Marshland meanderings…..

walk with duncan 002

I’m really lucky to live just a few minutes walk from some incredibly gorgeous countryside….the other evening, me and The Arpette went for a stroll around the marshlands behind where we live, admittedly with an ulterior motive of being in search of blackberries,  but also because sometimes it’s nice just to be out of doors together…. if you look carefully there’s a lovely thatched house hidden in amongst the trees…..

walk with duncan 003

The river was so still…and as clear as a looking glass.  Neighbours and some ladies on the bus have told me that they’ve seen an otter swimming along here…..I kept looking but couldn’t see him about this time.

buttercup

One of the buttercup family…when I was little, me and my sisters would hold up a buttercup under each other’s chin and wiggle it about a bit to see if we liked butter….the little flower shines up golden so the answer is always “yes”…… buttercups and daisys…probably the first two flower names that I learnt.

red clover and vetch

The marshes are just full of so many wild flowers right now, I’m slowly trying to learn to recognise the different types that grow near to where I live…. this is Red Clover growing alongside some type of Vetch……

white clover

More clover, this time it’s White Clover and with what I think is more Purple Vetch to the side……

tufted vetch

Almost everywhere at this time of year are huge swathes of Tufted Vetch.  It’s a really beautiful bright blue flower  and it seemed to be constantly visited by bees, butterflies and other insects.

purple vetch

A small cluster of more Vetch… I think it’s Purple Vetch.

A lot of the Vetches are very similar and just a slight variation in colour or flower shape can either be the difference between a maturing flower or a whole other sub species…. it’s one of my favourite wild flowers, the flowers are so pretty but also it has some lovely names….Purple Milk Vetch, Tufted Vetch, Bithynian Vetch, Meadow Vetchling, and what is, I think, my favourite name….Hairy Vetchling…..

stream

I was trying to take a couple of photos of the dragon flies and damsel flies that were flying about overhead and across this little brook…and failed miserably.  These marshes are a really important habitat for them both, and there are loads of different species living here.

purple loosestrife

Every so often a clump of Purple Loosestrife pokes up out of the grass…. it’s another favourite with the butterflies…

thistle

One of the Thistle family, I think it’s a Welted Thistle….. I kept seeing small birds (possibly Marsh or Willow Tits) perch daintily on the thistle and pull a beakful of thistle fluff before flying off again…. guess it’s lovely and soft as a nest lining.

meadowsweet

Beautiful Meadowsweet….. it was certainly attracting the insects…. the flowers are like frothed whirls of candy floss, they’re so billowy and soft looking.

hogweed and elder

I’m pretty sure this is Hogweed…it’s really tall, way over 6ft, nearer 7ft.  Behind it is a wild scrub of Elder with sun ripening berries.

hogweed

I really do like how all the parsley family plants look at this time of year, when they’re all parched out and drying, they turn golden and look so elegant and statuesque.

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