Wildflower challenge brightens exercise walks

Slender Speedwell

Judith Allinson writes:

When I was small I used to make a “wildflower diary” each year, with my mother’s encouragement – (Thanks Mum) .

Do you have the opportunity to help other people learn about flowers?

Why not make a diary for your walks?

You will be familiar with early flowers.. Snowdrops, Hazel Catkins, Pussy Willow, Violets..

By late May I would get overwhelmed and stop. And start all over again the following year.

My “exercise walks” around where I live, at this lovely time of year, have enabled me to see new flowers come out each day, and record just when they come out – So I am making a “wildflower blog” – posting three flowers of a given colour each day – showing the common flowers we have that people in the Settle area are walking past each day on our exercise walks.

I meet so many people – we stay at least 6 foot apart of course. I say “Do you know what these pink flowers are?” (Ladies Smock)

Lady’s-Smock – Also known as Cuckoo Flower, May-flower and Milkmaids

“or these flowers that look like buttercups? How many petals do they have? eight? Their name begins with C…”


Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria)

I present three species of a given colour each day.

Friends in our local natural history club (Craven Conservation Group) are joining in and sending me photographs.

If you have a common wildflower that you see on your walks and do not know what it is do send me a photo.. whether you live in Settle, Bradford or London. It doesn’t matter – I can have a “guest flower” species

I have also been busy looking at lichens too – grateful that I had some knowledge to start off with because they are not easy, and planning to send in my records to the British Lichen Society. By making careful records of where they grow I am beginning to see some patterns…There is not time to blog about everything.

Yesterday’s colour was blue. I went to Langcliffe Churchyard where I remember seeing Slender Speedwell in previous years. There was an “Easter Garden Tomb scene” built at the churchyard entrance –

Inside the churchyard lawn, I found the Slender Speedwell (Veronica filiformis)—- and there it still was, its cheeky bright pale blue heads waving on their super delicate long stalks.

Slender Speewell in Langcliffe Churchyard

You might enjoy listening to the five short “The Passion in Plants” talks given on Radio 4 last week. They are presented by Bob Gilbert and Bother Sam of Hilfield Friary as they go in search for UK wildflowers with links in folklore to the Story of Easter. Episode 3 includes a section on Speedwell.

Some Churches have a project “The Stations of the Cross” . ( The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as the Way of Sorrows or the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers.) Station number (6) is “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.” She is helping him on his journey.

Travellers in years gone by appreciated its bright blue petals and in Ireland it was sewn into clothes as a charm to protect against accidents.

Do visit my blog and see what today’s flowers are. and how many days I manage to keep it going this year!.



Author: Editor 1 | Date: 14 April, 2020 | Category: Biodiversity | Comments: 0

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