Monday 8 April 2024

Settle Wildflowers 123: Cardamine pratensis April 8 Sycamore buds almost out, dandelions just coming and lots more

 I love this time of year .. every thing is just starting.

This post deals with Ladies Smock, Elm flowers (- fruit), Sycamore buds, Nodding Melick, Dandelions, insects. 

And at the end, from last night - Luzula campestris, Phaeophyscia orbicularis lichen and Aspicilia calcarea

May used to be my favorite month when loads of flowers are coming out in rapid succession.

But the growth is happening now!  April 8th... 

And as my pictures picked up .. the insects!

I took pictures just now or Ladies smock and of  tree buds.. and now at home was impressed to see how many of the pictures also had in insects in the picture - the insects are coming out to make use of the growth.  

I noticed the pink Mayflowers/Cuckoo flower/ Ladies Smock in the field opposite me   has appeared since yesterday . Maybe because the sun is shining - may be because the past two days have had high temperatures (kept low by wind chill factor) 

The rest of the field is flat grassland improved in most years by application of manure, and with no noticeable wildflowers of conservation interest.  (The bank by the river has more of interest).

But Ladies Smock looks pretty!. and the leaves, like the leaves of bitter cress are edible. 

Oh the sun has gone now -- It's raining again!  April Showers. .. making the footpath by the river even muddier.

(Two months from now I may be writing of a drought... let's see.)

I have missed the elm flowers at their prettiest - should have been out a couple of weeks ago - but on these pictures you can still see the (dead?) anthers. and the hairy stigmas and the green fruit jsut starting to grow.

Over the river from the small elm tree you can see the Sloe in full bloom, and behind them on the bank the Beech whose buds have not yet opened.  The white garlic flowers have not yet come out on the bank under the beech.. but I can see the ground is looking very green with their leaves

Cardamine pratensis under the elm.

The sycamore buds on my "Reference Sycamore tree have not quite broken yet.. They break on 16th of april I always say.. but I suspect they will beak before that this year.  there was one bud on the tree that has already broken and has leaves

See that one greenfly has found this bud.

 I looked up and could not see the 36+ year old yellow plastic kite tail . I wonder if it has gone .. will bring my binoculars another day.

Below - pictures from last night. on the pasture limestone slope 200 m horizontal and 50 m vertical above  the Cardamine  meadow.

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