Thursday, 22 June 2017

Ash keys


We tend to think of berries and seeds being things of the autumn but already in May the ash tree's 'keys', the winged fruits with the seeds inside, were well developed and just waiting to ripen. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Meadow buttercup

We have two types of buttercup at Filnore.  I haven't provided a photo of the common creeping buttercup, which is a familiar weed in your garden and maybe in the lawn, with its creeping stems and threefold leaves.  It grows much shorter than the tall meadow buttercup below, which stands tall above the grass.


And look at the divided leaves of the meadow buttercup.  This shows it is the more refined relative of its creeping cousin.


Snobbery among the grass blades.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pignut, Cow Parsley and Hogweed

 Smaller than its cousin the cow parsley, Pignut is only as tall as the grass.  I've cropped the photo so that you can just make out the finely divided filigree leaves near the bottom of the right hand picture.


Cow Parsley is much taller and the leaves are more ferny


Their big relation, the hogweed, is not in flower yet and the leaves are huge.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Blushing Bracket

While clearing some dead willow stems on the path through the old tree nursery at Filnore, we found some crusty old brackets of Daedaleopsis confragosa.    They are usually found on dead willow.  The upper side is orange with concentric rings of yellow.


Underneath, the flesh will bruise to a blood-red colour when the bracket is fresh, giving it the name of 'The blushing Bracket, but these were too old to blush.


The pores are slightly elongated so that the pattern is a bit like another fungus called 'The Maze- gill'.  So this species is sometimes called 'The False Maze-gill'.



Monday, 22 May 2017

Lamb's tongues

 Ribwort plantain named for the pronouned veins on the leaves, is also known as lamb's tongue. 



 They last a good time, with a ring of flowers moving slowly up the conical flowerhead.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Teacher, blues singer and friend



The great tit has a variety of calls but the most easily recognised is the teechah teechah teechah song.  This has earnt him the name 'teacher bird'.
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The Blue Tit's song is less easy to describe.  
The alarm call is a rather grumpy chatter like a machine gun.

The 'song', such as it is, is described by Tim Lee of the 'Friends of Aston's Eyot' as 
Blue Tee Tee Tee Tit Tit Tit.

Try Tim's helpful mnemonics for birdsong via this link:


There is also a  'blue-blue' call    'blue-blue      blue-blue'
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The smaller, Coal Tit's song is a bit like the Great Tit's but more wistful, like 'fitchew fitchew fitchew'.  It's rather more shy and retiring and can often be found in a conifer tree.