52 Weeks in Nature: Week 15

nin_stinkers_ducks

We hadn’t been down to the duck pond for a little while, so we thought we’d have a wander and see if we could find some peacocks.  Although we could hear them, there weren’t any peacocks to be seen, but the village ducks were about.

nin_stinkers_ducks_2

stinkers_ducks

Stinkers was a little too enthusiastic about the ducks, so we had to scoop her up to stop her from worrying them.

(If you mouseover the photos – some have captions).  We found a clutch of eggs under netting (part of the side of the duck pond has netting to offer some protection (I imagine) to the nesting birds.  I also managed to get a photo of a couple of goldfinches (it’s rare I manage to snap a photo of anything other than larger birds).

green_alkanet

We walked round to the cemetery and I was rather excited to see the first green alkanet of the year – I really love the blue of these flowers.   Parts of the cemetery are preserved as meadow and the church has received recognition for its work in created a sanctuary for wildlife.

Not sure on these two – they’re on the tip of my tongue. Thanks to Nick on the “For the Love of Nature” facebook group who let me know that these are honesty – and now that’s been pointed out I remember :)

These two are interesting – one the flower of a grass. The yellow: I have no idea!

Various named flowers – the tenacity of some plants growing from cracks in the ground and walls, never ceases to amaze me.  The white dead nettle was particularly impressive as there was so much of it growing out of a crack in the cemetery wall.

We saw quite a few fungi (more than is pictured here – due to fuzzy pictures).  It was surprising just how many were out there.

We found a variety of speedwell (as yet to be properly identified).  The 4th is likely just a lighter version of the 3rd, but the 1st two are very different (the second being tiny).

There’s so much blossom on the trees at the moment, far more than the few pictures here.  I tried to get a photo of a very dark blossom, but it was just too fuzzy (and I was trying to focus whilst holding the dog on a lead). The blossom on the left may be quince or medlar – as I know where this tree is, I may have to go back later in the year to see if Nick’s guess is correct.

Flowering spring trees

Joining in with The Magic Onions 52 Weeks of Nature.

52 Weeks in Nature

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52 Weeks in Nature: Week 14

A bit slow on getting organised enough to post, so rather late posting week 14.

Ragwort

The first ‘first sighting’ of the month we came across was ragwort – growing on the verge outside the local pub.

Calendula

We’ve had such a mild winter that calendula has bloomed pretty much all the way through it.

Hedge mustard

Following on in the yellow/orange category is hedge mustard, growing at the side of the local skate park (amongst dead nettles, shepherd’s purse, ribwort plaintain and plenty of others!)

Flowering currant

There are more and more pink flowers to be seen, from this flowering currant…

Crane's bill

Plenty of Crane’s bill and, growing amongst it, the similar Stork’s bill (first sighting of the year for this one too).

Stork's bill

FumitoryThis fumitory (another first sighting for the year) was also growing amongst the various crane’s and stork’s bill (plus plenty of speedwell, photos of which we took the next week).

Red dead nettleRed dead nettle carpets the ‘wild ground’ around here.  Interspersed with henbit (which is very similar).

Possibly a sorrel? The heart-shaped pattern is so pretty

I’m not sure what this is, possibly a sorrel? The heart-shaped pattern is so pretty and it carpets one edge of the playing fields.

I'm thinking clover - I loved the variegated pattern on these

I’m thinking clover – I loved the variegated pattern on these – the closer I look at the various tri-leaved plants, growing so close to the ground, the more I see such a variety amongst them.

Grape hyacinth

And the colour blue isn’t to be out-done. There are grape hyacinth a-plenty, plus a surprise (for me at least): bluebells.  I thought they flowered later, but clearly I was wrong.

Bluebells

It seems almost as if every time I blink I see another ‘first-sighting’ of the year! As I write, I already have week 15′s photos to edit and there are so many more to come (I’m so very excited!)

Joining in with the Magic Onions for 52 Weeks in Nature.

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52 Weeks in Nature: Week 13

We’ve had a bit of an odd week, weather-wise, as we move towards April (and April showers).  Very much “Four Seasons in One Day” – going from sunny and blue skies, to showers, awful wind and on one day it hailed three times within a short space (whilst I worried for my vegetable seedlings in the garden).

It seems like the plants are really starting to push forth all around us and, as we noticed on one of our walks, the little mosses are also flowering.  We got down at eye level to them growing on a wall and, if you ignored the world around, what we saw before us was an alien landscape.

Mosses and lichens

moss

We used our wildflower key (that a friend very kindly sent us) to identify Field mouse ear chickweed (at the top of the page) and we really hope we got it right! We needed a bit of help from the “For the Love of Nature” facebook group we’re a member of to ID the weld (due to lack of flowers) and, open reading up on the plant, I find it is very good for natural dyeing (apparently it is also known as “Dyer’s weld” and “Dyers rocket”).  I hope the plant manages to grow well where it is (by a street lamp by the roadside) as, I’d rather like to have a go using some to dye some alpaca that we have (as a fleece, to process with some friends).

The daffodils are still in full swing, with the tulips entering side left.  I’m also noticing more and more violets (white and purple – although I’ve not included a photo as I couldn’t get a decent one this week – however, someone posted a photo of some amazing apricot coloured violets on G+ a few days ago and if you’d like to see them, I’ve shared them on the NinnyNoodleNoo G+ page).

Nin noticed what we think are sorrel (of some sort) leaves with little red hearts on them – very unusual. If you can confirm what sort of plant they are we’d be very grateful if you’d leave a comment telling us.

What happened last week in your local week of nature?  I love the opportunity to see how things change week by week, month by month, season by season, across the year.  If you’d like to take part (or see some more posts by other people) please visit The Magic Onions: 52 Weeks in Nature.

52 Weeks in Nature

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