Simon’s previews

Weeks 1 – 21

Weeks 20 & 21 Preview: 30th July – 12th August

We have five species to carry over from our Weeks 18/19 target list:

Nodding Bur-marigold, Bidens cernua; Trifid Bur-marigold, Bidens tripartita; Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea; Sea-purslane, Atriplex portulacoides; Sea-blite, Suaeda maritima.

To which we can add:

Hops, Humulus lupulus; Sea Wormwood, Artemisia maritima; Glasswort, Salicornia agg.

Plus, while we’re tramping across the saltmarshes, can anyone come up with a plausible date for first-flowering Common Sea-lavender, Limonium vulgare, or Rock Sea-lavender, L. binervosum agg.? They should have started flowering in mid-July…

Hope you have a good fortnight. Do let me know—by 3 p.m. on 5th and/or 12th August if possible—if you see any of these species in flower, preferably by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop

All the best.

Simon

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Weeks 18 & 19 Preview : 16th – 29th July

Just two spp to carry over from last week:

Corn Mint, Mentha arvensis; Thorn-apple, Datura stramonium.

To which we can add the following 12, giving us a target list of 14 for the coming fortnight:

Nodding Bur-marigold, Bidens cernua;Trifid Bur-marigold, Bidens tripartita; Heather, Calluna vulgaris; Common Hemp-nettle, Galeopsis tetrahit; Sharp-leaved Fluellen, Kickxia elatine; Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea; Blue Fleabane, Erigeron acris; Saw-wort, Serratula tinctoria; Sea-purslane, Atriplex portulacoides; Sea-blite, Suaeda maritima; Broad-leaved Helleborine, Epipactis helleborine; Common Reed, Phragmites australis.

Oh yes, and we should be getting Devil’s-bit Scabious, Succisa pratensis, more widely soon, too. So far, we’ve had just a single record of it.

I was almost tempted to add Autumn Lady’s-tresses, Spiranthes spiralis, to the target list, but it’s very unlikely we’ll get it flowering before the end of July. Worth keeping half an eye out for it though? It would be brilliant, too, if we could get a first date for Goldilocks Aster, Galatella linosyris (= Aster linosyris), and—while we’re at it—what about Sea Wormwood, Artemisia maritima? Both of these we’d expect to start flowering sometime in August, but you never can tell…

Do let me know—by 3 p.m. on 22nd and/or 29th July would be ideal—if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next fortnight, preferably by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Many thanks, and best wishes.

Simon

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Weeks 16 & 17 Preview : 2nd – 15th July

As spring shifts towards autumn, so the pace of first flowerings begins to slow down, which makes me think it probably makes sense to do another list to keep us occupied for at least the next fortnight. First of all, here are the three species we’re carrying over from Week 15:

Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; Tubular Water-dropwort, Oenanthe fistulosa; Stone Parsley, Sison amonum  

To which we can add the following 11 species, making 14 in all:

Common Calamint, Calamintha ascendens; Hoary Ragwort, Jacobaea erucifolia; Water Mint, Mentha aquatica; Water-pepper, Persicaria hydropiper; Amphibious Bistort, Persicaria amphibia; Corn Mint, Mentha arvensis; Woolly Thistle, Cirsium eriophorum; Carline Thistle, Carlina vulgaris; Thorn-apple, Datura stramonium; Autumn Gentian, Gentianella amarella; Dodder, Cuscuta epithymum

As well as the above, it would be worth keeping an eye out for species already recorded by one or two of us, but which should be coming into flower more widely very soon, e.g. Common Fleabane, Pulicaria dysenterica,Burnet-saxifrage, Pimpinella saxifraga, Western Gorse, Ulex gallii, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Picris hieracioides, and Devil’s-bit Scabious, Succisa pratensis.

Do let me know each week—by 3 p.m. on 8th and/or 15th July would be ideal—if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next two weeks, preferably by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Many thanks, and best wishes.

