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Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

200215-wall-05b

Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) at the base of a postbox

Lucy Corrander, over at the Loose and Leafy blog, has a section in which she features wild plants growing on town and city streets. So this post is for her!

I see these plants most days but only rarely take pictures of them. This is Llandaff Road in Cardiff, a traffic-busy street lined with houses and small front gardens, plus a few shops and former institutions. Here are the best plants I spotted in the space of about half a mile on a late-February morning. I suppose the traffic keeps the street quite warm. Any help with the identification gratefully received…
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Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) on the roof, February 8, 2015

I have written before about grey wagtails – see my post from November 2013 (can it really be that long ago?) – but they are such a rarity here that I like to mark their appearances.

I only ever see grey wagtails on the neighbour’s moss-covered roof and it is usually on a clear, cold day at the beginning or end of winter. I know they (more…)

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Any guesses about the species yet?

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After much wandering in Cardiff’s Bute Park Arboretum (see my last post), I’ve decided on my tree to follow for 2015 as part of Lucy Corrander’s Loose and Leafy project.

It’s one I hadn’t seen before. It’s not a native tree, and the crown is very high so I may need to do a lot of zooming in with my camera, but it is a champion among trees, or so it says on the label kindly put there by the arboretum people…

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Succulent cockles – this image is from the Jose Andres Foods website

Although this post is about where the saying “warming the cockles of my heart” comes from, it is also all about cockles – and my most memorable food moment of last year. It’s hard to believe, but that highlight was a small bowl of the most wonderful cockles I have ever seen.

It was late July and we were at the Guildhall Tavern in Poole, Dorset, one of our favourite French restaurants. The cockles on offer as a starter were so fresh, said our host Severine, that they were not even on the menu yet. (more…)

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Fallen Alaskan birch in Bute Park, Cardiff

I went to Bute Park in the centre of Cardiff looking for a tree to follow in 2015, but I found this very sad sight – a wonderful “champion” tree felled by recent gales. I grieve a little every time I see a fallen tree and there were several big ones down this month.
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First meeting with my hornbeam on February 25, 2014 – and I thought it was a beech

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It’s New Year’s Eve and I must put my hornbeam behind me. It has been a great year of following trees and I can now identify more species than ever before – hopefully even without their leaves on.

But the special one was this hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and I must draw a line under it by bringing together its changing seasons. Thanks again to Loose and Leafy for this great tree-following project.
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Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) on December 7, 2014

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In under a fortnight it will be the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Never before have I followed the changing seasons so closely – and it’s all thanks to Lucy Corrander and her Loose & Leafy tree following project.

This post features pictures from two visits to the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, on the morning of our first frost on November 24 and on December 7. (more…)

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