Sunday, 30 September 2018

We Spend a Pleasant Couple of Hours in Lesnes Abbey Park

Almost October yet we found Butterflies (a couple of Small Copper Butterflies) viz.

Bees viz.

an assumed Cricket viz.

Hoverflies viz.

Lichens viz.

and various Wild Flowers viz.

Our Favourite Wild Flower? Do we have One?

We recently saw the Question asked: 'What is your Favourite Wild Flower?'

So: do we have one?

There are Wild Flowers we always like to see viz. Henbit Dead-Nettle (with its 'Happy Giraffe-Like' flowers):

But a Favourite Wild Flower?

If we did, we reckon it would have to be one that the Little Critters like too: so, one possible Candidate would have to be the Dandelion viz.

Is She? Isn't She? Yes She is.

We saw this Character visiting (assumed) Charlock on the Allotments viz.

We initially thought: Hoverfly. But after noticing the long Antennae, thought, 'Whoooooooooooops: that ain't no Hoverfly'.

But on Reflection, we decided She (for She is a She viz. the Eyes don't meet) is a Hoverfly, and we plumped for Chrysotoxum festivum.

We understand that Chrysotoxum festivum generally has wholly Orange Legs: which is most certainly the case with this Character.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Allotment' Botanicals

To take a break from Digging and Tidying-Up on the Allotment, we wandered around looking for Butterflies, Hoverflies &c., and happily chanced upon a single Lucerne, aka Alfalfa, Plant viz.

It seems unlikely it was introduced deliberately so we must assume it arrived by chance.

And on seeing this Plant it occurred to us that it was High-Time that we Listed the Wild Flowers (aka Weeds to some Allotment Holders) we have seen on the Allotments viz.

Annual Mercury
Black Horehound
Black Medick
Common Bramble
Common Chickweed
Common Field-Speedwell
Common Fumitory viz.

Common Mallow
Common Nettle
Common Orache
Common Ragwort
Common Vetch
Couch Grass
Cow Parsley
Creeping Thistle
Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill
Fat Hen
Field Bindweed
Fleabane viz.

Gallant/Shaggy Soldier
Garlic Mustard
Hedge Bedstraw
Henbit Dead-Nettle viz.

Hoary Cress
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Lesser Celandine
Lucerne, aka Alfalfa
Petty Spurge
Red Dead-Nettle
Red Valerian (also the White flowered version) 
Ribwort Plantain
Scarlet Pimpernel
Sun Spurge
Sweet Violet
Wall Barley
White Clover
and Yarrow viz.

With hopefully more Species to be added in due course.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Of Common Purslane and Spotted Spurge

During 2017, we found both Common Purslane and Spotted Spurge growing on Public Pavements and in Roadside Gutters, in the 'local Monad': both unusual and both meriting a mention in Kent Botany 2017.

We didn't really expect to see either during 2018 with them being subject to Council Spraying &c. but Wow: we have seen both during the past few days viz.

[i] Common Purslane (which seems to be spreading):

and [ii] Spotted Spurge:

European Hornets on Bostall Heath

To our minds, there is something really Exciting about seeing a Hornet! Big and slightly Scary.

It must be a long, long time, since we last saw a (European) Hornet. But we have seen some (well, a maximum of three!) during recent visits to Bostall Heath (in the Royal Borough of Greenwich) viz.

We find some Ivy Bees

[i] on Ivy growing in the Grounds of All Saints' Belvedere viz.

[ii] on Ivy growing beside the Allotments viz.

[iii] on Ivy growing beside the former Belvedere Police Station viz.

[iv] on Ivy growing on Bostall Heath (the Royal Borough of Greenwich) viz.

and [v] on Ivy growing beside the Upper Bedon Stream

Sunday, 16 September 2018

An Outing to the Thames Barrier Park and Surrounding area

The Park is located on the North Bank of the Thames: just Upstream from the Thames Barrier viz.

We hoped to find a few Hoverflies and some Wild Flowers: and were successful, up to a point.

The Park itself is regularly mown: nevertheless, we managed to find quite a few Wild Flowers both in the Park (which includes a couple of small 'Wild Areas', where we found Common Mallow, Common Ragwort, Creeping Thistle, Goat's-Rue, Mugwort, Wild Carrot, Yarrow &c.) and the Surrounding area.

Sadly though: with lots of new Residential Developments, the area generally qualifies for the Description, Concrete Jungle! Not a place we will probably ever return to. And we found the 'Sunken Garden' disappointing.

Wild Flowers found:

Annual Meadow-Grass
Black Horehound
Black Medick
Bristly Oxtongue
Common Chickweed
Common Mallow 
Common Orache
Common Ragwort
Common Stork's-Bill viz.

Common Toadflax viz.

Common Vetch
Creeping Purple
Creeping Thistle
Dove's-Foot Crane's-Bill
Fat Hen
Henbit Dead-Nettle
Herb Robert
Petty Spurge
Phragmites (on the Thames Foreshore)
Prickly Lettuce
Procumbent Pearlwort
Purple-Leaved, Procumbent Yellow-Sorrel
Red Clover
Ribwort Plantain
Sea Aster (on the Thames' Foreshore) viz.

Scarlet Pimpernel viz.

Shepherd's Purse
White Clover
White Dead-Nettle
Wild Carrot (seen here being visited by a Fly) viz.

Yarrow (being visited by a Hoverfly, Myathopa florea) viz.

And there were at least four Hoverflies, Syrphus ribesii viz.