Simon

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Weeks 14 & 15 Preview : 18th June – 1st July

I’m taking another one-week sabbatical, so we’ll have a list to last us a fortnight this time around. Let’s go for 21 spp this time. First of all, there are nine to carry over from Week 13:

Flowering-rush, Butomus umbellatus; Marsh Woundwort, Stachys palustris; Hairy-brome, Bromopsis ramosa; Lesser Burdock, Arctium minus agg;  Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa; Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum; Tubular Water-dropwort, Oenanthe fistulosa; Parsley Water-dropwort, Oenanthe lachenalii

To which we can add the following 12 spp:

Stone Parsley, Sison amonum; Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare; Common Fleabane, Pulicaria dysenterica; Spear-leaved Orache, Atriplex prostrata; Purple Moor-grass, Molinia caerulea, Fig-leaved Goosefoot, Chenopodium ficifolium; Marsh Cudweed, Gnaphalium uliginosum;Many-seeded Goosefoot, Lipandra polysperma (= Chenopodium polyspermum); Wild Angelica, Angelica sylvestris; Gypsywort, Lycopus europaeus; Strawberry Clover, Trifolium fragiferum;Western Gorse, Ulex gallii

Plus there are many species, e.g. Wild Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Picris hieracioides, Marjoram, Origanum vulgare, Stemless Thistle, Cirsium acaule and Wild Basil, Clinopodium vulgare, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Succisa pratensis,for which we’ve so far only had one or two early or ‘precocious’ records, but which should soon be starting to flower more widely.

Do let me know—by 3 p.m. on Wednesday 1st July would be ideal—if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next fortnight, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop. But please don’t feel you have to save up your records until the 1st. I may be taking a week off, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Best wishes for the next fortnight.

Simon

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Week 13 Preview : 11th – 17th June

We’ll go for 19 spp this week. I think maybe we should give up on Alsike Clover, Trifolium hybridum, so let’s start by rolling over four from Week 12, three of them wetland species:

Flowering-rush, Butomus umbellatus; Marsh Woundwort, Stachys palustris; Water-plantain, Alisma plantago-aquatica; Traveller’s-joy, Clematis vitalba;

To which we can now add the following 15 spp:

Creeping Bent, Agrostis stolonifera;Tufted Hair-grass, Deschampsia cespitosa; Hairy-brome, Bromopsis ramosa; Stemless Thistle, Cirsium acaule; Lesser Burdock, Arctium minus agg; Wild Basil, Clinopodium vulgare; Autumn Hawkbit, Scorzoneroides autumnalis; Lesser Centaury, Centaurium pulchellum; Marjoram, Origanum vulgare; Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa; Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; Teasel, Dipsacus fullonum; Square-stalked St John’s-wort, Hypericum tetrapterum; and, lastly, for anyone who happens to be on the Levels, what about Tubular Water-dropwort, Oenanthe fistulosa?Or, if you’re near the coast, Parsley Water-dropwort, Oenanthe lachenalii?

Plus there are many species, e.g. Wild Thyme, Thymus drucei,Upright hedge-parsley, Torilis japonica, Betony, Betonica officinalis,  and Common Centaury, Centaurium erythraea, for which we’ve so far only had one or two anomalous/exceptionally early records, but which should soon be starting to flower more widely.

As always, do let me know—by 3 p.m. next Wednesday would be ideal—if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Good wishes for the coming week. Stay safe and stay dry.

