Happy Face

It is like a Spring day out there today. It is like it is March and the sun is shining πŸ™‚

Spring dayIn March the Butterflies come back and so today we are going out to look for them.

Fizz has got her happy face on.

Happy faceI haven’t seen that face for a long time. She is not really happy (well, she is always happy) she is hot and she is panting and it hasn’t been hot for a very long time.

Happy face 2It didn’t take us long to find a Butterfly. This is a Red Admiral.

Red AdmiralThe Red Admiral is a migrant species that arrives here in the UK in May and June flying in from Europe and North Africa.

It is only fairly recently that it has been considered a resident species, they don’t like our cold winters.

Butterfly Conservation says on it’s website, “There is an indication that numbers have increased in recent years and that overwintering has occurred in the far south of England.” That needs updating.

This animal has survived the winter in Gloucestershire and hopefully I will soon see a lot more. Hurrah for global warming πŸ™‚

Red AdmiralIt does look a bit tatty but so would you if you had been outside all winter.

We better find it some nectar plants. You can try some of these.

Lesser Celandine.
Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine
Dandelion
Dandelion

Common Field-speedwellCommon Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwellThere is another one, a Small Tortoiseshell.

Small TortoiseshellOh Joy. The flowers are flowering, the Butterflies are coming back and Fizz has got her happy face on.

Primrose
Primrose

ColtsfootColtsfootNow Fizz and I are tired of all this sunshine and Butterflies and flowers.

Tired FizzWe are going up on the bank to get our photographs taken with the sheep.

Interested FizzOn the way we find another little flower that we haven’t seen yet this year.

This is Hairy Biittercress.

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy BittercressIt’s good for Butterflies.

Okay, let’s make some selfies.

Selfie 1

Selfie 2

Everybody crowd in.Selfie 3Our shadows are getting very short, mine used to be about ten sheep long.

I have written about Stellaria media today but I have had to leave quite a lot of important stuff out because I just didn’t have the photographs. I haven’t seen it in flower yet but it won’t be long and then I shall get the pictures and update the post.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Stellaria media, The Common Chickweed

Common Chickweed is a member of the Stellaria genus of flowers. It is a very small flower, about a quarter of an inch in diameter (6-9 mm) and in common with other Stellaria species it has five white petals.

The Β five petals of Stellaria media are divided right down to the base, giving the flower the Β appearance of ten petals and note that the petals of Common Chickweed are shorter or no longer than the sepals and that the sepals are hairy.

(Common Chickweed, Stellaria media 6-9 mm)
Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Compare Common Chickweed to two other Stellaria species that are commonly found here.

(Lesser Stitchwort, Stellaria graminea 7-12 mm)
Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria geminea)

(Greater Stitchwort, Stellaria holostea 15-25 mm)
Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)Common Chickweed has three styles that sit on a green ovary. The number of stamens can vary from three to eight.

(Stellaria media, 3 stamens)
Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)

(Stellaria media, 8 stamens)
Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Common Chickweed has a weak stem, it will often trail along the ground but it seldom rises more that about eight inches. It is a small plant but if you find it growing in any quantity it is worth remembering that it is a tasty edible. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)The leaves are oval and smooth edged with a point at the tip, they grow in opposite pairs along the stem. Leaves at the base of the plant have quite long stalks and toward the top they are stalkless.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Common Chickweed has a tradition of use in herbal medicine and is most commonly used to treat skin conditions, cuts, bruises and burns

It is a valuable wildlife plant, a food plant to several moth species it is probably best known as being favoured by birds. Chickens eat both the plant and the seeds and that is how it gets it’s name, many small birds like finches eat the seeds and you can also feed it to cage birds.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Β Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Β  Β Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Β  Β Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Β Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order:Β Caryophyllales

Family:Β Caryophyllaceae

Genus:Β Stellaria

Species:Β Stellaria media

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)Wildflowers in the Springtime πŸ™‚

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36 thoughts on “Happy Face”

  1. Good to see Fizz enjoying the warmth. Lulu says ‘hi’. She is on a farm for a while because mum and dad are travelling. I hope she hasn’t had any bad encounters with sheep.

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    1. Thanks Andrew πŸ™‚ Fizz is in the same boat, her mum and dad are of to sunny Spain and she is being left on a farm in dubious company. You really need to think about getting Lulu a permanent home, somewhere with a bit of a yard for her to play in. The poor dog must be getting very confused. Enjoy HK, I think that it will feel like a foreign country now πŸ™‚

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      1. Lulu will have a permanent home from April 9th Colin. I think she is a bit confused but has adapted remarkably well all things considered. She will have a house full of builders to contend with then but at least she will sleep in the same place each day.

