5 mm, I think.

We also found several small frogs, happily hopping about in Beech litter.

Henry
Mistress Rose

We have quite a lot of fungi at the moment, and I haven't got the faintest idea what most of them are in spite of careful perusal of Rogers. I have seen ergot on ancient varieties of wheat, but that is a very big one Buzzy.
We have ravens in the wood near us. I think they are becoming more common. I saw a goldcrest once, but don't think we generally have them.

There are still a few flowers out, but we are mainly into fruit and nuts now. The beech nuts are falling all over the place, and one I opened had a viable nut in it. We only have field maple which goes bright yellow, occasionally with a hint of red, but some of them do turn lovely colours.
buzzy

After a couple of Mondays when our walks were cancelled because of bad weather (and I was in Spain with Jaki anyway), and missing last weeks because we had only just got back from Spain, this week's walk was in a piece of woodland on the edge of Peterborough. Lots of things to keep the fungus people happy (and sometimes puzzled), and it was a beautiful sunny day.

I spotted this




Big Bud Gall of Hazel, caused by the mite Phytoptus avellanae.

Not sure that I have seen this before - or at least not identified it.

Henry
Mistress Rose

No, I don't recall seeing that, and we have lots of hazel. We are doing a nut hunt on Saturday, all being well, so I can add that into the mix. buzzy

There was lots of Hazel in the wood, but after I spotted this gall we looked for others but didn't find any (though it was towards the end of our walk).

Henry
buzzy

This week we had an afternoon walk, and found lots of fungi, sand saw quite a few birds including Bullfinch and Goldfinch.

One of the fungi was this:




which has the name of Stinking Baby Parasol. It didn't really stink, and was not an immature specimen and the sun wasn't shining, from which I conclude that fungus namers need to give a little more thought to their names! Very Happy

Henry
buzzy

A little later the sun had come out and provided a beautiful backdrop to the local Starlings coming in to roost. This group were just about to settle, think.




Henry
Mistress Rose

Lovely pictures Buzzy. I found a few parasols the other day in the wood, and have seen a few by the roadside. Having rather a lot of hills round here, we have never had the spectacular displays of starlings, and there are a lot fewer here now than there used to be. buzzy

Found this




last Monday.

OK, so it's a beechmast on a Beech leaf. But that little whitish question mark thing at the top right of the beechmast is Xylaria carpophila, a relative of the more familiar (and much larger) Candle-snuff fungus. From what I understand it's not very common - but I guess not very easy to spot, either.

Henry
Mistress Rose

A quite rare small fungus was sighted in our woods a few years ago, and I did wonder if it was rare for the same reason. Most people wouldn't notice it. That year we also had magpie fungus and lions mane fungus, so a good year.

Interesting you noticed that one.
Falstaff

What a fabulous way to spend a little time every week.

You are clearly very knowledgeable, are your friends as well ? Very Happy
buzzy

What a fabulous way to spend a little time every week.

You are clearly very knowledgeable, are your friends as well ? Very Happy

It is indeed.

We all have different ares of knowledge - I rely on one (or more) of our three mycologists for fungal identifications! But if they find a beetle they usually shout for me - not that I'm an expert but I have worked with experts and have absorbed some knowledge.

Henry
Jamanda

I took photos of a sweet little cup fungi and posted them on the face book page I run a few months ago. Next thing I know they've been reported as a rare find! (I got the id right - I just didn't know they were rare). dpack

among the small seemingly insignificant life forms are many that are both fascinating and important

as a bonus many are still without names so if you cant id it you might get to name it Cool

nice photos
buzzy

Here's one I took earlier! Smile

On Feb 2nd to be exact.

Though looking remarkably like something a dog could have deposited, this




is in fact another fungus, related to the beech mast one. It is Xylaria polymorpha, or Dead Man's Fingers. This is growing on a dead stump.

I have no idea if the name (DMF) describes accurately the appearance of a body (presumably long buried), but if it is - how did the person who first created the name know? Shocked

Henry
Mistress Rose

Possibly in those days death was more a fact of life if you see what I mean. Interesting. Don' t think I have ever seen them. Must look them up to find out why. buzzy

This week we went to look for this :




which is Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea), It's an uncommon fungus which we normally see at a different site, growing on mossy logs. We had been alerted to it's presence at today's site and were fortunate to find it as it was not in a mossy area, and was in fact mainly covered by dry leaves (which we pulled away for the photographs and replaced afterwards).

We also saw Red Kites (three in the air at once) and Buzzards.

Henry
Mistress Rose

Have seen that occasionally in our wood, but usually in autumn I think. Not one of the more common ones, and a nice picture. Did you see anything else interesting?

