Sunday 10 July 2016

The wild flowers of mid summer


Rosebay Willowherb.

Dog Roses.

Looking up our valley on a recent walk when our eldest daughter was here.  We had planned to be dropped off by the iron footbridge across the river, much higher up the valley and cross it and walk back along the lanes over that side, but the road had been blocked for repairs to a dangerous stretch of wall.

Below:  I was intrigued that this dead tree above still had a couple of teensy green-topped twigs, but I think they are seedlings which have managed to get established in the rotting wood.

The lane ahead leads down to our valley bottom.  Our house is out of sight to the left of this picture.

Here the farm buildings stand in front of our house.  Anything painted white is one of the original farm buildings (we were the accompanying farmhouse until the farmer sold it to us 28 years back).  You may just see our chimneys on the right of the cluster of buildings, just where that branch comes in from the right.  The heavily wooded bit immediately behind our house is our copse but it merges into the trees forming the boundary and then onto next door's farmland.

Looking up our river valley again.  This is the right hand slope of it, and at the top, just out of sight, is the old Iron Age enclosure.

You can just see the "hillock" on the top of  this hillside, which was one of the Iron Age enclosure boundaries.  It is square in shape.

Robin's Pin Cushions on the wild Dog Roses.  Properly known as "Bedeguar Galls" these are caused by the larvae of a tiny gall wasp, Depoloepis rosae.  The grubs inside feed on the host plant all winter and hatch out as adults in the spring.  They are asexual, and just a tiny number are male.  (The Wildlife Trusts)

Honeysuckle is in mid-romp along the hedgerows.  I can remember teaching my kids to pull off the individual flowers, bite off the very base and suck out the sweet nectar.  I expect folk have been doing that for 1000s of years.

Above and below, Bramble flowers may be simple, but have a beauty all of their own.  They are lovely to draw.

Now I have cracked how to load my photos in future, I should be back in the land of blogging.  Just need a few more hours in the day though!


  1. You really do live in a beautiful area.Lovely photo of the robin's pin cushion. I've never seen them round here and in fact they are something I've rarely seen them at all.

  2. I collect lots of willow bay honeysuckle and brambles for the goats when I am out with Sol along with anything else I think they will like, we have wild strawberries out along with the blueberries I noticed the other day, lovely photos

  3. Rowan - they are quite common round here, and plenty of Dog Roses for the gall wasp to pick on too. You're right, it is very beautiful round here.

    Dawn - you spoil your goats!!! Wild strawberries are divine - just SO sweet.

  4. Lovely pics BB. Interesting tree and wonderful valley shot.

  5. Lovely to see all the wildflowers and views - you do live in a very lovely area :) So pleased you have sorted the photo problem too.

    I was so sorry to read the sad news about Fluff in your last post.

  6. Lovely photographs BB - such beautiful countryside.
    I haven't seen any of those robin's pin cushions for years - they are so pretty.

  7. Gorgeous views there, I often pick a little posy of wild flowers when walking Ben, they don't last long but are so pretty. I have wild strawberries in my garden, I am just letting them sprawl and reap the benefit with a little dish full nearly every day.