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    1. Thank you RR πŸ™‚ I don’t expect winter to accept her defeat graciously, she will kick up a bit in the next week or two. Flowers need to bloom and eggs need to hatch. Winters days are numbered πŸ™‚

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  2. Lovely post, especially the butterflies. I haven’t seen any of those yet but I have been seeing honey bees from a neighbour’s hive and today I saw my first bumble bee. Last year I wrote a post with a photo of chickweed and the chickweed had pink stamens Is this normal or did I misidentify the plant? I will see if I am able to send a link to the post. (I am not very clever when it comes to links)

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    1. Thank you Clare πŸ™‚ There are quite a few Stellaria species and I don’t think that I have seen them all.Your plant may have been Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea) it has quite conspicuous pinkish brown anthers.

      Lesser Stitchwort

      The first difference that I would see is that Common Chickweed is a tiny flower. It is one of those that I have to bend down to see what that little white speck is.

      The leaves are very different. Another name for Lesser Stitchwort is Grass-leaved Stitchwort and the leaves are very long and thin. In Common Chickweed they are almost egg shaped.

      Lesser Stitchwort

      Superficially the flowers look quite similar but once you are familiar with how small Common Chickweed is, you couldn’t mistake them πŸ™‚

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  3. We have wild chickweed all over the garden. I will have to try it next summer. Love the butterflies, but it seems so early. It is a wonder you know where to look.
    I like Fizz’s happy look – quite becoming. How do she and the sheep get along?

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    1. Thank you Eliza πŸ™‚ I do remember where I saw my first flowers last year and the best places to look for Butterflies but then I have a photographic record if I forget.

      Fizz likes to chase the sheep and watch them run from her, she doesn’t like it when they come charging at us. She tries to snatch bread from them when I feed them but most of the time she just ignores them if she is on the lead. The Sheep are always curious and want to sniff her πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Susanne πŸ™‚ That sounds wonderful. At the risk of getting too botanical, maybe I could suggest a love interest because Harry Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) can actually cross pollinate with the very beautiful Lady Smock (Cardamine pratensis) although I think that she is a bit out of his league. I am not sure if this is going to be the sort of story that would include cross pollination but there is always room for romance and dreams πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colin, if ever there was a place for cross-pollination, your blog is it. Love definitely blooms there! Lady Smock has always been attracted to Harry even though he’s beneath her. She’ll find out if he’s got the stamina and he’ll learn if she’s the pistil he’s always dreamed about.

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    1. Thank you Gigi πŸ™‚ As a part time photographer being able to cast shadow is like my special ability, it drives Peter Pan nuts because I can do it and he can’t. Recently my shadow has been getting shorter and shorter and I feel like I am losing my powers. It is almost like the planets have moved and the sun is shifting in the sky πŸ™‚

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  4. So brilliant I had to get my *blooming* sunglasses to read it πŸ˜› Red admirals already, well that’s just, umm, admirable! Fizz is having fun in the sun and makes me wish I could have some πŸ™‚ Getting impatient in the waitment makes me lose all my containment! At least your post is sunny and I call it learnertainment πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ The weather here is amazing today (Tuesday) I am just about to take you know who out for a walk and I shall be in rolled up shirt sleeves. The only Bears that we see around here are Sun Bears πŸ™‚

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  5. More delicate and beautiful little flowers! The butterfly is awesome and little Fizz seems ever joyful. Her ball looks a bit like one used for teething. But it has been a joy for her. I see it in her smile. πŸ™‚
    The leaves on the Lesser Celandine are nice, also. I agree that the shadows seem to be shrinking, or is it trick photography?

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    1. Thank you Ettel πŸ™‚ No trick photography, the sun is just going higher in the sky and the higher it goes the warmer it gets. There will be smiley faces now until at least November πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Deb πŸ™‚ It must be nice to live by the seaside. I do know some Australians who moan about the weather πŸ™‚ but I guess that being by the sea takes the edge of the hot summer. It is nice to meet you.

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    1. Thank you Gin πŸ™‚ The sheep really liked having their pictures taken. We had been sent out on the hill to see if we could get them to follow us into the yard but in the end only six would come all the way with us.

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    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ It is another beautiful and sunny day today but yesterday it rained all day. “Into each life some rain must fall,” otherwise we would have a drought and it wouldn’t be so green here The downside is mud on my dancing boots πŸ™‚

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