Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot

Having spent the last two years or more, complaining about the dreadful weather, freezing temperatures and rain-sodden countryside, things have certainly changed dramatically now.  We are still basking in almost unbroken sunshine and temperatures which suit Malcolm, but not me!
But, with sun-cream coating all our exposed bits, we set out again this morning for a walk through Shipley Park.  Passing the farm and the herds of cattle enjoying all the lush grass, we had a lovely view across to Shipley Hill and a clear, blue sky.
By the side of the path a clump of Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has taken hold.  Normally, this highly invasive and problematical plant has pale pink flowers, but this group were all displaying a deeper, almost purple hue.  Rather beautiful, despite all the trouble they cause in the UK.
Staying with the pink theme and walking a little further on, there is a larger spread of Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius).  This plant has been here for several years now, but never seems to get any larger, or spread anywhere else - except to our own garden, where I planted some seed which I collected from it last year.
From peas to potatoes and a smaller, rambling plant found in the hedgerows along our path.  Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) is a member of the potato family and has small, but rather exotic-looking flowers which resemble the flowers of other members of the family, especially Tomatoes.
Also known as Woody Nightshade, it is famous for its poisonous qualities, although parts of the plant are used to treat chronic eczema and to halt the growth of E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.  Very useful!
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