Don’t worry. I did think about putting some Spider pictures here to frighten you but then I thought better of it 🙂
Friday the thirteenth was a bit of a damp squib.
First I went back to have another look at the flowers of the Dog’s Mercury because something in my last photographs was troubling me.
What I had expected to see was a two lobed stigma (the white bit) sitting on the ovary and nothing else but there is something else. There are two extra organs, the thin green things either side of the white stigma.
I have done some research of my own and found this
and that just says, “Female flowers stalked, with perianth similar to the male flower. Two subulate, abortive stamens are transformed into glandular filamentous nectaries.”
If that is correct then they are nectaries but it does not appear to be common knowledge or at least it is not a common agreement.
Well, it does seem to me that science isn’t an exact science and there is still lots of stuff that we don’t know but here on Tramp we remain committed to pushing forward the botanical boundaries.
It is a pretty flower.
These pictures are pretty special, you will be lucky to find such clear pictures of the pistillate flower of Mercurialis perennis anywhere else on the web, luckier than me anyway because I have searched.
There is something wrong with my search engine.
If I do an image search for “Mercurialis perennis nectaries” I get pictures of Fizz.
Because Google personalises your search and returns the results that it thinks you want to see.
Plus I have just kicked her out of my flat for being a mucky pup.
I took pity on her when we got back from our walk today, she was cold and wet. “Come into my home,” I said, “Be warm and have company.” She ran in circles for about an hour and then peed on my floor.
Let’s talk about Cramp Balls. Fizz likes them.
Chop one in half and you will see where the scientific name concentrica comes from, it grows in rings.
You can start a fire with them.
That is important because…. In England it is always wet and cigarette lighters and matches don’t work when you really need them. So you carry a firesteel. A modern firesteel is a rod of metal alloys that will produce sparks when scraped with the back of your knife. It always works, it still works when it is wet but it only produces sparks and not a flame. You need something that will ignite with a spark.
Birch bark is good. You have to scrape it with your knife to get a little pile of tinder.
That little burner is one of the best bits of kit I ever bought. I don’t normally do camp fires because dead wood is the most valuable thing in the forest and burning it is stupid but the smaller the wood the less value it has and this burner lives on twigs and leaves. There is always free fuel, the only problem is because the fuel is so small I have to constantly feed it, even to boil a kettle. That burner is carbon black today, it was shiny five years ago.
Cramp balls take a spark well but I always prefer Birch.
Instead of wildflowers you can have an absurdly cute cartoon dog.