As Much Stopping As Walking

On Sunday afternoon my Dad and I managed to get out for an hour for a wander through Pointer Wood, Clark’s Lot, Burton Well Wood and Lambert’s Meadow. Like the walk that Rob commented on from a recent post, this walk was ‘as much stopping as walking’. Dad was a very patient companion and helped me find likely subjects, then waited whilst I crawled around looking for the right angles.

Part of the reason for heading this way was that I expected to find cowslips. They were flowering, but they were diminutive.

Still, worth seeking out.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the fact that the early purple orchids would be flowering too.

In Pointer Wood a wide gryke on the edge of the limestone pavement was spectacularly full of primroses.

In amongst them my dad spotted this…

…which is a primula seeded from a garden, or a natural variation?

I noticed this tall slim tree a few weeks ago when I visited with baby S.

It seemed to me that it might be a gean, or wild cherry, but at the time the only clue I had was the bark…

I made a mental note to come back and see it flowering to confirm my suspicions. It seems to me that it’s very tall for a cherry, but it is now flowering. In fact behind it there is a second cherry, equally tall, also flowering. Because of their height most of the flowers were high above us…

…but there were some closer to hand…

From Burton Well a tiny stream flows into Lambert’s meadow. Where a bridge crosses the stream it widens slightly into a small pool…

In and around the pool marsh marigolds…

…were flowering…

We spotted several of these emerging from the pool…

Any suggestions as to what it is?

The surface of the pond was busy with pond-skaters, which were tracked by interesting light-rimmed shadows on the pond floor a few inches beneath.

I have a vague idea that this has something to do with the way that water effects light, but I’m afraid that I don’t really grasp the science. I was once gain reminded of the dark blobs and brightly coloured complex boundaries of the standard depiction of the Mandelbrot set. The pond floor was also covered in a criss-cross web of tracks left by a little community of pond snails, which being roughly the same colour as the mud were hard to see and even harder to photograph.

The rest of the meadow was liberally dotted with cuckoo flowers…

…which look small and white even from near by, but have a rather splendid pink pattern on close acquaintance.

On Bottoms Lane, these tall weeds flourish, which I haven’t got round to identifying yet…

The flowers are hardly spectacular; I prefer the downy unopened flower buds…

Finally, in Hagg Wood, one of those scenes in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For once, I’m reasonably happy with the photograph…

The path through the flower strewn woods leading towards the afternoon sun. What this picture doesn’t quite show is that amongst the abundant wood anemones are bluebells, and that some of the white anemones, having more recently opened, are still attractively tinged with pink…

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As Much Stopping As Walking

11 thoughts on “As Much Stopping As Walking

  1. Hi Mark
    Thanks for the visit the twins certainly made my walk.. and will be out with me again for sure. I will be showing more from this walk all week now.

    This is a great post… I took some Cowslip shots myself and have a post about then coming up.. I find your walks not just interesting but inspiring, and your plant IDs are a great souce for me to check my finds on….. with that in mind I might just be able to point you in the direction of the one you asked about that is shown above growing from the stream.. I think it might be a Marestail… (http://www.sherriff-amenity.co.uk/technical.asp?newsid=3) You commented about my ‘Horsetail’…. well if I had not looked that up I would not have come up with Marestail.. :O)

    All the best
    Tom

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your stroll and seeing the great photos you took.

    I have what looks like the brother of your pond plant invading my garden pond as the roots spread in a long line with new shoots appearing at intervals. I think its label has disappeared but it looks to me to be in the Equisetum group – horsetail rush or reed – from what I can see looking at the pictures from pond plant sellers on the net. If I see it at my local garden centre I’ll let you know.

    John

  3. Good capture of the distinctive orange spots on the cowslip petals; I tried getting them eariler in the season and could barely see them. Lovely marsh marigolds too. I used to see them growing in the water meadows around Chichester Harbour; my Gran called them king cups.

  4. beatingthebounds says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments, and thanks Tom and John with your help in identifying that plant. What a fascinating link Tom – I’m glad I don’t have these plants in my own garden! I shall see whether any of my field guides have Mare’s Tail in them.

  5. Another lovely posting Mark. Keep it up.
    Tom may be correct with Mare’s-tail, but I think it may be a Horsetail, which as it is not a flowering plant may not be in all your flower books. It’s likely to be either the Water or the Marsh variety. Your photo is of an early shoot; it’ll be interesting to see how that develops.
    The yellow flower looks to me like Greater Celandine (a poppy!). You can verify this by breaking one of the weak stems – it’ll release an orange juice.

  6. beatingthebounds says:

    Thanks Dean.

    Martin,
    Thanks – I’ve had a look at my field guides and I’m almost certain that you’re right – it is Greater Celandine. I never would have guessed what with them being so different from the lesser variety. As to the Mare’s-tail/Horsetail issue – you were right on both counts: I can’t find Horsetail in my books and I think that I will just have to wait and see how they develop. Something similar grows in the much larger pond nearby at Bank Well.
    Thanks for your help – Mark.

  7. swanscot says:

    I stumbled across your blog on someone’s blogroll and dropped by to say how much I enjoyed your photos of spring flowers. Cowslips are one of my favourite wild flowers, but we don’t see them up here in the Highlands.

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