Waxwing

Waxwing
"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

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Walk round local lanes




D and I did one of our favourite circular walks around the hamlet of Shawbury in North Warwickshire on Sunday.

It was dull and gloomy and with a strong wind it wasn't particularly good for taking photos.









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Apart from Wood Pigeons and a few tits and finches on feeders in cottage gardens, we didn't see many birds.

There are still plenty of plants in flower - Ivy (so good for pollinators), Blackberry, Herb Robert, Campion, Dandelion, Umbellifers and White Dead-nettle.







Herb Robert has many local names including stinking Bob, red Robin, bloodwort, granny's needle, hedge lovers, jam tarts and snake flower.












Lots of signs of autumn along the walk - berries, seedheads and autumn colours in the leaves.


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Slug and dewdrops on cobweb - photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 (the zoom comes in so handy at times).


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English or Common/Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur)





Silk Button Galls made by a tiny Gall Wasp (Neuroterus numismalis)




Oak Marble or Nut caused again by a tiny Gall Wasp this time Andricus kollari)



Common Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are at least 40 years and produce most when between 80 and 120 years of age.

Oak was a sacred tree to many gods including Zeus (Greek), Dagda (Celtic) and Jupiter (Roman). These gods all ruled over thunder and lightning and oaks, often being the tallest trees in a landscape, are prone to being struck by lightning. In the past, however, oaks were thought of as charms against lightning and oak twigs, oak apples and acorns would be kept in cottages to protect against lightning strikes. Druids often worshipped and performed their rituals in oak groves.

Ink made from oak galls was used extensively in Europe from the end of the Romans until the 19th century and oak gall ink was used in such important texts as the Magna Carta, Newton's theories and Mozart's music.

Oak woodlands are a very rich habitat high in biodiversity and oaks trees are the hosts of 100's of species of insects. The larvae of Purple Hairstreak butterflies feed on oak flower and leaf buds and acorns are a source of food for many species.





We got back to the car just in time as the rain threatening as we walked finally started.


*D - Photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 bridge camera.










12 comments:

depraton said...

Beautiful landscape and I like your notes. I learned something new about the Oak. Very interesting. Have a nice day, Nadja

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

Well, it might not have been the most perfect lighting kind of day, but you've captured the spirit of the season nicely, with a lot of images that represent exactly how the hedgerows and lanes are. Lovely entry!

Ragged Robin said...

Depraton - Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I am so pleased you enjoyed the post - have a lovely day.

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you so much. There is so much to see in hedgerows and along lanes at the moment :)

Rosie said...

A super walk taking in all the things hiding in the hedgerows that we normally pass by. I love this time of year with all its colour and variety of plants and wildlife. Lovely photos espcially of the dew on the cobweb:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thank you so much. Yes, Autumn, along with Spring!, is my favourite season. I love the changing colour of the leaves and all the berries :)

amanda peters said...

What a lovely walk, you did find plenty of things, loving the trees covered in berries and have been surprised how many Dandelions I have come across. Love the photo of the Silk Button Galls made by a tiny Gall Wasp. And another thing which you have reminded me there is a lot of Oak fruit this year.. wonder if we are in for a bad winter with all this fruit !
I think the birds are still a bit quiet out and about.
Lovely post.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks very much. It does seem a good year for acorns etc. this year. Never seem to see that many birds on countryside walks these days unless on a nature reserve! All that intensive agricultural :( Birds are starting to come back more to garden feeders.

amanda peters said...

"Oak fruit" could not think what they were called...acorns!
Amanda xx

Pam said...

It's lovely just to have a wander locally and see all the things you sometimes miss! :)

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - lol - you had a "CRAFT" moment! Know the feeling! :)

Pam - Thank you - yes, it is nice. Only had a few hours to spare so it was the ideal location :)

Toffeeapple said...

I managed a shirt walk to a train station in the West Country yesterday (to see a steam loco and train that didn't arrive) and the lane was covered in Acorns, something that I had not seen for many years.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much for the comment - so pleased to hear you managed a short walk although so sorry train failed to arrive :( It seems as though it is a good year for acorns.