St David’s, Kingsthorpe Mini Fungal Foray

In the meadow next to the golf-course, what is this dear little canary-yellow mushroom, any ideas? LBJ? Looks like sticky desiccated coconut. Myxomycete perhaps?

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #64 Red Bartsia

Although this plant has been flowering for a month or two already, it’s about this time of year that Red Bartsia starts to become conspicuous, especially in trodden-down areas and by the side of paths and trackways. More pink than red, it is like its cousin Yellow Rattle in the shape of its flowers and […]

Community Hay Harvest

Over at Spitalifields Life there’s an excellent report about the hay harvest at Hackney Marshes, organised as a fantastic community event for everbody to join in, have fun, fresh air and keep fit in the process: In celebration of Lammastide, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest, Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien & I went […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #61 Small Scabious

Small Scabious flourishes especially well in the dry, bare stony soil of the Hills and Hollows where the topsoil was scraped away to give wild-flowers a chance against the aggressive grasses that otherwise dominate where there is no grazing or mowing to remove nutrients. The attractive powder-blue flowers are lightly sweet-scented and a real magnet […]

Oh! What a Lovely Sward!

Last weekend I visited the East of England Scything Festival, held every year at the amazing National Trust property of Wimpole Hall, hoping to find out more about the use of the scythe for wildlife and conservation meadows. All in all, a very picturesque event in good company at a scenic location … This year […]

Skipper Butterfly

Skippers are one of my favourite butterflies. Something jaunty about the way they hold their wings, reminds me of origami; all at different angles. This one looked very bright golden-orange flying about in the sun today, and basking in the grass next to the path. Apparently Small Skippers and Essex Skippers are very hard to […]

One Man Went to Mow …

What would happen if you didn’t mow the lawn? Aside from getting a hard time from partners, neighbours etc. Well, it would get longer, weedier, and eventually, after a year or two you’d get brambles and all sorts of undesirables taking over and spreading. The same thing happens in nature reserves, although fortunately they don’t […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #40 Little Yellow Rattle

Lesser Yellow Rattle or Cockscomb does double duty as a very attractive plant to have in the meadow, but still more importantly it helps keep down the aggressive grasses like false oat grass, creating a better environment for a range of beautiful flowers like orchids to grow and increase. The photos above are taken in […]

Mother Shipton in Northampton

Spotted in the Hills and Hollows this week, mother shipton, so called because of the wing pattern which resembles a witchy face in profile, is a characteristic species of meadows and good grassland. It is a day-flying moth on the wing between May and July, according to my Collins Pocket Guide by Michael Chinery. The […]