WEDNESDAY 2ND OCTOBER 2019

LANGAR + DCW

Following several days of very heavy rain, today began with a light frost and then wall to wall sunshine though the botany season is nearing its natural end and soon the priority will be birds.

A horse appearing from a thicket onto the Langar – Cropwell Bishop road turned out to be the precursor of what I assume was the Belvior Hunt in their finery with a well-behaved pack of hounds at the redcoats’ command. One van driver was impatient so the hounds were ushered into a group for his convenience.

The sound of the horn could be heard intermittently throughout the morning and a fox did a leisurely looking circuit of Langar, presumably having been disturbed by the hunt, as the horn sounded in the distance. By lunchtime there was no further sign of them and we felt free to wander.

Common Darter

The appearance of two pairs of forewings and two pairs of hindwings on this darter must be caused by strong shadows.

I know next to nothing about the identification of fungi but this one was putting on a good show in a covert and it proved quite simple to find a match from illustrations. I think I’m right but don’t rely on me.

Heterobasidium annosum

The underside of a Comma shows how it got its name.

Comma

The margins of some fields held a bewildering mixture of plants with many native species of doubtful provenance and many aliens presumably aimed at nectar sources and pheasant cover. The latter included a variety of Cabbage Brassica oleracea, (possibly Kale), Lucerne Medicago sativa ssp. sativa, Chicory Cichorium intybus, Quinoa Chenopodium quinoa, Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia – and this:

Ethiopian Rape (Brassica carinata)

Well, that it is what it keyed out as ‘in the field’ but Dave is going to give a sample some further interrogation in his ‘lab’.

Last week’s apple proved rather difficult and the combined botanical and horticultural brains of Nottinghamshire have not, so far, come to an agreement.

As usual at this time of year, gangs of gulls were loitering in the fields; nearly all were Lesser Black-backed, of mixed ages. This is a first year.

TUESDAY 23RD APRIL 2019

LANGAR CUM BARNSTONE + DCW.

For such an early season botanical, a list of over 200 species is testimony to Dave’s handle on jizz, the richness of the churchyard and one particularly diverse but very narrow verge which held the RPR species Knotted Hedge-parsley Torilis nodosa with also-rans of Henbit Dead-nettle Lamium amplexicaule and Cut-leaved Dead-nettle Lamium hybridum

Henbit Dead-nettle

Planted natives in the vicinity of the wildflower farm included Wayfaring Tree Viburnum lantana and Wild Service Tree Sorbus torminalis.

Wild Service Tree

If you want to see Spotted Medick Medicago arabica, Langar is the place to head for as it is abundant thereabouts but incredibly scarce in the rest of Rushcliffe.

Spotted Medick

Along one pavement near the church, Spring Beauty Claytonia perfoliata is well established….

Spring Beauty

Other notable plants on the day, plucked at random (so to speak!) are Yellow-juiced Poppy Papaver lecoqii (again!), several Manchester Poplars Populus nigra betulifolia (which are clones of a native black poplar and shows all the characters including the large bosses and the upturned branches) and Few-flowered Garlic Allium paradoxum.

There is another plant in the neighbourhood that we found to be well established at two locations but I don’t know what it is … yet, but Dave is working on it.

UPDATE – Anthemis tinctoria aka Yellow (or Dyer’s) Chamomile a garden escape.

Anthemis tinctoria

Finally, for a bit of variety we saw four Little Egrets and this common micro-moth.

Agonopteryx alstromeria