An unreliable memoir

Posts tagged “plants

Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone

The Wood Anemones are past their best here now. Spring marches on, but slowly this year – our annual butterflies (that don’t overwinter as adults) are a month late – no County records for Orange Tip or Holly Blue yet.

Anemone nemorosa.

Nikon D7200 Tokina 100mm f16 1/400 ISO 400




Nikon D7200 Tokina 100mm f5.6 1/50 ISO 200

Common Stork’s-bill

Common Storks-bill

Not so common any more.

Common Stork’s-bill, Erodium cicutarium.
Sony DSC-HX20V f3.5 5.9mm 1/800 ISO 100

Field Wood-rush

Field Wood-rush

There seems to be a growing trend on Instagram for hi-key minimalism, including some rather nice arty “botanical” shots, so I thought I’d have a go. In the end, this macro image won out though, and my hi-key effort turned out to be not that hi-key after all. That’s OK, I’ll filter the s**t out of it on Instagram. Also known as “Good Friday Grass”, Luzula campestris was a week late around these parts this year, needing the first warm weather on Good Friday to get it going. Or maybe, Easter was too early… Anyhow, here comes the botany bit. How do I know this 10cm plant nodding at me from my sodden lawn and giving me another excellent reason not to mow it is a rush? Because:

Sedges have edges and
Rushes are round and
Grasses have nodes
all the way to the ground.

Field Wood-rush – Luzula campestris.
Nikon D7200 EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N f5.6 1/80 ISO 800, 5 image focus stack.

Field Wood-rush

Danish Scurvygrass

Danish Scurvygrass

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed the white froth along all the major roads at the moment. If you pull off and investigate, it looks like this. Danish Scurvygrass was unknown inland 50 years ago, but with the ever increasing tonnage of salt risk-averse councils pour onto the roads each year this seaside plant has taken advantage of the niche we have built for it.

Danish Scurvygrass – Cochlearia danica.

Danish Scurvygrass



I inherited quite a few plants from my late father-in-law many years ago. This Kalanchoe is one of them. It took me several years to work out how to get it to flower (there’s a trick), but since then it has bloomed every year in the depths of winter (which is why I’ve shot it before). My father-in-law didn’t leave me any money, but by keeping some of his plants alive we are constantly reminded of him as the seasons change, and as far as I’m concerned that’s better than any inheritance.

It’s a very difficult subject to shoot well and I worked really hard on this in Photoshop. I’m  disappointed with the result, it looks like some sort of oversaturated 500px monstrosity. It really is this colour but it looks wrong as a macro. If you tone down the saturation or vibrance it turns into mud. Sigh. It’s been a tough week.

Rough-stalked Feather-moss

Rough-stalked Feather-moss

We prize red because it is the colour of ripe fruits, promising sweetness. I’ve never tasted Rough-stalked Feather-moss, the name alone puts you off. I don’t think it’s sweet, but the red sporangia still signify ripeness.

I don’t think I’d make it as a reindeer.

Rough-stalked Feather-moss, Brachythecium rutabulum.

My tiny cup runneth over

Cladonia fimbriata

Repeat after me, “The closer you look, the more you see.”

In the darkest and most remote parts of Leicestershire the native peoples hold to the ancient belief that if you can drink a whole pint of Carling out of one of these tiny cups without spilling a single drop you will live to see Gary Lineker present Match of the Day in his underpants.
We are a spiritual people in Leicestershire.

Cladonia fimbriata.

More on Gary Lineker’s underpants here.



In two months time you won’t be able to walk down this path – you’ll have to hack your way through with a machete. In March however, the nectar of newly emerging Butterbur flowers is a life-support system for early bees.

Bonus Fact: The name Butterbur derives from the large, heart-shaped mature leaves that were used to wrap butter in the past.

Butterbur, Petasites hybridus.

Interesting email conversation today with the County Recorder about the exact composition of badger faeces in a latrine pit following heavy rainfall, and how this changes when they are mixed with dog faeces. It’s not all glamour you know.