Simon

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Week 12 Preview : 4th – 10th June

We’ll go for 18 spp this week. First of all, there are five to ‘roll over’ from our Weeks 10 and 11 list—a bit of a ‘mixed bag’ I’m afraid:

Water Forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides;Alsike Clover, Trifolium hybridum; Timothy, Phleum pratense; Flowering-rush, Butomus umbellatus; Enchanter’s-nightshade, Circaea lutetiana

To which we can now add the following 13 spp, lots of them tall and showy, so hopefully fairly easy to spot as soon as they begin to flower:

Wild Madder, Rubia peregrina; Musk Mallow, Malva moschata; Great Mullein, Verbascum thapsus;  Perennial Sowthistle, Sonchus arvensis; Wood False-brome, Brachypodium sylvaticum; Marsh Woundwort, Stachys palustris; Reed Sweet-grass, Glyceria maxima; Hemp-agrimony, Eupatorium cannabinum; Water-plantain, Alisma plantago-aquatica; Field Scabious, Knautia arvensis; Vervain, Verbena officinalis; Traveller’s-joy, Clematis vitalba; Greater Knapweed, Centaurea scabiosa

Plus there are lots of species, e.g. Common Centaury, Centaurium erythraea, Wild Carrot, Daucus carota, Branched Bur-reed, Sparganium erectum, and Betony, Betonica officinalis, for which we’ve had one or two anomalous/exceptionally early records, but which should soon be starting to flower more widely.

As always, do let me know—by 3 p.m. next Wednesday would be ideal—if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Weeks 10 & 11 Preview : 21st May – 3rd June

I’m going to take a short break from weekly report-writing, so here’s an extra-long target list of 28 spp that I’m hoping will keep us going until 3rd June. First of all, the ‘roll over’ of 9 species from last week’s list:

Viper’s-bugloss, Echium vulgare; Water Forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides; Selfheal, Prunella vulgaris; Stinking Iris, Iris foetidissima (the real McCoy, NOT var. citrina);  Reed Canary-grass, Phalaris arundinacea; Dyer’s Greenweed, Genista tinctoria; Greater Plantain, Plantago major; Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria; Pyramidal Orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis

To which we can now add the following 19 species:

Alsike Clover, Trifolium hybridum; Fool’s Watercress, Apiium nodiflorum; Wood Club-rush, Scirpus sylvaticus; Timothy, Phleum pratense; Perforate St John’s-wort, Hypericum perforatum; Great Willowherb, Epilobium hirsutum; Bristly Ox-tongue, Helminthotheca echioides; Hairy St John’s-wort, Hypericum hirsutum; Marsh Bedstraw, Galium palustre; Hedge Bedstraw, Galium album, Tufted Vetch, Vicia cracca; Agrimony, Agrimonia eupatoria; Rosebay Willowherb, Chamaenerion angustifolium; Flowering-rush, Butomus umbellatus; Enchanter’s-nightshade, Circaea lutetiana; Black Horehound, Ballota nigra; Lady’s Bedstraw, Galium verum; Wild Onion/Crow Garlic, Allium vineale; Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria

As always, do let me know if you see any of these (or other) spp coming into flower over the next two weeks, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Nest week, in lieu of a report, I’ll put together a graph or two to summarise ‘the story so far’, comparing our FFDs this year with 2008-17 average FFDs and those recorded by Walter Watson in the 1920s/30s. Something to put this extraordinary spring into perspective…

And don’t forget to have a look at the crib chart and key to colour forms of Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, and then—if you fancy it—see if you can work out which ones you’ve got in your ‘home patch’.

With best wishes for the coming fortnight.

Simon

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Week 9 Preview : 14th – 20th May

Assuming you’re still happy to continue, these are the four species we failed to see last week:

Wall Lettuce, Mycelis muralis; Ground-elder, Aegopodium podagraria; Viper’s-bugloss, Echium vulgare; Meadow Cow-wheat, Melampyrum pratense

To which we can now add the following 16 species:

Zigzag Clover, Trifolium medium; Water Forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides; Selfheal, Prunella vulgaris; Dwarf Mallow, Malva neglecta; Southern Marsh-orchid, Dactylorhiza praetermissa; Meadow/Smooth Brome, Bromus commutatus/racemosus; Tutsan, Hypericum androsaemum; Long-stalked Crane’s-bill, Geranium columbinum; Yellow Water-lily, Nuphar lutea; Stinking Iris, Iris foetidissima (the real McCoy, NOT var. citrina);  Reed Canary-grass, Phalaris arundinacea; Dyer’s Greenweed, Genista tinctoria; Greater Plantain, Plantago major; Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria; Pyramidal Orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis; Hoary Willowherb, Epilobium parviflorum

