Scruffy Dogs, Early Dogs and Common Dogs

This post is going to be another retrospective because the weather isn’t letting up and it is just too dark or to put it another way…. There are some things about today that I really want to photograph but if I wait for better light I will get much better pictures. I don’t really want to do them badly.

I thought that we could look at some Dogs.

Scruffy DogEarly spring flowers, these haven’t been seen here before because I didn’t start this blog until May. These are Violets, the Early Dog Violet and the Common Dog Violet. Guess which one appears first…

Both Violets are out in March but the Early one edges it.

Early Dog Violet

Early Dog Violet

Early Dog VioletThis next one is a Common Dog Violet.

Common Dog VioletSuperficially they look very similar and for a long time I didn’t realise that I had two different species living side by side. They are both Dog Violets.

The Common one has deeper and more pronounced veining on the lower petals and I think that this makes it the prettier of the two but there is a much quicker and easier way to tell them apart.

Common Dog VioletBoth Violets have a spur at the back of the flower.

The spur of the Early Dog Violet is darker than the flower.

Early Dog Violet

Early Dog VioletThe spur of the Common Dog Violet is paler, almost white. Β This is so easy, it is the feature that I always look for.

Common Dog Violet

Common Dog VioletThere is another little violet that pops up here around about the same time and that is the Sweet Violet. It doesn’t really look like the other two and comes in a variety of colours.

Sweet Violet

Sweet Violet

Sweet VioletThe Sweet Violet is so called because it is sweetly scented and the Dog Violets are Dogs because they have no scent. I find that very funny because I have known a few dogs in my life and I have always found them to be warmly scented animals. A scent that I enjoy very much, like a new puppy. It is funny to call somethingΒ a Dog because it doesn’t smell πŸ™‚ (No offence Fizz)

As for the scruffy one, don’t worry about her, she’s with me.

Scruffy DogBut it is too dark even to take her picture properly.

Canis lupus Familiaris (odorata)I have lot’s of posts that I am eager to write. There is a tree near here that I have long believed to be possessed by demons. Well it turns out that it is not Demons at all but an extraordinary type of fungus. There are also King Alfred’s Cakes growing just outside of my door and I have a need to set fire to them. Yes indeed I have got Cramp Balls. There are lots of things about but I might have to do Daffodils next if the weather doesn’t improve a bit.

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25 thoughts on “Scruffy Dogs, Early Dogs and Common Dogs”

  1. A sweet muddy dog with a muddy ball….still sweet! Who knew there were so many types of violets. Well, you did, and now we do too. I’ll be looking forward to the several topics you’re going to write about like a tree possessed by demons or fungus, whichever. You write such interesting posts every time and I always enjoy them.

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  2. I confess that I’m one of those people who tramps through the forest on hikes and sees only a purple flower. My knowledge of plant life is abysmal. Thanks for the education on violets. Who knew there were so many?!

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  3. I enjoyed learning about the violets. This is my morning Treat.
    I believe I owe Fizz an apology…I referred to her in one Follow as a HE! Sorry.
    Now about that tree..hope we are reading on it soon as it is a gripper.

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  4. How compelling that you bring us to such a simple and sweetly lovely gift of nature with your violets.

    Ironic to hear you speak if demons and fungus as I just finished reading about a cave in Africa that was believed to harbor demons and is now suspected to be one of the origins for Ebola.

    Look forward to your haunted tree post.

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  5. Fascinating details about the violets. I didn’t realise there were more than one. I just thought there were different colours.

    As always you are a mine of information about the small details in nature. Perhaps you should have been a botanist, entomologist or naturalist (or all three).

    I daresay, you will need a whole list of photos and subjects for inclement winter weather. That’s usually the time when I delve into my archives.

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  6. Dog is a strange term, as most of our country/out door terms are of Germanic origin, which would give us a form of hund, or hound, but dog is origin unknown, but has a lot of negative connotations, often used as the opposite of god. I wonder if the hound is seen as a stronger, healthier version, with dog being the wimp that stays indoors, hence doesn’t smell of anything but people.

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  7. Presumably, somebody used to sit in a medieval office, making up these incredibly strange names for plants. In a largely invented language, like Cornish, they have done exactly this. I once spoke to a chap in the “Cornish Souvenir” shop in St.Just in Penwith who was going home that night to meet his pals and make up the names for fifty or sixty butterflies and moths, as these were unknown species when Cornish was first spoken pre-1800.

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    1. Thanks John πŸ™‚ Interesting to hear how the Cornish have tackled the problem. I love common names but I think that they are also local names and they vary around the country. They are also often quite colourful and descriptive and sometimes quite rude. You can learn a lot about peoples lives from the names they gave to things. What kind of things amused them and what preoccupied their lives even what frightened them.

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  8. I hadn’t heard of the Early Dog Violet. All my ID guide books only mention Sweet and Dog. I must look at all my old photos and find out which dog I have in my garden. I know that I don’t have a Fizz, worse luck!

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    1. Thanks Clare πŸ™‚ For ten years I was photographing Common Dog Violets and confidently identifying them in my old wood. It was only when I came here that I started seeing Early ones. I had to go through all of my old pictures looking for dark spurs. I didn’t find any, I don’t think the Early variety was present in that part of East Sussex. I have found this a few times recently, plants that I felt quite comfortable with suddenly have a nearly identical twin that is something quite different.

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