Pilewort or Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), flowering between January and April; these lovers of damp woodland pathways, stream banks and ditches, can be found in gardens, meadows and shady hedgerows, and even Narnia, yes, Narnia! ✨
An important nectar source for early emerging insects from hibernation, such as Queen Bumblebees 🐝
Lesser celandine were used to treat haemorrhoids, hence “Pilewort” and scurvy, due to being high in Vitamin C.
Dwelling in moist places; Alder grow near rivers, ponds, lakes and in wet, swampy woods, also known as Carrs.
Their flowers were used as green dye, to colour and camouflage the clothes of outlaws, like Robin Hood and to also colour the clothes of fairies 🧚🏻♂️
Flowering between February and April, Alder catkins provide an early source of nectar and pollen for Bees, and the seeds are eaten by Goldfinches, Siskins and Redpolls.
The pale wood turns a deep orange after being cut, giving the impression of bleeding. So, in the past, many people feared them and the Irish thought it was unlucky to pass one on a journey 😅
The roots have nitrogen-fixing nodules, conditioning the soil and improving soil fertility on former industrial wasteland and brownfield sites.
It was said that a few Alder leaves placed in the shoes before a long journey would cool the feet and prevent swelling 🤷🏻♂️
Being a tough species of tree, their wood doesn’t rot when waterlogged, instead it makes them harder and stronger. Plus, mature trees can reach a height of approximately 28 metres and live to around 60 years.
Today I went a 30 minute walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from Selly Oak, heading south towards Bournville 🙂
I’m not against cyclists, at all, but it would have been a lot more peaceful – and easier to take photos – if I didn’t have to get out of the way of people on bikes every 2 minutes! 😛
Along the way I heard plops in the water, a couple times I hoped it was a Water Vole, but it turned out to be fish. I didn’t see much Wildlife, the odd Moorhen and Mallard – so I decided to focus on the flora I came across and just before I came to end of my walk I came across something I deem as special. Below is what I saw:
Just as my allocated 30 minutes was coming to an end, I came across this beauty below! 😀
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