BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Common’

#365daysofbiking Sick more?

September 5th – Whilst I obsess over galls on oaks and wild roses, other shrubs and trees have their own problems. Here on Clayhanger Common, this sycamore tree is affected by sycamore mites and tar spot fungus.

The curious leaf growths form on the leaf like a gall from the point at which mites feed on the leaf by the same mechanism that other gall insects imply – in the case of these tiny mites, their saliva corrupts the lead cell DNA to grow into a gall.

On the underside of the leaf, a tiny, fur lined aperture into the gall is used by the mite after it has grown to lay its eggs, and the gall is eaten by the hatchling.

This leaf also has tar spot fungus.

Neither harm the host tree to any extent.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2N8lZ97
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Oh, balls!


September 3rd – Good to see the fungus starting to kick off for the autumn, I adore the mycology.

These earth balls have appeared on Clayhanger Common, and although not prime specimens, they’re the start of a season of wonders of the fungi world that’ll fascinate me for weeks if not months.

These will grow, then ripen until ready, whence they’ll burst upon contact with some passing animal, spreading their spores for another season – and the cycle will continue.

One great thing about the autumn for sure.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2PXmDII
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Berry wet

August 14th – On Clayhanger Common, the elderberries are ripening slowly. These beautiful, tiny back berries, beloved of winemakers for centuries make a great home brew red wine that’s known for potency and taste.

Elderberries always look beautiful in the rain and are a lovely indicator of a fruitful season ahead.

Although I’d personally not gather these particular ones due to the history of their location, I’ll be out gathering others for a relative when the time comes, continuing a family ritual that’s gone on for decades, if not centuries.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2Z3aRjn
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Plum crazy

August 7th – Spotted in CLayhanger on the way to work, bull aces or wild plums. Slightly larger than cherries, a beautiful, edible old English fruit the slides in and out of fashion as new generations discover it.

Often sent and tasty, these seem to have had a good year., and will soon be ripe.

I’d probably think twice about eating these, though, given the reclaimed nature of the land they grow on…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MZ9YC4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Feet first

August 5th – Birdsfoot Trefoil is a staple throughout summer from the earliest of the season until autumn. It dapples lawns, verges and meadows with yellow and red patches, and is one of my favourite flowers.

Not many folk though realise how this plant got it\’s unusual name – it’s because the seed pods look like a bird’s feet.

This gorgeous flower is so very ubiquitous that it’s one of the few wildflowers I love that I’ve never bothered to collect the seed of and spread.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2ZZ77MS
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Budgie bliss

August 1st – Groundsel is a common but interesting weed. It spreads and is host to a number of diseases and lungi that affect other plants, like rust fungi and black root rot, but is also supportive of small songbirds and a host of Lepidoptera.

Groundsel is thought to be mildly toxic to humans.

it’s been known for years that cage birds like canaries and budgerigars love groundsel (and chickweed) and as a child I was often sent to pluck some from the hedgerows for grandad’s budgie, which would devour any proffered without hesitation.

It’s a very hardy widespread weed, and is so common and unassuming, I think it largely exists unnoticed. However, if you actually stop to study it, it’s rather pretty.

Weeds are always worth a look – they can be surprisingly beautiful.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2MXeYXz
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Fruitful endeavours

July 16th – We tend to think of summer as the flowering season, but really that’s only half true. Flowering is mainly spring and early summer, and from high summer on, it’s the time for fruiting.

Starting with cherries and rowan berries, fruits, nuts, haws, hips and seeds are now developing well. The green hawthorn berries are plentiful this year after a thin year last time; and blackberries look like they’ll be in good supply too.

Although this time of plenty should really be celebrated, it always makes me just a bit wistful for a summer passing.

But of course, the fruit will bring colour of it’s own to brighten my hedgerows and waysides for weeks to come.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2JJGOnc
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Herbivore

July 15th – The flowers continue to appear daily. Rosebay willowherb is the latest – a beautiful, tall weed, it paints wasteland, hedgerows, scrubs and derelict land with a beautiful hade of purple, complimenting the buddleia which it competes against for light and space.

In a few weeks it will seed with fluffy, wind-born seeds that float on the breeze and were locally known as ‘fairies’ when I was a kid, hence it’s colloquial name ‘Old man’s beard’.

We really should look more closely at the plants we dismiss as weeds.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2lHKWvH
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking The cycle


July 9th – I’m always interested in insect galls as regular readers will know and one of the most interesting in the UK is the robins pincushion gall, which affects wild and dog roses.

Forming the same way as oak galls – from a wasp injecting eggs into a plant bud which are coated in a plant DNA corrupting substance – pincushion galls are brightly coloured and made up of a solid nodule up to a inch or so diameter, covered in hairy spines, which if you look closely are miniature facsimiles of rose stalks, thorns and all.

Numerous larvae hatch in chambers within the gall, eating their way out as they mature.

This year on a rose where last year’s dead remains of a pincushion gall can be seen complete with cavities where the wasps emerged, there are two new ones growing about 12 inches further up the branch.

And so the lifecycle of a tiny but fascinating insect continues.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2LnVDyO
via IFTTT