Showing posts from May, 2020

TQ5872 Bean, Kent - Surprises near to Bluewater - 23rd to 24th May 2020

I don't know why I picked this monad to survey. I had done some of it only last year, so didn't expect to find that much not already found. However, this time, I thought that I would properly explore the piece of Darenth Woods that fell within this square and the adjoining area too. Here's what I found in the woodland part on the first day. White Bryony is pretty much everywhere now with its big leaves, coiling tendrils and greenish flowers, there's nothing much else that looks like it. It was abundant around the woodland edges. Bryonia dioica This grass was on Watling Street on the northern edge of the woods. It's a one sided spikey looking grass and is called Rough Dog's Tail. I later found it in massive amounts on the main road junctions for Bluewater nearby.  Cynosurus echinatus There were some lovely displays of Stnking Iris, even in very densely shaded areas under the trees.

Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent - 19/05/20

Lockdown has now been relaxed so that we can go anywhere we like outside for exercise or mental health, relaxation or even to sunbathe. This means I can now resume my botany excursions provided I maintain social distancing and don't go anywhere away from home overnight. That's fine by me as all of Kent and East Sussex is easily within an hour and a half drive from my home. However, the problem now is that after being kept in for so long, everyone is heading for the popular destinations, so that all beaches are crowded as are all parks and "nice places to be". Knole Park in Sevenoaks, is also now packed out daily, but it is a huge area and the remains of King Henry VIIIs deer park where he hunted when staying at Knole House (now a National Trust venue). Being fairly local we found a secluded back entrance to the park and had the area pretty much to ourselves. We even spoooked a solitary deer that thought it was all alone at this end of the park. Being consta

A Lockdown Garden Safari - 29/04/20

We live in a rented house and as such we are not able to do what we want with the small gardens we have and have to keep them relatively "neat and tidy". This goes completely against what I want from a garden which should have space for wildflowers and nature in general. As such, I bend the rules as much as I can and leave so called weeds to flourish where I can. As lockdown commenced due to Covid-19 this was a garden safari to keep me occupied and to stop me dying of boredom. Here's what I found: This plant isn't really "wild" though I would describe it as "naturalised". This is a garden variety of Bugle which has purple coloured leaves unlike the native form. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as a wild one. You can see the coloured up leaves in the photo. These had spread all over the garden by themselves, away from where planted and one had even come up in a pavement crack. Ajuga reptans Bugle

Just Before Lockdown, Sevenoaks KWT Reserve 18/03/20

What a horrible year this has become. I think we all saw the signs of impending disaster of Covid-19 coming out of China and then Italy and it finally hit us severely around the end of March when we got locked down. This trip was one of my first of the year and also the last before restrictions on movement were imposed by the Government to slow the spread of the virus. I hope the photos will bring some cheer. I'll keep the writing brief as I'm on a computer all day working from home now, so it's difficult to get motivated to go again on another computer! Viola odorata var. dumetorum White Sweet Violet I have the BSBI Viola handbook to spot all the differences and variants within Violas, but if you don't have the book, have a look at this blog which details the differences in an easy to understand way with photos. Close to the white form were