Monday, 26 April 2010

More Flora

A lovely walk this morning, trying to keep off the main footpaths to avoid joggers and cyclists. In the end we did very well and found some wonderful peace and quiet through the trees and across fields. The Cowslips (Primula veris) are magnificent at the moment. Thousands of beautiful, little, yellow flowers nodding in the breeze.
Here, growing near the lake at Straw's Bridge, they were joined by a red-flowered Primula, escaped from someones garden.
A small, low-growing flower next and one which is not well liked by gardeners. The Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is a member of the Mint family and has rather beautiful flowers, if you take the time to look closely. Culpepper says of the Ground Ivy (or Alehoof) "... it is quick, sharp, and bitter in taste, and is thereby found to be hot and dry; a singular herb for all inward wounds, exulcerated lungs, or other parts, either by itself, or boiled with other the like herbs; and being drank, in a short time it eases all griping pains, windy and choleric humours in the stomach, spleen or belly; helps the yellow jaundice, by opening the stoppings of the gall and liver, and melancholy, by opening the stoppings of the spleen; expels venom or poison, and also the plague..."
Another familiar flower next, the Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria). A persistent garden weed, but very colourful in the wild. Culpepper also has plenty to say about this "...The juice dropped into the eyes, cleanses them from films and cloudiness which darken the sight, but it is best to allay the sharpness of the juice with a little breast milk. It is good in all old filthy corroding creeping ulcers wheresoever, to stay their malignity of fretting and running, and to cause them to heal more speedily..."
To finish with for today, we walked past a very proud parent Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), standing guard next to it's nest. There were at least three eggs in the nest, but I didn't want to get too close to find out more.
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