As we are not making any unnecessary car journeys our walks (or in my case trips on a little mobility scooter) are close to home.We are fortunate to live in a village close to open countryside and some great views. As I’ve been doing the route for a while now, I’ve become really aware of the seasonal changes – the lambs are growing bigger and every day I see different wildflowers coming into bloom.
I’ve always been a keen wildlife watcher, and wildflowers are easy in some ways (they don’t run or fly away!). I have a reasonable knowledge of most of the common species, although some plant families have loads of very similar ones that are hard to tell apart. I thought I would create a photographic record of the flowering wild plants I see on my walks. That would challenge me to get better at identifying the trickier ones. I could add to the list as more species come into flower…..it could even become a regular “wildflower of the week” feature on the blog.
I decided to limit the list to the verges and hedgerows along a particular stretch of the route as you leave the village – so I counted 18 species in flower. Some, like the Lesser Celandine have been out for ages, others, like the last three I only noticed in flower today. I can see different plants’ leaves shooting up and some flower buds are developing so I should be able to keep adding to the list for a while.
I was able to identify most of these from memory but used a magnifier and a field guide to help with a few. I certainly don’t profess to be an expert, so if I got any wrong – please let me know.Some of the photos are better than others, so I may edit the post if I take a if I find a better specimen and/or take a better photograph – hopefully my photography skills will improve too.
I’m quite pleased with the idea of repurposing my walks into a sort of botanical survey. I also love the way that wildflowers are an integral part of folklore – many have several names, some often specific to an area, that may give a clue to past uses, for example as medicinal or culinary herbs or to dye cloth. One of my favourite country names is sometimes used for the Moschatel – this insignificant little plant bears five tiny green flowers at the top of the stem, one at each side and one on top (as if they were on five faces of a cube) – it’s also known a Town Hall Clocks.
I wonder what will be the next wildflower of the week?