Saturday, 23 June 2018

Spring on the Southwell Trail - Part 9 (April 2018)

More wildflowers from the Southwell Trail.

Common Field Speedwell

Honesty - I am happy that the first two images are annual honesty (Lunaria annua) but the third I am less certain about. The flower has a deeper colour and the leaves look slightly different in shape.

Kerria Japonica 'Pleniflora'- if I am correct with the identification this is a garden flower growing in the wild

Red Dead Nettle

Grape Hyacinth

Bluebells - Spanish variety I believe:

Garlic Mustard




Spring Beauty

Oak Catkins 

Silver Birch Catkins

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Spring on the Southwell Trail - Part 8 (April 2018)

At this time of year I tend to include all white/pink flowers on trees into the broad category of blossom. This avoids the need to distinguish between the various types of tree and reduces the possibility of making identification errors.

This year I decided to be more precise and had a go at putting names to the different types of flowers. Initially this was not easy as I tended to treat each tree in isolation which caused some confusion. Eventually, I started to recognise the difference and similarities identifying several types of flowers*:

Blackthorn Blossom

There are many blackthorn trees along the trail although some do not appear to have the characteristic thorns. This made me wonder whether there were Damson (wild plum) trees mixed in with the blackthorn. I am not totally sure but I am happy that the following photographs are blackthorn flowers:

Cherry Blossom

There are several varieties of cherry tree including: wild cherry; sour cherry; bird cherry; and plum cherry. The flowers look very similar but I am reasonably certain that the trees on the Southwell Trail are wild cherries particularly now I have seen the early stages of the fruit forming:

This group of flowers looked slightly different and might be cherry plum blossom:

Pear Blossom

The following flowers are wild pear. The leaves are different shape to the cherry tree leaves:

Apple Blossom

I am fairly sure these flowers are apple blossom, possibly crab apple:

*As always I try to be as accurate as possible with my identifications but mistakes are possible. I am happy to receive any corrections via the comments section.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Spring on the Southwell Trail - Part 7 (April 2018)

On my return from Cornwall I noticed how green the Southwell Trail was looking. In the space of a week the leaves had appeared and spring had truly sprung, as they say. 

Considering this further, I wondered whether the term ‘spring’ does relate to the speed of change or whether there is another reason for naming the season. 

Okay, it may be a daft question but I genuinely had not considered it before!

In search for an answer I came across the online etymology dictionary's definition of spring:

"season following winter, the vernal season, c. 1400, earlier springing time (late 14c.), which replaced Lent, the Old English word. From spring (v.); also see spring (n.3). The notion is of the "spring of the year," when plants begin to rise (as in spring of the leaf, 1520s), from the noun in its old sense of "action or time of rising or springing into existence."

The first two images below feature the leafless trail in mid April, followed by a selection of spring scenes one week later:

A couple of days later the coverage was even more green:

Also blooming were the snowy white flowers of the Blackthorn trees which are often confused with Hawthorn. The flowers are very similar but Blackthorns flower before leaves appear whereas Hawthorn trees flower later in spring after the leaves have developed.