A wildflower odyssey

The discerning reader will have noted that there are an inordinate number of photographs of me on this blog. Some kind person suggested that I was ‘gracing the landscape’ but I tend to think that my presence is more probably just a matter of providing scale. In any event, suffice to say that I accompany Charlie on many of these walks and I often seem to get in the way of the photographic artistry.

  • A glimpse of the Burntollet River through the trees

So, while Charlie was considering how to best document the Ness Woods walks, (Ness incidentally is an anglicised form of the Irish, ‘an las’, which means waterfall – and this particular waterfall is the highest in Northern Ireland) I decided to take a few photographs of my own. And I found a surprisingly diverse botanical spread.

I was reminded of something learned long ago in primary school:

Daisies are our silver, Buttercups our gold.
These are all the treasures we can have or hold.
Raindrops are our diamonds and the morning dew,
And for shining sapphires we’ve the Speedwell blue.

In all, I have some 80 pics taken on that afternoon in June, most of which are of different grasses, mosses and flowers including the Daisies, Buttercups and Speedwells mentioned above. There are far too many to post (besides which, the quality isn’t always up to scratch) but here are a few and you can see if you can beat my record! I have labelled those I think I know, but many of them were learned an equally long time ago and possibly mis-remembered, so I am happy to stand corrected…

There are shade loving plants…

Wood Sorrel with mosses

A collection of ferns

Hart’s Tongue Fern

…along with other plants which like damp shady places like Wood Avens.

 

Sun loving plants…

Daisies

 

Creeping Thistle

 

Corn Marigold

Hedgerow and verge plants …

Rose

Herb Robert

Greater Stitchwort

Germander Speedwell

Centaury

Common Cow Wheat

…along with vetches, vetchling, the evidence of earlier bluebells and the promise of fruits for autumn foraging like wild blackberry and raspberry.

And those that like meadows …


Yellow Rattle

Knapweed

Ragged Robin

Ox-eye Daisy

Yellow Rattle, also known as Hay Rattle, is often planted where wild flowers are being actively encouraged to create a new meadow. It attaches to the roots of grasses and suppresses their growth, enabling more wild flowers to establish and flourish. It is so called because if you shake the head after flowering, the seeds rattle in the seed pod.

I also saw Meadowsweet, Cow Parsley, stinging nettles important for butterflies, some orchids, several different grasses, lichens… the list goes on and on.

And then there were the really rare plants …

The buttercup meadow, with a glimpse of a most unusual pollinator – the lesser spotted Charlie Reid, replete with day-glo rucksack!