"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

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Herefordshire Trip


Even though my foot and leg were still a bit swollen we managed to get to the caravan for 4 nights last week. I just had to get away.  I was trying to rest the foot as much as possible so, apart from the usual click and collect at Morrisons, Leominster, we didn't go anywhere.  I spent most of my time reading and B managed to do some gardening.  D didn't come as he is writing a dissertation for one of his Level 3 courses on Wales and has an end of course assessment due on the other course the week after.

I did take a few photos of the garden, pots and the Herefordshire trees. Here is Timothy back on his shelf!

The Herefordshire Oak is now in full leaf and looking rather wonderful.

The Octopus Tree, an ash, is now in full leaf too and leaves are starting to appear on the Constable Tree.

The pot of mini alliums has buds.

The small garden at the rear of the caravan.

B noticed that the paired leaves on the teasel formed a cup around the stem which had collected rainwater and insects had fallen in and drowned.

I've done a little bit of research to see if the plant could be insectivorous.  Francis Darwin, son of Charles Darwin, noted the insects if they fall in find it hard to climb out and wondered if the plant was carvnivorous.  However, teasels do not appear to secrete the enzymes necessary to extract nutrients from the insects and so perhaps could be regarded as more of a proto carnivorous plant.

Having said that a paper published in PLOS in 2011 where researchers had "fed" some plants with insects discovered that these plants produced 30 per cent more seeds compared to teasels that only photosynthesised.  The scientists who wrote the paper did point out the results would need to be replicated in order to be sure the increased seed production was due to insect prey. Also no chemical analysis was carried out to see if the plants were digesting the insects or even how they absorbed the nutrients.

As far as I can see no more research has been carried out which is a shame as it is quite an interesting theory.  

I found a "Green Man" (or a foliated head man as I think they are called these days) garden ornament in the garage at home.  So we decided to take it to the caravan and B was able to fix it by the door.

It looks as though a species of mason bee has discovered one of the bee "hotels".  Sadly, there were no signs of the bees when we were there.  We also get leaf cutter bees using the bee "hotels" at home so I will be looking out for those on future visits.

Record shots of a Pied Wagtail I watched one day - it is fascinating to see them catch insects.

I hope when we next return my cellulitis will have cleared up and we can go out more.  I am so annoyed to have not been able to visit more in May as it is my favourite month.

In other news somehow a mouse has recently taken up residence in the back living room.  B has always sealed gaps and made sure the house is "mouse proof".  I can only think it came in from the garage or garden as, despite me telling everyone to shut doors when they go outside, they don't.At the moment until the problem is resolved the room is out of bounds which is making life difficult as the tv is in there.  I don't like killing things tbh so B has been in control of the various types of traps/poison and D has set up a few live traps.  Sadly, nothing seem to be working. If I felt a bit better I would suggest we clear the room as much as possible and empty and move the pine unit which it seems to be living behind and try and catch it somehow although I know they move like grease lightning. We could of course open the french doors and try and shoo it out with a broom! I just hope it is only one! At least now it can't get out of the room and roam the house!!

Although the swelling on my leg and foot go down over night the leg still swells up again in the day.  So I have requested a phone appointment with the GP as I couldn't get through on the landline (Tuesday after bank holiday!!!) and could only book a phone appt on line.  I just hope we don't have the rigmarole of trips to medical assessment units and emergency day care centres with all the waiting around that involves.  I don't feel well but to be honest I am only getting a few hours sleep a night so it perhaps isn't surprising.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera. (I don't particularly rate my photos but if anyone wishes to use one of mine or my son's I would be grateful for an email first, thanks).


Rosie said...

