Wednesday 30 September 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 86 - Red 20 - Hedgerow Crane's-bill, Common Vetch, Knapweed and a Willowherb

1. Hedgerow Crane's-bill - Geranium pyrenaicum

Yesterday Tue 28 Sept, just when I think I am finishing finding new flowers, I park at Booths - busy because it is market day - and step of my car, almost onto Hedgerow Crane's-bill. 

I shall write a little about this small Crane's-bill at Booths - then I shall add 3 "red" flowers from Giggleswick Station. I returned there on Sunday afternoon in the sun and brought my total of plants in flower there now (well on Sunday)  to 44 - so had better show you some whilst they are still out. 

It is in the flower-bed near those big pink flowers above beside the wall of Millennium Garden as you enter the car park from the north

The basal leaves are very similar to Cut leaved Crane's-bill (see two days ago) and to Dove's-foot Crane's-bill and to (though I don't think I have seen it here) Small Flowered Crane's-bill)

However the hairs on the petioles (leaf stalks) are different. Cut leaved cranesbill has downward pointing hairs.  

Hedgerow Crane's-bill has very short hairs (0.1mm) including glandular hairs and also some long ones 1.5 mm

We found some Geranium pyrenaicum
Hedgerow Crane's-bill the previous day at Asenby
and it had the same brown fungus disease.

G pyrenaicum is supposed to have 10 anthers.
(whereas the very similar  G pusilum -  
Small flowered Crane'-bill has 10 filaments
but only 5 of them have anthers. 
In this picture I think I can persuade myself that there are
at least 6 anthers.


2. Common Vetch - Vicia sativa
 In Giggleswick Car park on Sunday27 Sept I found Common Vetch.  This is NOT common around here. 

Common Vetch usually has just one flower coming out at a time at a node, whereas the much more common and more purply Bush Vetch has several flowers at a time.

In common Vetch the leaflets are narrow, but they are widest above the middle. 

The leaves have a big notch at the tip with 
quite a long green point coming out of it.

3. Knapweed.  Centaurea nigra.
Yes I could have entered this two month's earlier growing in verges and in old haymeadows. But there are still a few red (well purple) heads left. 

I love the involucral bracts.   (the brown scales round the flowrhead)

4. A Willowherb - Epilobium sp - I may go into more detail about which species another day -

Here is the one from Giggleswick Station

Here are two from Horton (admittedly 7 miles from Settle)  whihc I keyed out as Epilobium tetragonum.

Club shaped stigma 

                         Reflection on 30 September
(I reflected on 21 June, 3 months ago.. so it is time to reflectg again) 
Lockdown Walks? - 

Yesterday Craven went "orange" on the national map - with four times the  number of people catching Covid as the natieonal average - as measured by new people tested positive each day  - 


cases per 100,000 people in the latest week 21 Sep-27 Sep. The average area in England had 28.

cases in the latest week 21 Sep-27 Sep
compared with the previous week
total cases to 30 Sep

coronavirus-related deaths registered to 18 Sep

It is heartening that there have been no more deaths (I think) in the first fortnight of September. I keep checking that 68 number every evening. The results don't show the last fortnight, or deaths in October which will come from the increase in cases.

At the moment Lancashire (and the border is only 6 miles away south) and West Yorkshire (twenty miles to the east) are under extra lock down conditions - though people are still allowed to travel - 

A man buying chips at the Fish and Chip shop this evening, with his woolly hat almost down to his nose, and his mask from his neck up to over his nose said through his thick mask "It will be the whole country next week."

It so sad for so many people who have relatives locked up in Old Peoples Homes and the relatives cannot visit them.  Especially if the people have dementia or are the very end of their lives.


I am involved with the National Organisation Green Christian. Its members generally are wanting their churches to be greener, and to do more to look after the environment.

It is amazing the number of Green Services and Youtube videos now available. And their quality is improving. I /We can't watch all of them now - At the moment I think their rate of appearance is exponential . and they are getting better as people get ideas from each other.
I would of course recommend the GC Online Festival 23-25 October. (Which I will miss if I am able to run the Postponed Grasses course at Juniper Hall, but can watch the festival afterwards.)
Just as the increase in Covid cases is going exponential as people meet in crowds in  and out of pubs.

Just a Climate Change effects can be exponential - but we are too scared so ignore them

But just as effects to reduce climate change could be implemented if the government had the courage.

Two Days ago Boris said something to the effect that 26% of UK has land designated for Nature Conservation  and that he will increase it to 30 percent by 2030.

That the government will increase the area is encouraging. But the current 26 percent includes national parks which includes my house, caravan parks and many other villages and buildings and at least semi-intensive farmland.
Only 10 percent is designated for nature conservation and half of that is "in unfavourable" condition

From next week I am going to be involved in organising some British Lichen Society Zoom Chat Meetings so will have less time for flowers.

