Monday, 28 June 2010

Our constantly changing hedgerows

One reason why I never tire of walking the dog up our lane is that it is constantly changing. Most of the dandelions and cow parsley have gone now making way for the next group flowers to take centre stage.

Wild Rose


And of course plenty of brambles and holly. Promising more delights to see later on in the year.
So many butterflies but none staying still long enough today.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

An afternoon visit to Allimore Green Common

Allimore Green Common is a small meadow managed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
Today we enjoyed a quiet stroll around the common along a mown path.
At this time of year a visit is strongly recommended as it is bursting with colour, boasting several different species of orchids and meadow thistles amongst its many species of plants.
To greet us at the gate is this information board, which gives you ample background information about this reserve. So here it is for your information, or you can click on link above.

After the gate we had to negotiate our way past these very placid Highland Cattle.

Once past the cattle we could look at, photograph and admire the flora and occasional fauna.
Just a mass of colour

I am not an orchid twitcher, but on Allimore Green Common you can get Southern Marsh Orchids, Common Spotted Orchids,  and hybridised orchids so your guess is as good as mine


Meadow Thistles,
Allimore Green Common is one of just a handful of known places in Staffordshire where Meadow Thistles can be found , so wonderful to see so many.

Not rare but I do like to see rushes, Juncus

Cotton grass Eriophorum

Looking for grass snakes to no avail, but did manage to find this toad taking shelter under some corrugated iron sheeting.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

More treasures hidden in our hedgerows

Another walk up the lane.
Unusually the verges still haven't been cut back this year, so the lane is still looking wonderful, full of lush vegetation, with treasures hidden amongst all the tall grasses.

Every few metres there are hidden paths through the grass, sometimes leading through gaps in the hedge itself occasionally with a lingering scent of fox and sometimes just leading to holes, which are more than likely being inhabited by rabbits.

At ground level are the low lying flowers such as this white clover,

or stitchwort.

Raise your eyes up and you will find bittersweet dotted along the hedge.

elderflower is starting to emerge, if I thought I would drink elderflower wine I would make the effort to pick some of these, I have been told the elderflower cordial is very refreshing so maybe one year.

and then the promise of an autumn harvest of blackberries with these brambles.

When the sun came out so did these glorious azure damselflies.

The lane was full of bird song but spotting the birds proved difficult as the hedge provides wonderful cover which is just as well as owning the skies above were these birds of prey

and buzzard