Found the first wood anemones in flower yesterday. Lots more coming up, and some seeming to come up in flower, as is usual. Lots of bird song, so think birds are setting up pairs or territories. Saw one buzzard flying through the wood, although we most often see them up in the sky.
wellington womble

I love red kites. One of the things I miss most about Bucks. I was down there about a month ago and saw about 60 gathered above. I stopped the car to look. I thought it was marvellous, and everyone else thought I was crazy. I've seen them gather before, but never in such numbers. Obviously thriving. Mistress Rose

We get the odd kite, but mainly buzzards. I think their numbers are increasing. They can be quite spectacular when they are showing off to each other in the spring. Most of the time they just soar and call. buzzy

Today we went looking for this:




which is Town Hall Clock, or Moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina). Not particularly rare, but lots of the group had not seen it before, and one person knew a site where we could guarantee to see it. We were a bit early, really. There were lots of plants, but not many were in full bloom - we ought to have gone in a couple of weeks time. It isn't an easy plant to photograph when it's windy! It's only a couple of inches tall, which disappointed one chap who had seen pictures on the interweb thing and thought it was a couple of feet tall!

I read, when I got home this afternoon, that the whole plant, when damp, smells faintly of musk. Must remember to sniff it when I find it again. Smile

We also found, amongst other hings, Sweet Woodruff. Also some more Scarlet Elf-cups - we think probably the first record for this site.

Henry
Falstaff

very nice Smile

I do confess - I'm beginning to look forward to your "Monday posts" Cool Embarassed
wellington womble

I hardly ever saw buzzards in bucks. Here, I see them all the time. I thought it was because there are no kites (yet) but kites are supposed to support buzzard numbers. I miss the kites. Mistress Rose

Good picture Buzzy. I found some leaves last week, but no flowers yet. They are quite difficult to find as they are fairly similar to wood anemone leaves, and the flowers at a glance look like wood anemone seeds. I was told they were called Town Hall Clock because there is one flower pointing east, one west, one north and one south, and one on top for the Spitfire pilots, which gives an idea of the time that description was coined.

Great news about the scarlet elf caps being a new report for that site. You have done your bit for science.
buzzy

very nice Smile

I do confess - I'm beginning to look forward to your "Monday posts" Cool Embarassed

Thanks Falstaff - I'll endeavour to find something photogenic or interesting (or both) each time we go out. Very Happy

Henry
buzzy

I hardly ever saw buzzards in bucks. Here, I see them all the time. I thought it was because there are no kites (yet) but kites are supposed to support buzzard numbers. I miss the kites.

Red Kites are probably on their way to you - they are regular in this part of the world and it can't be too long before they reach your part.

Henry
wellington womble

I'm hoping so. I watched them spread out beyond Watford while we were in Bucks, and I know there are some in Rutland, only an hour away. I don't miss much about Bucks. Red Kites, the farm we lived next door to and Sophie's Chocolates. buzzy

We had a week at home last week because of the Bank Holiday, and this week we went back to evening meetings. We saw a few Bluebells flowering, a few Wood Anemones flowering - there will be lots more of these soon if we get a few more warm days. We also saw Violets and Wild Strawberries.

We also found three or four of these :-




which are Mining Bee Nest holes. Probably a species of Andrena but we didn't see any actual bees.


Henry
Mistress Rose

Do you mainly find them in grassland or near hedges Buzzy? We have seen bumble bees and some butterflies and are currently having to evict queen wasps that come sniffing in through the bedroom window.

Our wood anemones are in full flower now and a few bluebells are starting. Have found moschatel, toothwort, and both early and ordinary dog violet now Viola reichenbachiana and Viola riviniana respectively. I had only seen the early one up until yesterday, but found a few of the riviniana along a path, now sunny as we have just coppiced the coup in front of it. Plenty of primroses and celendines, so looking good.
buzzy

Do you mainly find them in grassland or near hedges Buzzy? We have seen bumble bees and some butterflies and are currently having to evict queen wasps that come sniffing in through the bedroom window.

Our wood anemones are in full flower now and a few bluebells are starting. Have found moschatel, toothwort, and both early and ordinary dog violet now Viola reichenbachiana and Viola riviniana respectively. I had only seen the early one up until yesterday, but found a few of the riviniana along a path, now sunny as we have just coppiced the coup in front of it. Plenty of primroses and celendines, so looking good.

These bee holes were on a woodland path, quite near the edge of the wood. I shall take note this year of where I find any others!

Henry
Mistress Rose

I will look out for them. Have never been particularly aware of solitary bees, but sure we must have them. Will let you know if I find any. buzzy

This week we went hoping to hear Nightingales - they were apparently performing on Sunday, so, since Monday was warmer and less windy, we haf high hopes. At the beginning of the walk we met the head warden who said "Oh yes, Nightingales are singing - you can hear one just by the hide. And if you go and look at the cows there is a pair of Yellow Wagtails in the same field."

