Monday, 21 July 2014

Fluffy Clouds

After a weekend of lively weather, thunder, lightning, downpours and everything else, it was time to get out and about again this morning.  The skies were blue, the birds were singing and all was right with the world... Well, until the inconsiderate cyclists started whizzing past, dinging their bells and making a damned nuisance of themselves.
These views across Shipley Park, taken a few days ago, from the look-out post erected by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, showed a wonderful sky with fluffy clouds and a deep blue above.
Looking away from the skies for a moment, the grassy verges are showing signs of a reddish flush in places, as they usually do at this time of year.  The colour is appearing, all thanks to the Red Bartsia (Odontites verna) plants which have a reddish tinge to the whole plant as well as pink flowers.  Partly parasitic, it gains some of its nutrients from the very grasses among which it grows.  Common throughout the UK where the soils are rather poor, such as roadsides, waste land, railway cuttings, etc.  The plant has a rather sticky feel to it, but is quite attractive nonetheless.
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