A Guelder Rose but no Gorillas.

We had to revise our plan for today. It was a bit misty.

It just seemed too dangerous to take Fizz out on the road, we could get knocked over and traumatise a motorist.

There was a little dog sitting underneath my window who wanted me to come out and play..

FizzPlan B then. The fog was coming down heavy. We would go and look for Gorillas in the mist (that’s where they live. Right?)

MistI put Fizz in charge of watching the trees, we don’t want anything jumping down on us and I was in charge of the little things.

MistThe first little thing that I found was rose hips, from a proper rose a Dog Rose.

Rose hipsBut not all of those berries are tasty rose hips, some of them are Black Bryony.

Black BryonyWe are going to see a lot of berries today.

MistHawthorn berries are everywhere.


Hawthorn berriesThis next little mushroom is one of the Mycena. That is a genus of fungi with several hundred species. Many of which can only be separated with a microscope. I can’t get it to species from these pictures but it is a pretty one. These are often collectively referred to as Bonnets.

Unidentified Fungi

Unidentified Fungi

Unidentified Fungi

Unidentified FungiKeep watching the trees please!

MistI am bent over examining the ground and at any moment something big might jump down and land on my back with a thump. What’s my lookout doing?

Lookout FizzMessing about! Although, I am not sure how much she can see out of her haircut anyway.

Lookout FizzThere are many more berries to come. These are Black Bryony again. The profusion of these poisonous berries delights me.

Black Bryony

Black BryonyAll around I am seeing signs of winter. These Ivy berries will be a feature of January when they have ripened.

Ivy Berries

Ivy Berries

Ivy Berries

Ivy BerriesLambs Tails are forming on the Hazel ready for January too.

Hazel CatkinBehind these catkins is the plant that we have come to see.

I first photographed these berries in January, there were far fewer berries then and there were no leaves on the tree. I didn’t know what it was and so I told myself that I would come and look at it in the summer and then I forgot.

Guelder Rose This time we have leaves.

Guelder Rose These are the fruits of the Guelder Rose,Β Viburnum opulus.

Guelder Rose It is a member of the Adoxaceae family. That means that it is related more closely to the Elder tree and the lovely little Town Hall Clock than to the roses.

Guelder Rose

Guelder Rose

Guelder Rose

Guelder Rose

Guelder Rose Well, I have missed the green leaves of summer and the white flowers that would have bloomed in June but at least we have got the berries and we know what it is.

These actually look like they must be related to Elderberries, don’t you think?

Viburnum opulusThis post just goes on and on, I just want to show you one more thing and then we will head back.

We are right at the end of Badger Alley now and this is where I think that the Beast of Badger Alley lives. On one side of the track there is woodland.

WoodlandOn the other side of the track there is impenetrable scrub. This is a tangle of Brambles, Hawthorn, Blackthorn anything with thorns on it.

Last winter I tried to press into this scrub, just a little bit to photograph some bright rose hips and as I went in an animal was startled and went crashing deeper into the bush. It was making more noise than me, it was big. Not a Fox, it was the Beast of Badger Alley but I didn’t see it, I only heard it moving.

ScrubOkay we had better hurry back now.

Just ignore the pretty little bird. It is just guarding it’s territory.


RobinI took loads of pictures of this Common Hogweed but we will rush past this one as well.


HogweedAnd the last thing that we won’t look at will be little Herb Robert.

Herb Robert

Herb Robert

Herb RobertThat’s it. We were out for ages and we still didn’t see a Gorilla. Maybe Fizz scared them all off.


FizzI was going to show you how muddy she was when I dropped her off but you can probably guess.

Muddy Fizz


17/11 Update: We received a tip off from the very kind Mar’yana Svarnyk in the comments section, advising us to take a look at the beautiful red seeds of the Guelder Rose. Thank you so much. (These pictures will be in my upcoming post, “The hunt for Red November” but also here for anyone searching for Guelder Rose)

Guelder Rose Berries

Guelder Rose Berries and seeds

Guelder Rose seedsTake care when extracting the seeds, I recommend wearing eye protection. The fruits are very juicy.

Guelder Rose juice


44 thoughts on “A Guelder Rose but no Gorillas.”

  1. Profusion of poisonous berries. I’ve been trying to think of a berry-word that starts with “p” to continue the alliteration. I’m sad not to see a photo of gorillas in the Forest of Dean, but the mist itself is rather captivating. Lovely, lovely photos. Thank you.


    1. Thank you Don πŸ™‚ The best thing about Fizz is that if I want to stop and photograph something she just sits down and waits for me to finish, she doesn’t go anywhere or do anything she just waits for me and then we get on with the walk. She is the perfect companion.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Joy πŸ™‚ Sorry, that is the stupid mistake that I always make, I forget that the internet goes beyond our shores. Here in the UK it is such a common bird that everyone knows it. It is a European Robin.


      1. thanks. I was flipping through my Stokes Field Guide To Birds and couldn’t find anything that resembles it, but then I had the North American edition. Your little Robin is much more delicate looking than ours–I think I like it.


  2. Your forest is so lush and moist and the plants so soft and delicate. Near me in Ballarat the scrubland is dry and harsh and, particularly in summer, very uninviting. Keep looking after it or the gorillas will bulldoze it and turn it into a timber factory.


  3. Another enjoyable post, and I’m so glad you got away before the gorillas found you. That was quite a dense fog bank, yes; who knows what lurks in there. It’s so cute that Fizz sits down and waits patiently while you shoot your wonderful photos.


