Thursday, 25 August 2016

Bench seat

Our bench seat at the viewpoint, created on 1st December 2014 .  .  .

.  .  .  by stalwarts of the Friends of Filnore Woods .  .  .

..  .  . had survived 20 months.

It had been used by individuals and groups.  A popular place to enjoy the view and have a rest after the climb up the hill.

More recentkly it has been the focus for campfires, which rather spoilt its appearance and appeal for others.

Last weekend, sadly, it disappeared altogether, as if in a puff of smoke.

So we shall have to replace it.  
Nil desperandum.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Wild pear

They look a bit like apples but these are wild pears beginning to ripen.  See how shiny the leaves are and with smooth, untoothed edges.

Friday, 12 August 2016


The aspen tree (Populus tremula) is a member of the poplar genus.

Our largest aspen trees are up near the memorial limes at post 3.  The leaves are almost round with scallops along the margin.  They have long leaf stalks (petioles), which are flattened laterally so that the leaves flutter in the lightest of breezes.  This has given rise to several stories and legends about the aspen having done something bad and being ashamed.

The aspen suckers in all directions.  Shoots grow up from the spreading roots so that where you have one tree you eventually get a grove of aspens.

Leaves on the suckering shoots are more pointed than on the main tree.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


In flower now, one of my favourite summer flowers the Field Scabious, with about 50 distinct flowers clustered in each flower head.  It is also named 'Lady's Pin-cushion' or 'Pins-and-needles' because the stamens look like pins stuck into a pin cushion.

Before they open, the flower heads are like an ornate jacket button.   You can see some on the right of the top photograph.

In the past they were allegedly used by girls to see which suitor they should marry.  Each bud would be named after one of the boys and then they were watched to see which became the finest flower.  Hence the plant's other name, 'Batchelor's Buttons'. 

Probably as good as any other method !

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Monday, 1 August 2016

Thistles & Knapweed

We have two common species of thistle at Filnore:  the Spear Thistle (above), with its long pointed leaves and larger flowers with very spiky buds;

and the Creeping Thistle (below) which is slightly more common because it spreads by creeping underground as well as by seed.  They are pollinated by butterflies which love the flowers.

Close relations are the Knapweeds, which are not prickly at all but a great favourite with bumble bees and butterflies.

Bees also like the thistles of course.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Speckled wood

 I managed to photograph this speckled wood butterfly at Filnore today.  They're not as shy as most butterflies and spend a lot of time sunbathing.

But I got a better photo in 2012