Wednesday, 30 March 2011

More strange names.

Ground ivy (left) is nothing like ivy!

And red dead-nettle (right) is not a nettle!

But on some pieces of ground the dead-nettle is stunted and looks very like ground ivy!

By the stream

I thought this was a snowdrop when I saw it but my flower book  tells me otherwise. It's a wild plant called spring snowflake. The plants are much bigger than snowdrops and the leaves bright green rather than greyish. It's classed as rare in Britain. Certainly it's the only one I've ever seen! And there's just one primrose on my walk across the fields. It's nestled in a corner down by the stream. It was quite difficult to get near enough for the picture!

Update April 2012: Further research has shown that the plant above is summer snowflake rather than spring snowflake. The three or more flowers in the flowerhead are the indication. Spring snowflake only has one or two. I found one of them in March 2012.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The blossom falls

The cherry blossom petals have fallen in the wood walk,
carpeting the ground like winter snow!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Flowers in the wood walk.

Two very different flowers are showing in the wood walk this week.

The wild cherry is in full flower. Their scent was heavy on the air as I walked along the path yesterday.

These scarlet catkins are commonly known as "devil's fingers".

They are produced on the male black poplar tree and are scattered over the ground in the wood walk.

I was lucky to find this whole twig that had broken off and fallen in the wind.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Kissing's in season!

 "When gorse is in flower, kissing's in season." So goes the old country saying. This bush on the edge of the open field is giving the go-ahead then!

There's a special twist to this tale. There are several varieties of gorse which all flower at different times. That makes it difficult to find any time of year when gorse is not in flower. The old country people weren't such kill-joys after all.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Petra meets a friend.

Petra is usually a shy dog, fearful of most others. I think this must be a result of her history as a stray. So I am pleased to say she has made a friend!

We have met Skip a few times before on our walks and Petra has tolerated his presence as I talk to Skip's owner. But today, when we saw Skip, Petra ran towards him and greeted him enthusiastically. They even licked each other's faces.

Petra is regaining some doggy social skills.

Friday, 4 March 2011

What's in a name?

Not the right colour always!

Violets are not all violet. Two more types today - on the left, pink and white bicolor, and on the right, white violets.

The other small blue flower in the second  picture is an early example of green alkanet, a plant closely related to the forget-me-not. Apparently, it is called green alkanet because the leaves stay green all winter, as opposed to blue alkanet whose leaves disappear!

Thursday, 3 March 2011


It's easy to miss the tiny flowers of this bittercress (probably hairy bittercress). It grows on the edge of the footpaths. Here it is up against a wall.
I first noticed it in the bottom right of yesterday's violet picture and went back to look for it today.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

February flowers

The first wild flowers I have seen this year are all on the grass verges of Steyning footpaths.

Red deadnettle (left) was the earliest (about 18th Feb.)

Daisies (right) appeared about 20th Feb.

Celandines (left) first showed up on the 24th.

Then the violets (right) joined in on 27th Feb. 

All four are flowering well in today's sunshine.

Where do I Walk?

Mainly in a fairly compact area on the north-east side of Steyning in West Sussex, UK.

For a map of this area see My Home Patch