Friday, 4 August 2017

Nature's Bounty

Recent bad weather has rather curtailed our jaunts about the countryside and it continues to be cool, breezy and showery. But, all the rain has meant a bumper harvest of Blackberries, so Malcolm and I have been out this morning for the second time already this season, to gather some of nature's bounty.
I think this is the first time we've been out so early to pick these delicious fruits and the size and sweetness of them this year, has been wonderful. Already we've had four breakfasts, six bags in the freezer and another large bowl-full in the fridge.
Tearing ourselves away from the Blackberries, I've managed to add a couple of new 'ticks' to the life list recently. Both newly-identified species, were plants which could have been dismissed simply as 'Dandelions' but closer inspection revealed them to be quite different. The first was a low-growing plant called Autumn Hawkbit (Leontodon autumnalis). The Latin name Leontodon actually means Lion's tooth - in French, dent-de-lion, gives us the derivation of the word 'Dandelion.'
The second plant is much easier to distinguish from a Dandelion. Standing a good four feet high and covered with tiny, sticky-ended hairs, this is a Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis).
Like the Hawkbit, this is also a member of the Asteraceae or Daisy family and well worth another new 'tick' on the list.
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