I have been recording for 82 days (there are 4 "gap days" to catch up on later in autumn/winter) and have covered 240 species. 


Sunday 27 September 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 85 - Red(dish) 19 - Heather, Foxglove & Michaelmas Daisy

Heather comes out in August.

It grows on acid soils

Either gritstone, or where bad drainage on boulder clay has allowed peat to form. The land on the west side of South Craven Fault, is Grits and some shales. The fault runs north south down just to the east of Settle.

I had hoped either to revisit Hunter Bark, or to tick off Heather flowers on my walk to Cockett Moss on 30 Aug. but I never reached Cockett Moss. This is because Giggleswick Station was so good for flowers.

I did record a late Foxglove on my walk half way to Cockett Moss on 30 August - It also prefers acid soils.


However on17 Sept I was invited on a lane-side walk to Routster which is in a similar direction to Cockett Moss (but a mile and half NW). There was heather in the verge.

Ling Heather - Calluna vulgaris

Ling Heather - Calluna vulgaris

Growing on the opposite verge to the heather was a fine patch of Michaelmas Daisies. This was a week ago, but I am sure they are still out now - 29 September. Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is celebrated on the 29th of September every year.

It is Aster lanceolatus. Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy.
(I think)
Stace (in the book Now flora of the British Isles) says
"The cultivated Michaelmus Daisies that are found in the wild are difficult to determine due to hybrdisation between A. nov-belgii and 2 other species. These two hybrids and A lanceolatus appera to be the commonest taxa and show every grade of variation from one parent to the other.
Interesting that this is the genus that has given the name to all the Asteraceae family.


Reflections on the location.
Routster and Wham are on the water divide between the Ribble draining south and the Wenning draining north west

Routster is -where?

beyond Wham - Where?

Beyond the long way round from Giggleswick Station to Rathmell


Beyond Settle, in the foothill of the Forest of Bowland.

This is a quiet area far west of Settle that my friends said was very quiet except when Lockdown in April sent people exploring, and when DofE walkers get lost. People more usually go for walks to the Limestone hills on the east side of Settle.

What pleased me tremendously is that this is the water divide between the streams that drain down to the Ribble in the South and to the Wenning in the north.

It would be good to do a walk along a line from near Routster to Craven Ridge. across the highest point of the-Giggleswick-Bentham Morecambe Line (and the lowest part of the walk) to Paley Green across the bypass and then up steeply to Huntworth Common then to Bucker Brow and Giggleswick Scar.

More Heather Pictures: 

Below is the heather area of Hunter Bark on my walk on 25 May before the Flowers had come out.

A nice picture at Keasden (8 miles away) 23 Sept

Click here for more  Settle Lockdown Wildflower Walks

Saturday 26 September 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 84 - Red 18 - Cut-leaved Crane's-bill

On Fri 25 Sept at Giggleswick Station I found some Cut-leaved Crane's-bill Geranium dissectum

This is a small crane's-bill - small like Herb Robert, or Shining Crane's-bill or Dove's-foot  Crane's-bill if you know them - I have yet to report on these

This plant has had me puzzled several times over the past few years.
(See lower down) because there are one or two other small crane's-bills it could be

 Here is my picture of the plant at Giggleswick Railway Station: (tarmac area on carpark, towards the south end). I also found some on 8 Aug on the Bypass Bridge  over the Ribble - see lower

Don't you like the way the sepals have a long bristle point with a hydathode (gland) at the end?

N.B. These are close up pictures - the flower is only about 8mm across. 
It is smaller than Herb Robert or Shining Crane's-bill - and much tinier than Meadow Crane's-bill. It is slightly bigger than Dove's-foot Crane's-bill - see my finger nail tips under the fruit pictures lower down

This plant was growing next to it, so is presumably the basal leaves. The basal leaves are less "Cut" than the stem leaves

Geranium dissectum flower at Giggleswick Railway Station

When Muff and Kerry and I were at Norton-le-Clay (50 Miles away (40miles for a crow)  over the A1 at the south end of  VC65) 
We looked at plants near our lunch stop and puzzled.

That evening I looked at plants from near Spa Court in Ripon. The shoots that had flowers the leaved were very divided. But near the base the leaves were much rounder (still divided) and looking very different


Settle Bypass - Bridge over the Ribble - 6 Aug 2020

Settle Bypass - Bridge over the Ribble - 8 Aug 2020

Helwith Bridge - Slate "spoil" slope - YNU field meeting 23 June 2018

Friday 25 September 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 83 - White 19 - Fool's Parsley (Fri 25 Sept)

I come back into Settle from Giggleswick Railway Station  having recorded 39 species of wild-plant still in flower at there including the three white flowers I posted in "Day 82."  25 Sept

It is cold.