Other species, so far only recorded once or twice, will soon be flowering more widely, so would also be worth recording if you see them:  e.g. Hoary Plantain, Plantago media; Knotgrass, Polygonum aviculare; Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, Knotted Hedge-parsley, Torilis nodosa; Lesser Stitchwort, Stellaria graminea. And what about Dog-rose, Rosa canina?

As always, I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or other) spp coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

Please dip in and out as you wish. It’s not compulsory! 

With good wishes for the week ahead.

Simon


Week 8’ Preview : 7th – 13th May

First, the four species carried over from last week:

Square-stalked Willowherb, Epilobium tetragonum; Quaking-grass, Briza media; Common Spotted-orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii; Spear Thistle, Cirsium vulgare

To which we can add the following 16 species:

Flote-grass, Glyceria fluitans; Spiked Sedge, Carex spicata; Hedge Woundwort, Stachys sylvatica; Creeping Cinquefoil, Potentilla reptans; Weld, Reseda luteola; Meadow Vetchling, Lathyrus pratensis; Corky-fruited Water-dropwort, Oenanthe pimpinelloides; Lesser Hawkbit, Leontodon saxatilis; Meadow Fescue, Festuca pratensis; Hop Trefoil, Trifolium campestre; Eyebright, Euphrasia sp/agg; Wall Lettuce, Mycelis muralis; Ground-elder, Aegopodium podagraria; Viper’s-bugloss, Echium vulgare; Privet, Ligustrum vulgare; Meadow Cow-wheat, Melampyrum pratense

Other species, already recorded, but which may soon be starting to flower more widely, would also be worth recording if you see them:  e.g. Common Ragwort, Jacobea vulgaris (= Senecio jacobaea); Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea; Ragged Robin, Silene flos-cuculi; Yellow Rattle, Rhinanthus minor; Smooth Hawk’s-beard, Crepis capillaris

As always, I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or other) spp coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

With all good wishes for the coming week.

Simon

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‘Week 7’ Preview : 30th April – 6th May

First up, ten species carried over from last week, namely:

Black-grass, Alopecurus myosuroides; White Stonecrop, Sedum album; Bramble, Rubus fruticosus (agg.); Annual Pearlwort, Sagina apetala/filicaulis; Black Bryony, Tamus communis; Crested Dog’s-tail, Cynosurus cristatus; Rough Hawkbit, Leontodon hispidus;Water-cress, Nasturtium officinale (agg.); Heath Speedwell, Veronica officinalis; White Campion, Silene latifolia

To which we can now add a further ten:

Dewberry, Rubus caesius;Corn Poppy, Papaver rhoeas; Square-stalked Willowherb, Epilobium tetragonum; White Bryony, Bryonia dioica; Quaking-grass, Briza media; Common Rock-rose, Helianthemum nummularium; Common Spotted-orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii; Horse-radish, Armoracia rusticana; Smooth Hawk’s-beard, Crepis capillaris; Spear Thistle, Cirsium vulgare

Several other species, for which early FFDs have already been recorded, should soon be coming into flower more generally, so it would be well worth keeping a note of when you first see them:

e.g. Fairy Flax, Linum catharticum; Black Knapweed, Centaurea nigra; Rough Chervil, Chaerophyllum temulum; Yellow Rattle, Rhinanthus minor; Ragged Robin, Silene flos-cuculi; Yellow Flag, Iris pseudacorus

As always, I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or other) spp coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop.

With best wishes to one and all.

