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?

Rose Hips for Vitamins

With all this fantastic weather the Autumn fruit season is in full swing, as you can see here the scarlet filigree of this rose bush. Rose hips are rich in vitamin C, while even the seeds contain provitamin A and Essential Fatty Acids. Much used during the War, they are however, very fiddly if your […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #56 Selfheal, Allheal or Prunella

Like its relatives such as Ground Ivy or Deadnettles, pretty purple-flowerd All-heal attracts a range of bees and other insects whose tongues are the right length to reach into its flowers’ elegant throats. The Mint family also has very interesting biochemistry and many species manufacture a great variety of substances which can be made use […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #53 Creeping Thistle

It is a mistake to think too badly of this plant as it can bring great benefits to other wildlife, feeding butterflies – Marbled White seen in the photo above – and bees with its nectar as well as nourishing many more on its leaves and stems. With proper management, Creeping Thistle will not get […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #49 Common Mallow or Cheeses

Showing just how adaptable plants can be, here is Common Mallow pushing up defiantly by the side of the footpath between Fulford Drive and St David’s. Being trodden on has reduced it in size to only a few inches high – it can grow up to several feet tall in more favourable circumstances, and has […]

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 […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #35 Pink Campion

Nestling in the hedgebank among old bramble stems is a pretty pale pink flower with five deeply notched petals. It is clearly the same carnation family of plants as chickweed and mouse-ear, and looks like it might be a hybrid between white campion, which is quite scarce at Bradlaugh Fields (not helped by people picking […]

The More the Merrier

What a joy to see and hear a flock of starlings up at Quarry Field yesterday, for two reasons. Firstly they always sound so cheerful and full of life to me; with their chattering, trills, clicks and swooping calls from on high, not for nothing are they collectively described as a ‘murmuration’ or even an […]

Drinker Moth Caterpillar?

Saw several of these larvae on the move around Bradlaugh Fields in the last few days, the one in this photograph being particularly active. Very hairy, tufted and about 4 or 5cm long, could this be the Drinker? What do you think? More info and photos here, or here, and here.