Well, we listened hard and didn't hear a Nightingale at all, and we scoured the cow field with several pairs of binoculars, and failed to see a Wagtail of any colour.

We did hear Chiff-chaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Garden Warbler and a Blackcap, which are all very good to hear, and we saw a Long-tailed Tit's nest.

But there was nothing smallish that was that photogenic, so all I have to show is a sky picture, with some beautiful clouds.




At least, I thought the clouds were beautiful Very Happy , and so did Jaki, back at home, because she took a picture of the same sky.

Henry
Mistress Rose

We will have to listen out for nightingales then as we are up in the woods late with the kiln quite often at the moment.

That sky is lovely.

I went for a walk in the woods yesterday and spring has really sprung. The leaves are starting to come on some of the beech trees, mainly the ones in the next wood to ours that seem to be a bit earlier (they are planted so could be an early stock). The bluebells, violets and primroses are really beuatiful and the wood anemeones are really good still as well. I got a whiff of bluebell smell as I was walking along from one bank which was just upwind of me. I was looking for early purple orchids, and found a few in flower and a lot more just thinking about it. Trouble is, until they flower, you can't really see them until you nearly put your foot on them, particularly the non-spotted ones.

Plenty of butterflies about too. Saw orange tips, male and female brimstones and peacocks, and may have seen one small tortoiseshell, but not too sure about that as it was moving around a bit quick.

I love spring in the UK, especially when the sun shines.
buzzy

For "operational reasons" we held our Monday walk on Wednesday this week. Lots of Bluebells, some Primroses, some Cowslips, a few Green-winged Orchids (more to follow given a bit more warmth), some Adderstongue Fern and a few Mousetails:




(Myosurus minimus) which is a relative of buttercups and not at all common.

Also found my first orthopteran of the year - a first instar Dark Bush Cricket - summer is really on the way!

Henry
Mistress Rose

Have just looked up mousetail and don't remember ever seeing it. As it favours wet areas, that could be the reason as we either tend to be on dry areas or nutrient poor commons. Interesting find. I regret to say that I am also not to well up on crickets, although we sometimes see them at home.

The cowslips are rally good here at the moment. I passed a bank of them on the way to the farm shop where I get my meat, and we have a reasonable number in the 'lawn' in the garden. We have loads of early purple orchids this year, and a good lot of twayblade too. Have seen some of them just starting to come out, but mainly they have just thrown up the flowering spike which is still shut.
Falstaff

I have to say I was beginning to sulk about your lack of a post Buzzy Crying or Very sad

Like it as always Smile (But I'll have to look up mousetail as per MR ) Embarassed
buzzy

Here is a picture of Adders-tongue from yesterday evening




or perhaps it should be Adder's-tongue. Ophioglossum vulgatum, anyway. Very Happy

Henry
Mistress Rose

Another thing we don't get round here to my knowledge. I have never seen one. I have looked it up and found that it grows in most places but it is regarded as an indicator of ancient meadows and is quite uncommon. Sadly, I think most of the meadows round here have been ploughed up and reseeded. Some of the downland hasn't so I will ask one of our friends if any has been seen there. buzzy

Today we went to another Bluebell wood, with big spreads of Bluebell. mixed with Stitchwort. A few Early Purple Orchids, Celandine but no Ramsons in this wood, it would seem.

Found some plants of Sanicle just coming into flower:-




Sanicula europaea which, according to Wikipedia has lots of medicinal uses in Austria, but our (fairly) tame Austrian didn't mention that. Very Happy

Henry
Mistress Rose

I have seen one sanicle coming up to flower, but most of ours are just leaves at present, so not very obvious as they are still hiding in the other flowers.

The coup we cut last winter is covered in early purple orchids, which are now coming into flower. There are over 100 in the coup, and although we knew there were quite a lot last year before cutting, nothing like as many as that.
Mistress Rose

No pictures at the moment I am afraid, but we found a pure white early purple orchid in the coup we cut last winter. There are loads of the purple ones there too. They are really beautiful. We went up there collecting some pea sticks yesterday, and son was taking a picture of the orchids on his phone when I noticed the white one. I then noticed that he was nearly kneeling on a patch of twayblade, which is also an orchid. buzzy

Forgot to mention Twayblades, we found several of those in one area. Twayblade Man had walked right past them. When we pointed them out he said he had been looking on the other side of the path, so we pointed out the ones on that side of the path! He tried to claim that they had come up in the couple on minutes since he had passed, but I don't think anyone believed him! Laughing

Henry
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