Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What is British?

There seems to be some debate at the moment about 'Britishness'. What, if anything, is, or defines 'British'? Could it be fish & chips, the English language, the Royal Family, bad weather...? My money is on a Bluebell wood in spring...nothing is more typically beautifully British than that. Found nowhere else in the world it is British through and through and ours alone...enjoy!!!

The safari had an impromptu trip out east as a pre-arranged engagement had to be postponed at the last minute. very few birds were about although the walk was accompagnied at various times by the drumming of at least two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Mistle Thrush and from time to time the uniquely haunting bubbling song of Curlews.
We'd better post this pic of a Great Tit at the feeding station before Fatbirder kicks us out and suggests we go over to Fatbotanists instead!
Along the riverbank Butterbur was coming into flower. An interesting name pertaining to the old habit of using the large leaves to wrap pats of butter before burying them in the cool streamside earth.

Wood Anenomes were everywhere at the start of the walk.

I didn't see the fly on the petal until I downloaded the pic on to the computer, by the way it is sitting it looks like a Yellow Dung Fly but I could be wrong by a mile.

Disturbed ground everywhere is covered with the golden yellow flowers of Dandelions at this time of year, brilliant nectaring plants for a myriad of insects.

The name comes from the French for Lion's teeth i.e the leaves Dents - de - lion. However the French call them Wet - the - beds from their effective diuretic qualities.

Plenty of Violets were to be found on the drier ground under the trees; it's a shame there are no Fritillary butterflies to take advantage of them.

The wettest ares held good sized patches of Marsh Marigolds,

the whole woodland had the sweet smell of garlic from the Ramsons (aka Wild Garlic), it was just coming into flower.

Garlic Mustard, or Hedge Mustard as it is sometimes known, was already in flower but we didn't see any Orange Tip butterflies whose caterpillars feed on it.

In wet flushes along the path side the tiny but enormously named Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage was flowering.

I didn't study this Stitchwort closely enough to determine which species it is.

Nor am I a sufficiently knowledgeable botanist to be able to tell you what species of tall Sedge this is

This Wild Cherry, or Gean, tree must have slid down the slope some time ago as the branches are all now pointing skywards again.

The bunches of flowers are stunning.

This is another smaller Wild Cherry tree - I was with the group that planted this quite a few years ago now, nice to see it and its mates doing well.

What a weird fungus growing on/out of a long dead Alder tree.

The path gows through a lovely Blackthorn tunnel. If you stop a moment and smell the air there is the faint scent of almonds,

and opens out onto a beautiful riverside view. A lovely spring scene with the fresh greens of newly sprouting leaves. The water level is low as, strangely for this part of Britain, it hasn't rained much lately.

Enjoy the carpets of truly British Bluebells...

Frank was more interested in sticks than the Bluebells.
Where to next? Perhaps somewhere uncharted by the safari.......
In the meantime let us know what makes your outback unique.

1 comment:

Monika said...

It's nice to see what's in bloom on your side of the pond! We've got "escapee" bluebells over here...on my recent trip to Yellow Island we found a few that were remnants of a garden the homesteaders planted there. Bluebell woods, however, are uniquely British!