Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Farmyard Animals?

It occurred to me this morning, just how many plants growing in our countryside, have been given common names which relate in one way or another, to farmyard animals.  I give you Ox-eye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) for a start.  This large expanse of Ox-eye Daisies, was growing on the old over-spill car parks around Shipley Lake.  Malcolm and I went to check if the Bee Orchids have started to flower, but we were too early.
To continue with the bovine theme, we have seen already this year Cowslips and Cow Parsley and we must not forget the Oxlip.  Then we move on to the Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a stately and rather beautiful member of the Carrot Family, like the Cow Parsley.  This Hogweed flower head was being attended by a small moth which I have yet to identify.
Other farmyard interactions include Horsetails and Horse Radish, Sheep's Sorrel and Goat's Beard.  The list is long.  Then we have the more domesticated animals, particularly the canine variety including Dog Rose (Rosa canina).
Dogs occur everywhere with things like Dog's Mercury, Dog Violets and Wolfsbane.
This morning, we also saw a spectacular plant with a bird's name - the Orange Hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca).  Curiously, this plant also has a common name which harks back to the dogs.  It is sometimes known as Fox and Cubs.  The vibrant colour of this flower almost takes your breath away in the sunshine.
Well worth a longer walk this morning to see this particular beauty.
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