Thursday, 3 September 2015
Here is a photo of a Fritillary butterfly, taken by one of our volunteers near the Tyndale Monument at North Nibley.
Photo Derek Hore
It could be a Silver-washed Fritillary or a Dark Green Fritillary, depending on the colour on the underside of its wings.
Could we attract some of these striking butterflies to Filnore Woods? That's about 10 miles away in a straight line 'as the crow flies.'
(or should I say 'as the butter flies?')
The Silver-washed likes woodland and the Dark Green prefers flower-rich grassland, but they both depend on violets as a food plant for their caterpillars.
And at Filnore Woods . . . .violets we have.
They flower in spring at the same time as primroses but it's the leaves that the fritillary caterpillars eat.
We even have white violets.
Violet photos: Simon Harding
Monday, 31 August 2015
After being removed by children, the post at the entrance to the tree nursery field was eventually found again and re-installed. It disappeared for a second time but has been located and will be put back firmly. Post 12 has also been loosened but we shall not weaken. Our volunteers will battle on and keep the signs in place and maintain the path for everyone's enjoyment. Hooray!
From post 13 the path takes you through the rosebay jungle . . .
. . . . and under the row of beech trees.
Beyond the beeches you enter the woodland, which was once a tree nursery for Northavon Council, the ancestor of South Gloucestershire.
Follow the path round to the right and you emerge from the woodland into the 'cowshed field'.
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
The dependable hogweed flowers all year round and produces large amounts of seed.
Which helps it spread everywhere.
Sometimes the flowers have a pinkish tinge and the stems are purple.
Here's a greenbottle fly.
Such a busy cafe.
and a couple more wasps on holiday.
Be careful not to confuse a wasp . . . . . . .
Lastly a soldier beetle.
Friday, 21 August 2015
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Field bindweed, a persistent weed in your garden, can produce a brlliant show of white or pink and white flowers in a meadow.
Ragwort is despised for being poisonous to horses, but it is an excellent source of nectar and pollen for insects
Perforate St John's Wort (pronounced 'wert' not 'wart') is less common at Filnore but you can find it below the power lines in the pylon field
Lady's Bedstraw. contains coumarin, which smells like new mown hay when the plant is dried. This makes it suitable for perfuming bed linen. The story goes that because the donkeys had eaten all the straw, the Virgin Mary, aka 'Our Lady', had to lie on a bed of Lady's Bedstraw .
Close relatives include the white Hedge Bedstraw, Woodruff, and Goosegrass/Cleavers/Sticky Willy. They all have the leaves in whorls (pronounced 'whirls') around the stem like the spokes of a wheel.
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Last Sunday we had 12 volunteers working on the path leading from post 2 near the allotments up to post 3 where the memorial limes are.
Brett barrowed copious amounts of woodchip to re-furbish the steps up the bank at the bottom.
While the rest of us scythed, raked and pitchforked the grass, bramble and twig cuttings, which had encroached.
Large quantities of arisings were produced, which we heaped up in a space under the trees
Here's Alan with a rake . . . .
. . . . . and Phil under a loaded pitchfork
It's good that we manage to keep the paths open for people and the grass short for flowers and invertebrates.
Sunday, 9 August 2015
While mowing up at the viewpoint, we came across these strange purple flowers. A cluster of little spiky bits on a long straight stalk
Closer examination and some advice from flowery expert Jane Gilliard led us to the conclusion that we are looking at a cluster of tiny bulbs, called bulbils. The flowers have yet to appear. This is Crow Garlic and one of the ways it spreads is by dropping these bulbils on to the ground where they become new plants.
This is what crow garlic looks like in the woods in January, almost like chives but in winter.