Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Osborne's

After our 5.5 mile walk yesterday, we had a shorter walk this morning to do a little shopping again, but at least the weather was much better. Back home and we treated ourselves to a (medicinal?) tot of Osborne Brandy with our 'elevenses' coffee.  Felt much better for that!!
Part of our walk yesterday, took us past the small reservoir near Heanor known as Osborne's Pond (now you can see the connection).  As we walked along the 'dam' of the reservoir, we were treated to the sight of a Coot (Fulica atra) sitting on her nest. We have seen a few nesting birds lately, but this one seemed to be the most bored by it's confinement and yawned very widely at the moment I snapped the shutter.
Close to the sitting Coot was a single plant growing wild, but more usually seen in gardens. The Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) is the only member of it's family to be found in the wild in Europe and makes a fine display, if rather uncommon.
Another yellow flower seen yesterday and another found among the gardens of the Old Hall. This time, another Rhododendron, but a bit different to those I mentioned yesterday. This variety is called Rhododendron luteum or the Honeysuckle Rhododendron. The scented flowers are beautiful, but contain a poisonous nectar. Tales of people dying after eating honey created from these flowers, have been told for thousands of years. The poison contained within causes symptoms such as excessive salivation, perspiration, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, low blood pressure and sinus bradycardia (a low and erratic heart rate).
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