Simon

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‘Week 6’ Preview : 23rd – 29th April

There are four species to be carried over from last week, namely:

Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Pilosella officinarum; White Clover, Trifolium repens; Black-grass, Alopecurus myosuroides; Guelder-rose

To which we can now add the following twenty species:

Fern-grass, Catapodium rigidum; Curled Dock, Rumex crispus; White Stonecrop, Sedum album; Welted Thistle, Carduus crispus (= acanthoides); Remote Sedge, Carex remota; Broad-leaved Willowherb, Epilobium montanum; Rye-grass, Lolium perenne; Wild Clary, Salvia verbenaca; Yorkshire Fog, Holcus lanatus; Dog-rose, Rosa canina (agg.); Bramble, Rubus fruticosus (agg.); Annual Pearlwort, Sagina apetala; Celery-leaved Buttercup, Ranunculus sceleratus; Silverweed, Potentilla anserina; Black Bryony, Tamus communis; Crested Dog’s-tail, Cynossurus cristatus; Rough Hawkbit, Leontodon hispidus; Water-cress, Nasturtium officinale (agg.); Heath Speedwell, Veronica officinalis; White Campion, Silene latifolia  

As always, I’d be delighted to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or other) spp coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop. If you could please try to submit any records by about 3 p.m. on the ‘seventh day’ – i.e. next Wednesday – that would be really helpful.

With best wishes for the week ahead.

Simon

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Week 5’ Preview : 16th – 22nd April

Shall we see if we can keep this up for another week? In which case, there are five species to be carried over from last week, namely:

Ox-eye Daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare; Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia; Procumbent Pearlwort, Sagina procumbens; Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill, Geranium dissectum; Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Pilosella officinarum

To which we can add the following ten species:

White Clover, Trifolium repens; Black-grass, Alopecurus myosuroides; Sorrel, Rumex acetosa; Black Mustard, Brassica nigra; Yellow Pimpernel, Lysimachia nemorum; Pignut, Conopodium majus; Carnation Sedge, Carex panicea; Dogwood, Cornus sanguinea; Guelder-rose, Viburnum opulus; Spindle, Euonymus europeaus 

As always, I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or any other) species coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop. If you could please try to submit any records by about 3 p.m. on the ‘seventh day’ – i.e. next Wednesday – that would be really helpful.

Please look after yourselves, stay safe, and I hope you all have a good week. Only another fortnight and the swifts will be back…

Simon

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Week 1 : 18th March. The start of it all.

I was walking Gilly down by the river yesterday morning, reflecting on the general grimness of our present situation, and expecting that many of us will now be taking steps towards self-isolation/social distancing. And reflecting, too, on the likelihood that our spring and summer meetings programme may also end up having to be substantially curtailed or cancelled. 

I was also lamenting the fact that my recording of first flowering dates (which I’ve been doing since 2008) has been a bit lackadaisical lately, not least because I just haven’t really been feeling in the mood for it. And then I saw my first Lords-and-Ladies, Arum maculatum, and immediately I felt I wanted to share the enjoyment of it with the rest of the group! Seeing something is one thing, sharing what you’ve seen with your mates is another thing entirely… 

Anyway, I sat with the Arum while the dog chewed a stick, and it got me thinking that maybe others in the group might also enjoy helping to record some of this year’s first flowerings. What I’ve got in mind is something along the following lines: I would endeavour to send an email each week to Ellen, for onward circulation round the group. This would include a list of, say, 10-20 species needing to be looked for in flower during that week, and would ask anyone venturing out to let me know by email if they’ve seen any of them. No need for lengthy details: just the species, date and a rough location will do. And then, following the first email, weekly ‘round robin’ emails would summarise highlights of the previous week, and give a list of the next species to be targeted.  

I floated the idea round a few in the group, and there was a general feeling this could be a good thing to try. Several people have suggested more sophisticated ways of keeping in contact and ‘posting’ our observations directly on the website, so maybe this could morph in the coming weeks into something less ‘clunky’ than round robin emails. Who knows? But, for this week anyway, let’s just make a start with this email, and then see where it takes us. We’ll run the weeks from Thursday to Wednesday, so Week 1 starts tomorrow! But bear in mind this is supposed to be fun, so only take part if you really fancy it, and just dip in and out as you wish. 

