Archive for July, 2011


Wild willowherb (Epilobium)

As has been said many times, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. My garden is full of them at the moment, growing from gravel and cracks in paving stones and from pots, but I usually leave them for a while to identify them before having a bit of a tidy-up at the end of summer.


Delicate willowherb seeds...

Here (more…)

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Wet day-lily (Hemerocallis)

I’m just sitting watching flowers in the rain
Feel the power of the rain making the garden grow…

Oh this is so nostalgic – The Move singing Flowers in the Rain in good old black and white from the late 1960s…

But the point of this post is some pictures of wet flowers – there has been (more…)

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A young lesser black-backed gull in a lane near the office, July 2011

This time last year I took some pictures of a baby lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus graellsii) on a building site near our office in the city centre.


This time last year the gull chicks were fluffy and new...

But (more…)

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Beautiful leopard slug or Limax maximus on the bird fat...

Into every slug’s life a little rain must fall – they are not very fond of dry weather. Unlike snails, they have no mobile “home” to go into. They have been lucky lately, as after a pretty dry April and May, June and July have been very wet here in Wales.

I have been watching this slug for weeks – or maybe (more…)

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Bee on Campanula in the garden, June 2011

On a sunny day in summer my Campanula is always full of bees.
If you know a little Latin, you will see Campanula translates as bellflower, but the variety I have, Campanula poscharskyana or Serbian bellflower, has open, star-shaped flowers rather than bells.

If I am not mistaken, bees like open flowers, as they have only a short proboscis (sort of hollow tongue) compared, say, with the long, wound-up proboscis of a butterfly that can reach into long, tubular flowers.


Easy-beesy - the Campanula flowers are open and accessible for this bumble bee...

Bees are (more…)

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The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 - a painting completed by Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the Younger in 1796...

Well, I’ve “done” English words from Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Celtic, Scandinavian and Indian roots, so now it’s the turn of Spanish…

According to that old favourite book of mine, The English Language – Grammar, History, Literature by Professor Meiklejohn, printed in 1905, “The words we have received from the Spanish language are not numerous, but they are important”.

How wrong could he be! In 2011 modern English abounds with Spanish-based words, many of them, admittedly, coming to us through American English – largely through Hollywood movies, especially westerns.

But (more…)

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Young blackcap in the garden, July 2, 2011

Just a quick post for my bird picture of the day. I don’t see blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) so much in summer, as they live deep in the greenery of the trees and bushes.

But today I spotted this one, quite a young one, I would say, as I looked from my study window.


Another view of the shy blackcap

I have also heard a blackcap singing beautifully in the garden today – this is what it sounds like.

I have written at greater length about blackcaps and with more pictures here.

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