"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Return to Bush Wood

In April when I wrote one of my "Following in the Footsteps of an Edwardian Lady" posts after visiting Bush Wood, I noted that in a few weeks it looked as though there would be masses of Ramsons (or Wild Garlic) in flower. Earlier this week I returned to the wood and sure enough the edges of the woodland were covered in a mass of star-like flowers scenting the air with the smell of garlic!

There were many wildflowers blooming in the hedgerows along the Warwickshire lanes.

Greater Stitchwort

Greater Stitchwort has a variety of "country" or common names: Greater Starwort, White Sunday, Thunderbolts,Snapjacks, Allbones, Mother Shimbles and Snick Needles. Many superstitions are attached to the picking of this plant - if you do so you might invoke a thunderstorm, or get bitten by an Adder or it could lead to an encounter with a pixie, fairy or elf! I never pick wildflowers these days but if you are tempted to pick a bunch of these don't say you haven't been warned!

Cow Parsley or Queen Anne's Lace is lining the hedgerows and canal-side banks.

Bluebell, Red Campion and Buttercups (as below) are flowering everywhere.

Also smelling of garlic, Garlic Mustard or Jack-by-the Hedge is flowering. Orange Tips and Green-veined White Butterflies lay their eggs on this plant.

As mentioned previously Edith Holden of Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady lived only a couple of miles away from this area at Gowan Bank, Kingswood, between 1890 and 1897 and, as she loved walking along the side of canals, I stopped off to take some photos of canals nearby.

Grand Union Canal at Rowington

This pub "Tom o' the Wood (the name relates to a seventeenth century corn mill) was one of my Dad's favourites.

And I would like one of these benches for my garden!

Stratford on Avon Canal at Lowsonford

There were plenty of lambs in the fields and I watched these gambolling around full of the joys of Spring. Sadly, no telephoto lens with me and they were really too far away for a decent photo.

As I was uploading photos for this post I noted, with horror, that I am currently using 1014 MB (99%) or my 1042 MB allowance! I shall have to see if there is a way to increase this otherwise I will have to start a new blog!


Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

Discovering The Folklore of Plants, Shire Classics, Margaret Baker

The Encyclopedia of British Wildflowers by John Akeroyd


Toffeeapple said...

Lovely walk. Have you tried shredding the Ramson leaves and adding to mashed potato? It is very tasty. You have just helped me to identify Garlic Mustard, thank you!

I live very close to The Grand Union Canal in North Buckinghamshire and love to walk beside it when I am able.

The bench is a super design, it would look good anywhere.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Many thanks for the idea of adding Ramson leaves to mashed potato - sounds delicious I will have to try :)

Canals (and rivers) are lovely places to walk - I always find them so tranquil.

Rohrerbot said...

Hello again:) I saw this post this morning and saved it for lunch this afternoon. No music....just quiet. It's great to see that things haven't changed much from her time to ours. The wild garlic still grows:)

I don't pick flowers or wildflowers(except roses sometimes) because I want the wildlife to enjoy it all....and the people. Certainly snakes do come into the equation here as well:)

I really love that bench as well. My friend has one that is of southwestern style and it's cool....I want one as well:)

As for the memory storage, I had to upgrade mine to a larger capacity to keep my blog running. I've used up about half my memory and it costs about 5 dollars a year to keep the pictures going. But soon I'll be stepping up to the larger memory which is maybe 20? We shall see:) Have a good week and thanks for the beautiful hike.

kirstallcreatures said...

There's nothing quite like a wild garlic woodland is there. I consider myself duly forewarned of the perils of Stitchwort picking. Linda

Ragged Robin said...

Hi Chris

I'm glad you enjoyed the post :) Its great that you can go into the countryside (unlike the towns!) and see that some things haven't changed since her time.

I used to like picking wildflowers and pressing them years ago when they were more common but these days I am happy with just a photo :) If I lived where you do I would steer well clear of rattle snake areas!

The bench is superb - glad you liked it too!

Thanks for the tip re: memory storage. I think there is a link to find out more info - I will look into it tomorrow. I can't put it off any longer!

Have a great weekend!

Kirkstallcreatures - I must admit I love wild garlic en masse - always reminds me of the Lake District where we used to see loads when we visited every May :) Some of the folklore of plants makes fascinating reading :)

ShySongbird said...

A very enjoyable post Caroline and lovely photos. We have a very small lake near us which is surrounded by masses of Ramsons, it looks a picture at this time of year!

I have a love/hate relationship with Cow Parsley, I love to see it lining the lanes but its pungent smell takes my breath away, quite literally, especially in warm weather. As for Buttercups, who could not love them?

That bench is lovely!

Caroline, do you resize your photos before uploading them? I noticed, quite soon after starting my blog, how quickly I was using storage space so did some googling ;-) and found I should be resizing them so downloaded a free resizer. If you want the name let me know and I will look on my laptop (I am on my iPad at the moment and can't remember the exact name). Since then I have barely used any space as each photo is just kilobytes rather than megabytes :-). Of course if you have used as much space as it sounds like you have then you may have to delete older photos, start a new blog or pay for more space which I don't think is too expensive and is the way I would go, if necessary, in the future.

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Many thanks Jan - your lake sounds as if it looks beautiful.

I agree so much with you about the Cow Parsley smell - better viewed from afar :)

Many thanks for your helpful suggestions re: my storage space problem. No, eek!! I don't resize them! If you could send the resizer infomation for future use I would be very grateful. (If you would prefer to email its ciraggedrobins@gmail.com - or leave a comment whichever you would rather do).

I really rather now wish I had been more selective over the photos I published and looked into the problem sooner! Do you need to delete photos off the blog or just the album? Must admit it took me months to realise there was an album! Yes, you can pay for more space although it looks as though it has recently gone up (just my luck!). Once I have converted dollars to pounds to work out how much it will cost, I think this may well be the route I will have to take. Unfortunately, because I have left it so late in the day - I will have to make a decision soon as I doubt I will get more than a couple more photos on!

Thanks Again.

Best wishes Caroline