Monday, 22 August 2016

The tale of some knotgrass, plus a local meeting

Last week, whilst wandering along the top of the beach at Sidmouth, I spied several 'fleshy' knotgrass plants lying prostrate on the shingle. I had no camera, no eyeglass, no nothing. I suspected that they might be Ray's Knotgrass, a species that I have only seen once before (further east along the coast at Charmouth). It was a hot day, there were holiday-makers sitting on their towels only feet away from the plants in question and I didn't want to invade their space to collect a piece for later identification. So I left them, but felt that if they were Ray's, then it was something that might just be noteworthy. I wouldn't be going back to Sidmouth any time soon, but I knew of a 'blogging virtual friend' who lived right on the doorstep...

I sent an email to Karen Woolley, author of the excellent blog Wild Wings and Wanderings. She has a deep interest in botany, soon went along to have a look, and indeed they were Ray's and a tick for her to boot! Joy all round!! This blogging lark does have its positives...

And talking of such positives, through this very medium I finally met up with local natural-historian Tim Saunders. We spent a most pleasant couple of hours wandering over Langley Vale Farm and in the process gathered quite a list of arable plants. The three Red Hemp-nettle plants are looking robust and healthy, as too were several Small Toadflaxes. A single Silver-washed Fritillary was my first for the site.

Small Toadflax obviously flourishing in the habitat...
...as was this Red Hemp-nettle.
UPDATE: at 13.50hrs a juvenile Honey-buzzard flew low, south-west over the garden. This is my third record here (since 1987).

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