Second Half of May 2021

The second half of May became drier and sunnier. Although we did still have a few rain showers one of which this squirrel got caught out in.wet grey squirrelThe sparrowhawk helped herself to one of the pigeons.sparrowhawk on dead pigeonA carrion crow checked out the carcass, but despite its name decided it preferred suet pellets.crow with dead pigeonAt least two hedgehogs have been regularly visiting the hedgehog feeder throughout each night.infrared hedgehogThe wood pigeons have been pairing off amidst much billing and cooing.two wood pigeonsI think it is fair to say that the trees are now fully in leaf.leafy treesSome are in flower like the Midlands blossomsThe white lilac always flowers after the purple lilac for some reason.white lilac flowersThe ceanothus is still attracting the bees.bee on blue flowerAs are the geraniums.bee on pink flowerWild strawberries are blossoming.white flowers with yellow middlesThey grow amongst the Herb Robert, all over the paths!pink flowersSomewhat more flamboyant is this flowerThe dog roses indicate that summer is very nearly here, along with the sound of screaming swifts overhead.white rose#NoMowMay comes to an end with a dandelion seed head against a backdrop of germander speedwell.dandelion seed head



End of September

My apologies for neglecting the blogging world lately. I have still been taking photographs, I’ve just not been able to devote the time to transferring them to computer and writing about them. I hope to catch up with you all soon. I shall quickly sum up the end of September.

The procumbent yellow-sorrel or creeping wood-sorrel, Oxalis corniculata, is flowering still. The leaves turn a brownish purple colour and are apparently edible and rich in Vitamin C; more details here.Photo of yellow sorrel

The Herb Robert is also going strong.Photo of Herb Robert

Cyclamen flowers are still popping up, joined by a variety of fungi.

The warm sunny weather at the end of September provided a bounty of shiny flies.Photo of fly on leaf

The red admiral butterflies are also topping up their tans.Photo of red admiral butterfly

While the rain showers during the night brought the frogs out. They are fattening up ready to hibernate.Photo of frog

The hedgehogs are also trying to gain weight for the lean winter months.Photo of hedgehog

This little one thinks he can hear something behind him.Photo of hedgehog

Hmmm, he’s sure there is something there rustling in the shadows.Photo of hedgehog

Yep! The mealworm feast is going to have to be shared, drat.Photo of hedgehogs


Greater Celandine

This is greater celandine, Chelidonium majus, a member of the poppy family. Not to be confused with lesser celandine which is a member of the buttercup family.Photo of greater celandine

These are mutations as they clearly have more than the requisite four petals. It seems they may be a Flore pleno variety, this means double flowered, although they look more triple flowered to me. They are said to bloom when the swallows arrive and fade when they leave, chelidṓn is Greek for swallow.Photo of greater celandine

The entire plant is full of toxic alkoloids. This means that in small doses they probably have therapeutic uses as antimicrobials, analgesics and immune system stimulators. It was popular amongst herbalists of yore. Culpeper says of it;

“It is good in all old, filthy, corroding, creeping ulcers wheresoever, to stay their malignity of fretting and running, and to cause them to heal more speedily: the juice often applied to tetters, ring-worms, or other such like spreading cankers, will quickly heal them …”.

Tetters refers to any eruptive skin conditions and no doubt gives greater celandine its other name of tetterwort.

I would caution against rubbing any part of the plant on any part of the body as it apparently smells atrocious and readily causes contact dermatitis. Perhaps it is best admired on a sunny breezy day bobbing amongst the pretty pink of the herb Robert.