Pilewort or Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna)

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! โœจ

Ficaria verna growing on the bank of a field edge

An important nectar source for early emerging insects from hibernation, such as Queen Bumblebees ๐Ÿ

Lesser celandine were used to treat haemorrhoids, hence “Pilewort” and scurvy, due to being high in Vitamin C.

All in all, they are a pretty cool plant!

Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

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 ๐Ÿงš๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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 ๐Ÿ˜…

The roots have nitrogen-fixing nodules, conditioning the soil and improving soil fertility on former industrial wasteland and brownfield sites.

Alder leaf beetles (Agelastica alni) feed on the leaves of alder trees. They’ve become common in parts of England and Wales since 2004.

It was said that a few Alder leaves placed in the shoes before a long journey would cool the feet and prevent swelling ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Being a tough species of tree, their wood doesnโ€™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.

Thanks for reading โœŒ๐Ÿป

Day 22 – 30 Days Wild

It’s the beginning of National Insect Week, so there was only one thing for it! Get out & film (video below) some cool Insects!

#30DaysWild

I was happy to find some obliging Butterflies ๐Ÿฆ‹

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ’š

Day 20 + 21 – 30 Days Wild

Yesterday I had a wee trip to my local town & I documented how green the journey there is ๐Ÿž๏ธ

#30DaysWIld

Today I celebrated Father’s Day with some of my family & we had a BBQ, which my Brother-in-law & I tended to ๐Ÿ™‚

When the evening arrived, it was time to prepare for the Big Wild Quiz, hosted by Sophie Pavelle and David Oakes. Which kicked off just after 7pm, it was great fun & a laugh! ๐Ÿ’š

You can see my score in the comments ๐Ÿ˜†

Thanks for visiting! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Day 17 – 30 Days Wild

Went for a walk around my local Wood and Green-belt today, when I was out a storm rolled in ๐ŸŒง๏ธ

Rather than head home, I decided to stay out a bit, to listen to the rain & thunder whilst outside โ›ˆ๏ธ

Thanks for visiting! ๐Ÿ’š

Day 4 – 30 Days Wild

On Monday, whilst walking passed some Foxgloves with my Mom up the Waseley Hills Country Park, I remembered that we had some seeds at the back of one of the kitchen cupboards ๐Ÿ˜‰

Digitalis purpurea – Waseley Hills Country Park
Today that’s exactly what I did! ๐Ÿ’ฎ

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

October: Amazing Autumn

Made in October 2011 [VIDEOS], three great things to look out for this month:  acorn crazy Jays, Rutting Fallow Deer & fun looking Fungi!

๐Ÿฅœ ๐ŸฆŒ ๐Ÿ„

Apologies for the inaccuracies in the Fungi video; pronunciation of hallucinogenic and apparently you can eat  Amethyst Deceivers – but it is better to be safe than sorry!  (No matter how good a recipe sounds!)  ๐Ÿ˜†

Thanks for visiting!  x

Day 14 – 30 Days Wild

“Tweet for the wild” 

14/06/16

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14

Today I tweeted a link to the video below – which I made last year – about my favourite local patch and why it matters to me:

The poem I mentioned in the video:  Ode to a Secret River

Thanks ๐Ÿ˜€

Gallery

Day 15 – 30 Days Wild

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

IMG_1466

Today I went a 30 minute walk along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from Selly Oak, heading south towards Bournville ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_1415

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! ๐Ÿ˜›

A person on there bike in the distance.
A person on their bike in the distance.

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. ย 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. ย Below is what I saw:

Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers - I think it looks beautiful.
Urban art, with a crumbling wall and wildflowers – I think it looks beautiful.

I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.
I love seeing plants growing out of walls, likes this Fern and Buddleja.

Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)
Look! Red hot pokers! (Kniphofia)

I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this - Poppies, Horsetails and Daisies.
I also love seeing strips of Wildflower like this – Poppies, Plantains and Daises

I'm used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, like Upton Warren - Yellow Flag Iris.
I’m used to seeing this at Wetland Reserves, such as Upton Warren – Yellow Flag Iris.

I had to pass under a couple of bridges.
I had to pass under a couple of bridges.

Honeysuckle - one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.
Honeysuckle – one of my favourites, unusually growing out of the side of the bank.

And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.
And here it is again, this time growing somewhere more typical.

A closer view for you.
A closer view for you.

Forget-me-not (and Cleavers).
Forget-me-not (and Cleavers to left)

Just as my allocated 30 minutes was coming to an end, I came across this beauty below! ๐Ÿ˜€

A Marsh Orchid (I think).
A Purple Orchid (unsure as to specific species/variety).

IMG_1454

People can sit and watch it grow.
People can sit and watch it grow.

Had to end on a closer image.
Had to end on a closer image.

Thanks for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

Gallery

Day 8 – 30 Days Wild

A Tale of Discovery

#30DaysWild
#30DaysWild

Yesterday was a very long day… ย The Beach Clean only lasted two minutes, but there was the early start, the traveling and finding somewhere with WiFi (the connection was awfully slow) not far from the beach – so I could finish yesterday’s blog and do a blog for that day – to share what I had done before the journey back home. ย Getting to grips with my friend Gary’s video editing software and waiting for the video to upload to YouTube was very time consuming. ย We both got home very late!

More positively; this morning I caught up on Countryfile! ย Which funnily enough was in Somerset for yesterday’s episode! ย I decided in the afternoon I would venture a little into the South Birmingham/North Worcestershire countryside (which I grew up next door to) ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I came across three discoveries, one more exciting than the other!

1. An old brickย bridge that is part of a Public Footpath – which leads from suburban greenspace into the countryside – has been cleared underneath, revealing it fully and making it a lot more accessible to walk under.ย  The tree lined path that leads away below the bridge had been tidied as well!

Fly tipping removed
Fly tipping removed

Trees cut back etc
Trees cut back etc

Princess Diana Way
Princess Diana Way

2. Two flights of steps have been created/installed! ย On either side of Princess Diana Way – a short walk down from the bridge. ย You walk up into a meadow (unfortunately not pictured below) with the Farmer’s field going round it.

Easy access
Easy access

Country Park Chic
Country Park Chic

I followed the steps leading up the other side, to pass over the old bridge and come back on myself – to follow another Public Footpath which leads you deaper into the countryside, through an underpass to the other side of the M5 Motorway. ย I took a few snaps before that.

Field of Wheat with Lower Hill Farm in the distance
Field of Wheat with Lower Hill Farm in the distance

Top of the bridge with facing away from the farm
On the bridge facing away from the farm

On the bridge facing the farm
On the bridge facing the farm

3. I’m a fair distance away from the bridge now on the other side of the M5, I’ve just had a brief explore of Doctor’s Coppice and have come back into the meadow I’ve just walked across. ย The pictures and captions below will end the tale ๐Ÿ˜‰

Said meadow, full of Buttercups
Said meadow, full of Buttercups

Something's hiding in the middle...
Something’s hiding in the middle…

It's a Roe Doe!
It’s a Roe Doe!

Gracefully prances to the coppice
Gracefully prances to the coppice

Impression of where she lay
Impression of where she lay

Thanks for taking time to read my blog ๐Ÿ™‚