    1. Thank you Sarasin πŸ™‚ I have tried walking in the woods with friends but it just doesn’t work for photography. It might take me thirty minutes or more to get the little insect just how I want it and the best friends stand quietly and say, “You get your pictures, I understand, I will just wait.” It just doesn’t work and if I am out with a Human I may as well leave my camera behind. I really appreciate that Fizz really doesn’t mind πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. somehow the mention of elderberry makes me think of Monty Python. (“Your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries”…can you tell I am married to a Phythonophile?).


  5. Enjoyed the walk through the woods. My problem is that all the berries look just about alike to me – that’s why I never try them out!!

    By the way, I like your new profile picture with you and Fizz.


    1. Thank you Dennis πŸ™‚ Fortunately most berries seem to be poisonous so I don’t think that you miss a lot by not trying them. Some berries like the Black Bryony are not only deadly poisonous but burn and blister and “trying” such a berry would be a very unpleasant experience. Best left well alone πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am intrigued by the beast of badger alley. What could it be? Not a deer. A feral dog? A giant squirrel? A Capercaillie? Snow Leopard? Komodo Dragon? This needs resolving. Perhaps an escaped wallaby. Gripping stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andrew πŸ™‚ All across the world there are tales of man like beasts lurking in the forest. There are so many variations on the Bigfoot theme and it could be any one of them. Then there are the escaped big cats and frankly, if a cat can escape then why not a bear? I don’t think that it is any of these. I have photographed it’s tracks like a sheep or deer but with prominent dew claws just behind the hoof. We have seen the nest that it made and I have been so close that I have been able to smell it. A strong farmyard smell. That is not unusual when walking in farmland but when you come back a few minutes later and the smell has gone that is odd. Anyway I have smelled this before. I want to get pictures before I expose the cloven hoofed beast πŸ™‚


  7. I think it is more likely that you would spot a troll in that mist!! πŸ™‚ They love mists you know! πŸ™‚ I think, but that is just what Ive heard, that Gorillas are more fond of warmer climate πŸ™‚ That woodland made me think of the wind in the willows, you know where badger and mole live. I think they perhaps might live in there! πŸ™‚
    I keep thinking when I read your posts that I wish you would write a children’s book about nature where Fizz was the star!! πŸ™‚ That would be lovely to read!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Oh, and do you know about the Scandinavian illustrator and botanist Rolf Lidberg? He painted the loveliest trolls!!
    and his main interest as a botanist was fungi!
    You kind of remind me little bit of him. Here you can see some of his paintings, they are mostly of trolls in scandinavian nature: http://www.trollskagalleriet.com/Konstkort_2012.pdf


    1. Thank you Trini πŸ™‚ Lovely pictures. Have you ever seen a photograph of Mr Lidberg, that is just how I would like to look when I grow up. I wonder where he got the inspiration for his drawings? Do you think that he ever met a Troll?


      1. Maybe he did see a troll! I have seen a troll once, when I was 7. It was tiny avd super cute!! πŸ™‚ Yes, I have seen photos of Rolf and he looks like the sweetest man ever! πŸ™‚ I think you will definitley look like him when you grow up! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The photos of the mist are so inviting and beautiful. I’m glad you take your great companion, Fizz, with you on your tramps. And I am always happy we can Follow…..there are many beautiful, but deadly, berries. I would look but not taste.
    Thanks for identifying the lovely bird. I will go in and add the name to “a lovely UK bird” in my photo gallery.
    As always, time well spent.


  9. Guelder rose is a beautiful plant, apparently it is mildly poisonous, so wikipedia advises not to eat it in large quantities, but we Ukrainians do eat it, including in the jam form. it is knows to reduce blood pressure, so would not be advisable to peole with low blood pressure. if you are going to taste it, the best would be to wait till it’s really cold. it is very sour and tart, and has is own distinct taste, i think the frost might reduce some of the tartness. if you don’t dare eating it, at least break down the berry and take a look at the seed – it has a beautiful heart-like shape.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for that Mar’yana πŸ™‚ I have been out this morning and photographed the seeds and added pictures to this post. I will also put them in my next post for the many who don’t look back. Thank you so much for the tip off.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful bird and I love all the berries. Fizz may want to be called Muddy, since that fits quite well. Wettest and muddiest dog I have ever seen. Happy dog as well:) Another fun post. Thank you.


    1. Thanks Eliza πŸ™‚ If I can’t nudge her into a deep puddle on the way home , you mean πŸ™‚ I am afraid that I give her back messy. I feel the worst about this when I pick her up straight after she has been for a haircut. I always try and delay taking her out for an hour or so, just so that her owners can enjoy a clean and beautiful Fizz for a moment but Fizz prefers being muddy to being admired πŸ™‚


  11. Thank you for liking “Tree Oddities,” “Zoomorphic Pareidolia,” and “After a Halloween Rain.” Wonderful post! πŸ™‚ I enjoyed looking at your beautiful berry, bird, and forest photos. Your dog is very cute! My dog loves tennis balls too. πŸ™‚


  12. I see you’re short sighted too. Just look at how blurry Fizz is when you take your glasses off!
    So hard to imagine berries ripening in January. Our bay is completely frozen over now, and we have snow blanketing the ground. Haven’t seen a temp above zero since 1 November!


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