Sunday, 15 March 2009

A country walk . . .

Some more photos from a walk I took yesterday. How I stayed awake I don't know, as I could NOT sleep the previous night.

A harbinger of summer, let alone spring. These are the leaves of Rosebay Willow Herb (or Fireweed as it is known in America and Canada). It has tall spikes of pretty fuschia pink flowers in summer.

Wind Anemones we call these, though their proper name is Wood Anemones.

Maths in action! This thistle is so beautifully symetrical.

I have heard these Canada Geese honking as they fly overhead up our valley. These have decided to have a few night's B&B on Next Door's pond, before heading further south.

This plant always brings great plesure - it is the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia). We used to have 14 plnts growing along our top hedgerow, but sadly farm machinery and the council men chucking heaps of salt and grit have done for all but five of them, but I have just spotted one growing further along the bank, so I am hopeful of 6 this year. They come in some stunning dark reds, purples and blues as well as white and the very palest of pinks (which is what mine are). There was half an acre of them in a Chapel graveyard near us and they were stunning - made me think it was such a beautiful place to be buried. Then the Chapel Elders or whoever, decided they would "tidy" up the graveyard and chopped them all down before they could set seed . . .

The easily-identified Foxglove-to-be.

The Scarlet Elf Cap fungus on rotton wood. It is quite prolific in this area and adds a splash of colour in the woods where I was walking yesterday.

A close up of the largest Elf Cap, against the bed of Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage.

Along the top of the Chapel wall, all sorts of little plants have taken hold. Here a wild strawberry is flowering.

This is Bistort, which will have a pale pink flower head between May and August. In the North, a pudding is made (Ledger Pudding) at Easter time - a number of edible wild plants with hard boiled eggs, the most important of the plants being the Bistort.

You can see a Fox (probably other animals too) has been using this part of the bank as his personal pathway down to the road. Usually you will find the onward path on the hedge opposite, but not on this occasion. You can often tell if it is a Fox which is using it by the sharp tang of Fox. There are some rabbit exit holes along the top of this bank, so I think he is probably hopeful of catching something unawares.

A badger sett in woodland half a mile from my house. One of several, with huge mounds of excavated clay outside.


  1. I have never seen scarlet elf cap,its astonishing! Aquiliegias are one of my favourite flowers,I love the leaves & the flowers equally :o)
    GTM x

  2. The Canadian Geese are familiar in many parts of North America--they are a presence here in Wyoming during most of the year. Barnacle Geese are new to me--something to look up! I find that as well as being interesting creatures in their own right, they are part of a "medieval bestiary." I so enjoy having new things like this to ponder--information to store in my ragbag of a mind!

  3. Just shows my brain was still asleep last night, of course they ARE Canada geese Sharon - I will go and change it straight away. Barnacle geese - ah yes - on the Medieval bestiary because it was believed that when they flew away, they turned into barnacles for the season they were gone!

    GTM - d you have the wild Aquilegia with you then? The scarlet elf cap is fairly common - I am sure you will see some now.

  4. The Elf Caps are lovely - such an amazing color!

  5. Re sleepy brains: mine isn't usually working in a very connected way. I was gazing at the geese photos and thinking I had, as usual, missed something important. But, just think--I wouldn't otherwise have known that "barnacle geese" exist and reading the legend about them was intriguing. So you see, I wasn't trying to be clever!

  6. oh i just love coming here and am always amazed at what i do know~then i have moments of 'oh so thats what that is!!!

  7. Sharon - After 7 hours' sleep RIGHT THROUGH last night I am blowing on all cylinders now! WHY I wrote Barnacle Geese I don't know, as I wrote Canada Geese on C&C!

    SolsticeD - I think sometimes we have almost forgotten what we learned as children and then we have a lightbulb moment and realize we haven't forgotten after all!

    kate - I have a soft spot for them as they are so colourful. Diminutive coral spot is pretty to, but often on the underneath of a log.