Springtime

Spring is a lovely time of year. It’s still cold and it may seem that there’s not much to see, but if you look hard you can find lots of lovely signs of hope. Sometimes it can feel like it has been winter forever, but against all the odds, the spring comes again. Flowers start to show themselves even though temperatures still dip quite low, and everything begins again. In the last few weeks the Snowdrops and Crocuses have been appearing, as well as Celandines and Daisies. And the first few Daffodils too. It makes me so happy to see them emerging – little splashes of colour and hope, lighting up my world.

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Dainty Snowdrop covered with raindrops
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Snowdrop neighbours
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Golden Crocus seems to glow
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Delicate lilac Crocus with beautifully contrasting stamens
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Bright orange stigma and stamens
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Celandine like a drop of sunshine
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Humble Daisy
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Elegant Daffodil

This post was inspired by springtime and by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds.

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Grace in Petals

I’m looking forward to spring and the arrival of insects and flowers. In the meantime I’m remembering the summer and some beautiful graceful flowers I saw down in Compton Acres in Dorset.

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Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

I like to give things names …

I like to find the names of things. I’m not usually satisfied to title a photo ‘blue flower’ or ‘some kind of insect’. I like names. Sometimes it takes me ages to figure out what something is called, scouring various websites trying to match my plant or creature to one described.

Here are some of the things I’ve had to find names for over the last year. Most of them are things that were new to me this year, or if I’d seem them before I hadn’t found out what they were called. It’s always surprising that even though I generally stick to visiting the same areas again and again, I can still find something new!

By the way if you think any of my IDs are incorrect, please let me know – I’m always learning 🙂

Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
Turkeytail Fungus (Trametes versicolor)
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Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)
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Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar
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Black Darter dragonfly (female)
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Black Darter dragonfly (male)
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Emerald Damselfly (male)
Sand Wasp
Sand Wasp
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Pale Toadflax (Linaria repens)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
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Silver Y Moth (brown colour form) – Autographa gamma
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Buff Footman Moth

 

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Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)
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Bumblebee-mimicking Hoverfly (Volucella bombylans)
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Lacewing
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar
Six-Spot Burnet Moth caterpillar

 

4-spotted Chaser
4-spotted Chaser dragonfly
Green Hairstreak butterfly - Callophrys rubi
Green Hairstreak butterfly – Callophrys rubi
Green Tiger Beetle
Green Tiger Beetle
Bogbean
Bogbean
Thistle Tortoise Beetle - Cassida rubiginosa
Thistle Tortoise Beetle – Cassida rubiginosa
Yellow Ophion
Yellow Ophion

If you find yourself trying to identify a plant or creature, here are some really useful websites to help you. These are only relevant if you’re in the UK. I’m sure there are equivalent websites elsewhere though.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Names. I went a little off topic as it said:

This week, share a photo that includes a name… Whatever you choose, make sure we can read the name!

No actual names visible in my photos I’m afraid, but they do have names 🙂

Fiery Colours

I’m back to my normal life of work etc after holidaying down in Bournemouth with my sister. So I’m cheering myself up by remembering these lovely fiery blooms from Compton Acres last week:

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Anemones

I’ve been taking a lot of photos of flowers over the last few days in Bournemouth. Here are some Anemones for you. More flowers and assorted other things to come!

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Pink!

We have a pink theme going on in nature at the moment it seems. These are some pink flowers I spotted at the weekend between rain showers.

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Cranesbill
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Thistle
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Red Campion
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Rhododendron
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Dog Rose
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Foxglove

Floral Dance

My garden is not exactly ‘gardened’ as you might have guessed from all the wildlife garden posts. Apart from when we created the pond, mostly the back garden is allowed to do it’s own thing. We do hack back brambles and over enthusiastic bamboo, but I love to let it grow as it wishes. What I really want is a garden that is like going out for a walk in the countryside, with wildflowers and creatures all getting on with their lives around me. With my back/leg problems sometimes going for a walk is harder than it sounds, so having my own wild garden is important to me.

You’ve met the damselflies, the frogs & newts, and various insects and spiders, so here are some of the flowers that are choosing to grow in my garden at the moment.

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Columbines (there are LOADS of these this year)
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Herb Robert
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Welsh Poppy
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Herb Robert

Latest Arrivals

The spring flowers are making their appearance in their allotted slots. Some people ask me if I get bored taking shots of the same things in the same places, but I don’t! I love the thrill of springtime, watching and waiting for the flowers to show up when its their turn, and waiting for the trees to green up and the insects to return. I love it. We’ve already had Celandines and Greater Stitchwort, and now we have some new arrivals to join them along the hedgerows.

