June flowers at the farm

Throughout this month I have been snapping away, mostly horses but a few flowers crept in!  It is a great month for the appearance of dominant flowers that keep flowering for the whole summer – the fuchsia, foxgloves and yellow irises.   These join the buttercups and herb-robert that have been flowering away since May.

The germander speedwells are fantastic – little bursts of blue coming through the bracken at the base of the stone walls (I must do a post one day just on the plants that grow on these walls – they’re amazing ecosystems).  The irises took a bit of a battering when they first came out as there was a big storm at the beginning of the month, but new ones have appeared that show their usual perfection.  The foxgloves, majestic as they are deadly, worry me a lot.  I have nightmares of the horses accidentally eating them, and I’m not sure how much is a bad dose.  Must find out some day – it’ll either reassure me or make me go out and dig them all up!  They are so great for the bees though – that makes them worthwhile.

The Long-stalked Crane’s-bill is a mystery.  I don’t think it should be growing here (though like everything else, I am happy to be corrected) but I’m also fairly sure of the ID.  Also the Dog-rose – it doesn’t look like any picture I found, and it is more hairy than I think it should be.  However they are variable so maybe I’m right.  I’ll have another look next time I go down, so may update that page.

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Is this a Vicia orobus?

I found this today and if it IS a Viciua orobus, Wood Bitter-vetch, then according to my book it is rare, near threatened and the subject of the Flora Protection Order 1999.

My book is The Wild Flower Key, Francis Rose. Revised edition 2006, Warne.

The features I used to identify it in the key are:

Downy leaves, 15cm long with a minute point at the tip. Stem round. Leaves have no tendrils, 6-7 pairs per srem. Flowers 12-15cm lilac-white flushed with pink above with purple veins to standard and wings.

Found in woodland in a hilly rocky area in W Ireland. Any comment on the id welcome, or suggestions of what else I should look for to confirm it while it’s still flowering.

Update:

It is NOT Vicia orobus it is V. sepium. I went back and checked for tendrils as I wasn’t sure. It has them so I think that makes it a Bush Vetch.

Branched tendrils
Branched tendrils

Morning walk in May

I went down to the stream this morning to finish removing a water pipe that was laid in the stream.  I had got as far as the first waterfall a few weeks ago so was keen to get the second one cleared.  I achieved this without injuring myself which was unusual!

sans big black pipe :-)
sans big black pipe 🙂

The woods were still full of all the spring flowers, bluebells, primroses, violets and the little white flowers that I haven’t quite id’d yet. Even the occasional wood sorrel and lesser celandines.

The dominant colour at this time is yellow. On a backdrop of bursting gorse/whins/furze there are loads of various buttercups, little potentillas, birds-foot trefoil, the first few marsh irises. There is also a lot of blue/purple now – bluebells and violets, and others not yet id’d.  Then I came across the first cerise foxglove, and I knew that summer was here.

Highlights from the walk with some attempts as id.  I reserve the right to be corrected!