A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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.
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.
Slug and dewdrops on cobweb - photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 (the zoom comes in so handy at times).
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.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.