I was looking out for Violets yesterday on my walk as they’re usually one of the next flowers to see after Greater Stitchworts have arrived. At first I thought maybe it was too soon, but there they were tucked away in the grass, such sweet little things 🙂

I was also surprised by my first Cuckoo Flower, although I thought it was definitely too soon for them! Just the one as far as I could see. Soon there will be loads, especially at the edge of the wet meadow down the road. I have planted some in my garden too (bought from Naturescape as well as several other wildflowers) so I’m hoping mine will grow and flower as well.

Another new arrival is Garlic Mustard:

Next things to look out for are more Cuckoo Flowers, as well as Buttercups, Welsh Poppies, Vetch, Columbine, Ground Ivy, Clover, Forget-me-nots, Wood Sorrel, Yellow Pimpernels, Red Campion and Herb Robert… and probably some more I’ve forgotten for now. It’s an exciting time of year 🙂

 

Spring Blooms

These are some of the newest spring blooms to appear around the village at the moment.

Greater Stitchworts have been popping up since the end of March, but they’re now at their finest, with lots of little white star-like flowers coming up and taking the mantle from the Celandines. I’m rather pleased with how this photo looks 🙂

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The Blackthorn is flowering beautifully now. Again, there were a few flowers at the end of March but now the hedgerows are full of them and the Blackthorn leaves are starting to appear.

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In the trees the Elms are flowering. Within these un-petalled flowers, beneath the dangly stamens (male parts) are the female parts of the flower (the pink fluffy bits). As time goes on and the flowers get pollinated (by the wind), the female parts develop into seed cases develop and it looks like clusters of green flowers. The first photo is from yesterday. The 2nd photo is from May last year so you can see how the seed cases look later on.

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Near the pond I spotted the first of the Cowslips appearing. They are hard to photograph and I’m never really satisfied with a Cowslip photo. However, I’ll let you see it so you can see what flowers are blooming at the moment.

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You’ve already seen the Flowering Currant, but now is the time when it’s at its full glory and the Forsythia is making a beautiful backdrop, so here it is again 🙂

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The Bluebells in the wood are getting going now. Not quite at blue carpet stage but in some areas there are many flowers now emerging. I’m becoming better at telling the difference between native and non-native Bluebells now I think. This first one I’m pretty sure is native, as are pretty much all of them in the woods. However, the 2nd picture is one of the many non-native or hybrid Bluebells that are growing in the hedgerows (and in my garden). As you can see they are quite different.

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There are some flower buds on the Hawthorn which is now sprouting lots of fresh green leaves.

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Willows are now sporting new leaves as well as catkins.

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And here’s a plant I first discovered in 2014 – Fringecups. Later on the flower buds will open with frilly yellow or pink edges around green cups. Not the most beautiful of flowers but very interesting.

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And finally, the Columbines are showing lots of flower buds on their way now so I’m looking forward to them putting on a show pretty soon.

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Wayside Flowers

Wayside Flowers

Pluck not the wayside flower,
It is the traveller’s dower;
A thousand passers-by
Its beauties may espy,
May win a touch of blessing
From Nature’s mild caressing.

The sad of heart perceives
A violet under leaves
Like sonic fresh-budding hope;
The primrose on the slope
A spot of sunshine dwells,
And cheerful message tells
Of kind renewing power;
The nodding bluebell’s dye
Is drawn from happy sky.

Then spare the wayside flower!
It is the traveller’s dower.

by William Allingham

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Half-Light

Delicate Blooms

Spring flowers are popping up all over The Upper Gardens in Bournemouth. Many are delicate whites, hanging their heads shyly, with their faces to the ground. An array of lovely delicate spring blooms 🙂

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Three-Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum)
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Three-Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum)
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Three-Cornered Garlic (Allium triquetrum)
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Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
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Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
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Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
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Spring starflower (Ipherion uniflorum)
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Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum)
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Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum)
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Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

 

Yellow Thirds

I was looking through my photos to see what would work with the Weekly Photo Challenge this week and picked out a few to ponder … then when I was finished I looked at what I’d come up with and discovered I accidentally had a theme emerging! Three photos showing thirds and bokeh … and also the colour Yellow 🙂 These photos are all from last June/July. Hopefully I may get out for a bit today if the weather allows.

Buttercup Meadow
Buttercup Meadow
Flag Iris
Flag Iris
Hoverfly on Ragwort
Hoverfly on Ragwort

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Rule of Thirds.”