Now, as you’ll have noticed, this year spring seems to be very early. Looking at average FFDs for the decade 2008-17, I would have expected species coming into flower in the next week or so to have included Moschatel, Adoxa moschatellina, Wood Anemone, Anemone nemorosa, Greater Stitchwort, Stellaria holostea, Rue-leaved saxifrage, Saxifraga tridactylites, Spotted Medick, Medicago arabica, Laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, Hairy Violet, Viola hirta, Wood Spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides and Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta. But none of these are on the first list of ‘targets’ because, at least around Taunton, they have already started flowering. Are they in bloom yet in your own area, I wonder?  If they aren’t, it might be interesting to see when they do start flowering – so do let me know your first dates for these if you get them coming into flower over the next week or two.

Right, here goes. Week 1, 19th – 25th March. And here’s a list of 19 species that could be ‘next in line’ to start flowering (probably in next 10-20 days or so), but which aren’t yet blooming in the Taunton area.

Greater Chickweed, Stellaria neglecta;Hairy Wood-rush, Luzula pilosa;Common Dog-violet, Viola riviniana;Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata;Shining Crane’s-bill, Geranium lucidum;Yellow Archangel, Lamiastrum galeobdolon ssp montanum;Goldilocks Buttercup, Ranunculus auricomus;Wood-sedge, Carex sylvatica; Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus;Hedge Mustard, Sisymbrium officinale;Cowslip, Primula veris;Field Wood-rush, Luzula campestris;Common Stork’s-bill, Erodium cicutarium;Cuckooflower, Cardamine pratensis;Horse-chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum;Germander Speedwell, Veronica chamaedrys; Crack-willow, Salix fragilis; Charlock, Sinapis arvensis; Cleavers, Galium aparine 

Have you seen any of these yet? If you have, or when you do see them, let me know! And also keep a note of anything that you think might be especially early – it may be on a later list and you’ll be kicking yourself you never noted it down…

Week 2 preview : 25th March

Week 2 runs from tomorrow, 26th March, until next Wednesday, April Fools’ Day. We’ve had sunny days and frosty nights lately (frosts even in Taunton), and the forecast for the next few days is dry and sunny too – which makes it deeply frustrating that there is now an increasingly urgent demand from Government that we stay at home and only venture forth for essential journeys, and for purposes of daily exercise. Any continuation of this little project will obviously have to work within these understandable and necessary constraints.

If you live in the countryside, of course, you may be able to get out a little more easily (and have more botanically productive habitats close to hand) than those of us in the towns; but all of us, wherever we live, will be finding getting out to botanise less and less easy over the coming days and weeks. 

It’s amazing, though, how much one can see in one’s local street, hedgebank, park or road verge, and even, of course, in one’s own garden – as shown by Linda’s Common Dog-violet, Caroline’s Field Wood-rush,and Helena’s Lords-and-Ladies.This week, during my regular garden patrols (which now include, much to the amusement of the neighbours, a few press-ups and ‘standing runs’), I have seen bee-flies, flower bees, small tortoiseshells, comma, holly blue and brimstone. And whenever we sit on the garden bench, a friendly peacock (the butterfly, I hasten to add) comes and perches on the wall beside us.

On the botanical front, too, things are gathering pace in the garden – Lesser Celandines, Ficaria verna, are at full throttle, dandelions – yes, dandelions! – are starting to look their best too, and there are Primroses, Primula vulgaris, and Early Dog-violets, Viola reichenbachiana, everywhere. 