In Settle I check for Fool's Parsley in Ashfield Carpark where I saw it ten years ago. 

Not there. 

I see some Ivy flowers almost out. "That will do for next week."

"Well I am almost finished now," I tell myself.  "I have a stock of flower pictures from August and September to write up, but there is very little else that is going to come out now."
I can relax.. 
I can even start to concentrate on Lichens from 1 October.

I walked to the Methodist Manse on Church Street to deliver a video on a stick to our minister.

And what did I see growing on the footpath outside their house?

Some really tall, healthy Fool's Parsley - Aethusa cynapium.

In fact... I wonder if I have seen it in Settle in the past and just thought it was Cow Parsley or Upright Hedge Parsley gone wrong.

The main umbel does not have any bracts, but the secondary umbels do have about 3 bracteoles each (the green bits hanging down)

Look at the ribs on the fruit

What makes this plant different from
1. Upright Hedge Parsley, (that comes out in July-Aug)
2. Rough Chervil, (that comes out in June-July)
3. Cow Parsley. (that comes out in May-June)

These others all have hairs on their leaves to some extent. 
Fool's Parsley has hairless stems and hairless leaves. 

Oh, and Fool's Parsley  is related to Hemlock and to Water Dropwort (also hairless)  these three (including Fool's Parsley) are all poisonous.

Settle Wildflowers - Day 82 - White 18 - Giggleswick Station (today)

It is sunny this morning Fri 25 Sept at 9am so I set off for Giggleswick Station. It had been such a brilliant place on Sun 30 Aug. It is cold and windy.  I put on leggings under thick tracksuit bottoms, and on top of my light fleece and ski jacket I wear my waterproof jacket and my all year Christmas woolly hat .   Cheating,  I drive to the station.

There is still a good selection, but I have to search much harder.

Two flowers I have hoped to find are not there. Matricaria revutita (?) sp  is dead. 
Arenaria serpyllifolia -Thyme-leaved Sandwort leaves are present but no flowers.

However I was able to photograph:

1. Goose-grass - Galium aparine - really common
2. White Clover - Trifolium repens
3. Lesser Swinecress Coronopus didymus (aka Lepidium didymus)

Matricaria recutita  30 Aug 2020

View west from Giggleswick Station - You can see the road I took towards Cockett Moss on 30 August. 
See the glacial overflow channel with conifers on one side
 After Giggleswick Station the Line goes uphill to the highest point on the Giggleswick to Carnforth line about 1 mile away - the Line follows the lowest point between the Forest of Bowland in the SW and and the Limestone Hills of the Dales in the NE.

Interesting that enough soil has accumulated near the traffic island for more Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass Puccinellia distans to grow

Click here for more  Settle Lockdown Wildflower Walks

Sunday 20 September 2020

VC65 - 02 - SE4071 - Norton-le-Clay Flowers

Kerry, Muff and I spent a happy day looking for wildflowers in and near Norton-le-Clay, SE4071, just south of Dishforth, as a contribution to the survey of VC65

96 species of higher plants revealed themselves to us in 4 hours. 12.30-4.30 (or 3.5 hours excluding lunch and fungi)
Then Muff and Kerry had to go. 

I could not leave the list at 4 short of 100..

So stayed on and found 4 more species in the village and then 30 more species round the edges of a huge arable field and its adjacent ditch.

I wonder how many more I might have found had the sun not set..

I came home and spent part of the evening searching on Google to see if I could find a litter picker with a long telescopic handle - suitable for grabbing plants out of very deep ditches, that might also double as a walking stick. 

Even with the fantastic zoom on my Lumix camera I still can't work out which Duckweed (Lemna) this is. can you?

There must be a market for such an instrument
(Failed - though am thinking about an apple-picker)
Then I tried to work out  -is this Apium nodiflorum or Berula erecta?

What do you think?
I thought it was Berula - but Plantnet (AI identifying site) gave first choice to Apium. and as I had found Apium much smaller, but higher on the bank in several other places, well maybe it was just Apium. and seeing the flowers now in the above picture it looks like Apium

Close up of Apium nodosum that I had been able to retrieve from a shallow ditch. 

Example of a large field

So back to lunch by the Shaggy Ink Caps


We are still not even sure of the genus of this one.

This was by a sandy path  later


We pondered over this

finally independently deciding on Geranium dissectum

I was pleased when we found, at a gateway some Coronopus squamatus.
Coronopus squamatus - flower near bottom of picture, wavy fruit in centre. I am not sure what the big lumps with white powder are. 

Walnut tree in village

Below: text still to be added