Showing posts from March, 2018

Botanising in the Beast from the East! Longfield, Kent - 27/02/18

The Beast from the East arrived in full force this week  with around 10cm of snow, much of it drifting, ice and a bitingly cold wind chill from the Easterly winds of Siberian origin. On this day, I decided to take a day's leave rather than risk the perils of Kent's roads and possibly end up stuck for hours on a freezing cold motorway. That was just as well as the snow fell all morning with the wind driving it into my face, initially making my face sting, until the cold made it numb! I had decided to walk around Churchdown Woods near Longfield. I didn't have botany on my mind at all, but thought that a bracing walk through the snow might produce some photo opportunities, which of course it did. Once in the woods, I began to notice plants that I could still identify even with snow covering them. Of course, this is the Hazel tree. It's been flowering now for over a month with the male catkin flowers now wide open. The tiny red coloured female flo

Early Spring Botanical Recording nr Shorne Kent - 18/02/18

This was my last outing before the very cold weather arrived with its copious amounts of snow, ice and biting Easterly winds. I was recording in TQ6969 North of Shorne. I found plenty of records in a completly unrecorded monad and will return later in the year to add to them. As much of the area I recorded was next to the A2, it wasn't very picturesque so I only took photos of the flowers, so here goes. Early Spring is the time Common Whitlowgrass comes into flower, but unless you have very good eyesight or frequently get down on your knees you'll miss them. The flowers are only a few millimetres across. Erophila verna A scruffy Dovesfoot Cranesbill in flower in the roadside verge. Geranium molle   These Hairy Bittercress also have very small flowers and were interspersed with the Common Whitlowgrass, like small white dots in the road verge edges. Cardamine hirsuta The wonder of a macro lens is that it can make sma

Plants and Places of interest in East Sussex - 17/02/18

A few days before the Beast from the East arrived (for posterity that was a bitterly cold weather system with withering winds, snow and ice from Siberia), we had a day trip out to the East Sussex coast from Pett Level to Winchelsea then to Bexhill to see what we might find. The view East towards Camber. In a month or so there will be plenty of coastal plants to see, clovers, mouse-ears and so on. Even now there are the distinctive young plants of Yellow Horned Poppy to be found.  But we didn't go East, we went West to the base of the cliffs at Pett Level. These have a large layer of clay over the bedrock and cliff falls are common as a result. The fall shown below was extensive and took out a large area that had been full of wildflowers amd Greater Horsetail the previous year. However, there were still a few plants to be found like this invasive non native Hottentot Fig. This sprawled down the cliff smothering everything below it. It does have attractive flowers, th