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.
I was at work again today, so went with a simple Random Act of Wildness – on the days I’m not at work they’ll be somewhat elaborate 😉 I chose “Discover urban wildness and mini habitats.” – from the booklet and decided I would complete this challenge by walking home from work and passing by certain places and stopping when something catches my eye etc. Again, I filmed (with my phone) and have a video for you to see!
I left Sainsbury’s and walked down the relief road/bypass, knowing a short walk down it there is a Brownfield site adjacent and that I’d see something there. A patch of land with scrub and a smattering of wildflowers – Poppies being the more obvious flower. I witnessed a skirmish between two male House Sparrows and heard a Dunnock and Blackcap singing. At the top there is a really nice amount of Ivy growing onto of some Hawthorn.
The Dunnock and Blackcap were somewhere in the Ivy. A short distance past the Ivy is a Alder tree, which had a Harlequin Ladybird on it – which features in the video.
Off the bypass is Bristol Road South, I crossed over and headed down there and came across some Buttercups growing on top of some sort of feature; a raised garden brick-structure-thing and saw a few Bees flying around! I climbed on top to get a closer look etc.
BROOK I carried on down the road and admired the grass verge that separates both lanes, as some parts of it haven’t been mown – to deliberately leave strips of wildflower! I passed by a lovely park called Manor Farm Park, but decided not to venture into the park and head on down to Merritts Brook Greenway, where I took the pictures blow and end my short film.
I’ll say no more and let the video say the rest 😉 Enjoy! 🙂
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