So glad you were able to get away for a few days. Hopefully your leg will feel better soon. When my ankle kept swelling last year I was given a one off prescription for a support sock/knee high which does help in the warmer weather, although I'm not keen on wearing it all the time. I hope you can get an appointment and that the GP can help. Also hope you can find that mouse soon. Interesting about the teasel, they are unusual plants, we always have one or two pop up in the garden, I love the flowers that appear on them. The Oak tree is a beautiful shape and I love your Green (foliated) Man. Take care:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much especially with good wishes re the leg. Support sock sounds interesting. I could only get a phone appt yesterday and she didn't ring until nearly 6.30 and she is not in for the rest of the week. She seems to think it will take a while to get fully better but I am worried about it. If it gets worse I will have to see the other GP. I haven't done any housework for weeks!
I hope the teasel self seeds as I bought it to help pollinators (if they don't fall in thhe water!!) and birds love the seeds. Interesting plant.
Take care too.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I wonder how much bigger the Herefordshire Oak is now than when you first started taking photographs of it? Maybe it is so slow growing there's no discernible difference at this time.
Seeing your teasel plants has reminded me there's no sign of mine this year. I shall be most disappointed if they haven't come back in the garden.
Maybe the appearance of the insects in the teasel are the start of an evolutionary process? Come back in around 500 years and take another look! Who knows? These things have to start somewhere.
Hope your leg condition improves soon. I know exactly what it's like to have legs that are too painful to move.
I shall now have to go and look up the origins behind the change of name from Green Man to foliated. I do hope it's not another ridiculous change for political correctness. The green man is very much rooted in our history. Sometimes they can mess about with things and take things too far.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I have just read Rosie's comments on support stockings. They are not the easiest things to wear by all accounts. However, there are other socks that you can buy on the Internet that I am considering trying. I think they're called compression socks. I'll do a bit more research and email you some links if you like.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. I suspect the oak is vey slow growing so you wouldn't see much difference even if you could walk up to it.

I have a feeling Teasels are bi-ennial or perhaps a short lived perennial? That is a good point re the evolutionary process - I hadn't thought of that.

Quite worried about leg tbh. I will have to see how it goes. I know GP said can take weeks to fully heal and OH backed that up by googling but I am concerned. Thaks re compression socks and yes please email links.

Although figures of Green Men have appeared in churches for centuries. I am not sure how old the term "Green Man" is. Some suggest Lady Raglan coined it in 1930's in a book she wrote. I am not sure of exact reasons for calling it a foliated head - I know it has been discussed a lot on Twitter some time ago. But tbh to me Green Man is a good name.

Bovey Belle said...

Get well soon. Sorry it is cellulitis - Tam's had that in the past and it can be most unpleasant. Last time she was travelling home by car from Czech republic and it was really hot and she had to have packs of ice on her leg.

At least you got to Herefordshire anyway, and were able to catch up on your reading. I fell when running to phone the Ambulance on Saturday - didn't hit the deck but bounced off the wall: one very bruised forearm and a wrenched foot which is keeping me sitting down. Can't walk very far with it like this.

Interesting about the teasel . . .

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thank you. It is horrid and I suspect I will be back at the GP's soon although when I spoke to her Tuesday she suggested it does take a while to go. But fed up of not being able to do anything. Sorry Tam has had it especially in really hot weather.
So sorry about our fall - I am sure I read your post mentioning it. Hope it clears up soon. It is awful when something like that happens.

Bovey Belle said...

Well, I could say I don't bounce like I used to (falling off horses that is!) but I did bounce well against the wall! Tam's Cellulitis was down to a reaction to an insect bite (probably Horse Fly). So watch out for those too.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thank. Its horrid getting older. I fell off step during first covid lockdown and sat on a twisted ankle - it took weeks to recover. Thanks for warning re insect bite - OH had cellultis last autumn and blamed athlete's foot. Hope you recover from the fall soon.

CherryPie said...

I hope you feel better soon and are able to get out more. Timothy looks a little tired as well.

The oak tree is spectacular, they are always beautiful when they are in full leaf.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you. It is all getting a bit wearing :(

The oak as you say looks beautiful :)