So, despite the constraints, I thought it would still be worthwhile sending out a ‘Week 2 list’ of 17 potential targets, seven of which are carried over from last week, namely:

Greater Chickweed, Stellaria neglecta; Shining Crane’s-bill, Geranium lucidum; Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus; Hedge Mustard, Sisymbrium officinale;  Horse-chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum;  Crack-willow, Salix fragilis; Charlock, Sinapis arvensis 

But to these we can now add the following ten spp:

Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill, Geranium molle; Woodruff, Galium odoratum; Glaucous Sedge, Carex flacca; Bugle, Ajuga reptans; Pendulous Sedge, Carex pendula; Meadow Buttercup, Ranunculus acris; Beaked Hawk’s-beard, Crepis vesicaria; Red Clover, Trifolium pratense; Common Vetch, Vicia sativa; Hedgerow Crane’s-bill, Geranium pyrenaicum. 

And one more to look forward to, probably not until the 1st or 2nd week of April, but – who knows? – it could just make an appearance in March: Early-purple Orchid, Orchis mascula.

As last week, a few obvious candidates for the coming days are missing from the list, due to the fact that they’re already flowering, at least in the Taunton area: e.g. Ribwort Plantain, Plantago lanceolata, Wild Cherry, Prunus avium, Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, Southern Wood-rush, Luzula forsteri, Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, Ash, Fraxinus excelsior, Marsh-marigold, Caltha palustris and Silver Birch, Betula pendula.

I’d love to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or any other) species coming into flower in the next week, preferably by email simonleach@phonecoop.coop

Many thanks, take care everyone, and best wishes.

Simon 

‘Week 3’ Preview : 1st April

Right, here we go again. ‘Week 3’, if you’re up for it, runs from tomorrow, 2nd April, until next Wednesday 8th April. Five species are carried over from last week, namely:

Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus; Bugle, Ajuga reptans; Beaked Hawk’s-beard, Crepis vesicaria; Red Clover, Trifolium pratense; Common Vetch, Vicia sativa

To which we can now add the following ten spp:

Lesser Swine-cress, Lepidium didymum (= Coronopus didymus); Early-purple Orchid, Orchis mascula; Common Comfrey, Symphytum officinale; Barren Brome, Anisantha sterilis; Greater Pond-sedge, Carex riparia; Winter-cress, Barbarea vulgaris; Wood Speedwell, Veronica montana; Lesser Trefoil, Trifolium dubium; Elder, Sambucus nigra; Common Nettle, Urtica dioica

‘Week 4’ Preview : 8th  April

Right, here we go again! First, we have four spp carried over from last week, namely:

Bugle, Ajuga reptans; Common Comfrey, Symphytum officinale; Lesser Trefoil, Trifolium dubium; Elder, Sambucus nigra

To which we can now add the following 12 spp:

Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus; Smooth/Spreading Meadow-grass, Poa pratensis/humilis; Salad-burnet, Poterium sanguisorba; Ox-eye Daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare; Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia; Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Lotus corniculatus; Cat’s-ear, Hypochaeris radicata; Procumbent Pearlwort, Sagina procumbens; Broad-leaved Dock, Rumex obtusifolius; Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill, Geranium dissectum; Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Pilosella officinarum; Sanicle, Sanicula europaea

As last week, this hopefully gives you a decent range of species to watch out for in your local patch, whether that’s the back garden or slightly further afield while taking your permitted exercise – with or without a dog! You’ll see that I’ve included Ox-eye Daisy, even though on road verges in Taunton it’s been flowering – much like Yarrow, Achillea millefolium and Cock’s-foot, Dactylis glomerata – since the start of the year. It would be good, though, to see if we can get a date for it away from road verges, i.e. in ‘proper’ grassland.

I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone seeing any of these (or any other) species coming into flower in the next week, by email to simonleach@phonecoop.coop. If you could please try to submit any records by about 3 p.m. on the ‘seventh day’ – i.e. next Wednesday – that would be really helpful. This should increase the likelihood of me getting to bed at an earthly hour! Tonight I’m still here, banging away on the keyboard at 1 a.m. The new week has already begun. Eeks!

Look after yourselves, stay safe, and I hope you all have a good week.

Simon