There’s No Sun Up In The Sky

We are being battered this morning. The wind is bashing things about. The old farm sheds have a lot of loose corrugated iron and the wind can always find it and bang it about. Rain is crashing noisily against the glass in my windows.

Margaret has just rung me (She is Fizz’s owner) and she said, “I want to keep Fizz in this morning, she is going to the beauty parlour today.”and she went on, “I left it as long as I could because I thought it was still a bit cold but I can’t leave it any longer.”

Why? What’s wrong with Fizz?

FizzWell in my experience women have a finer eye for this sort of detail than men do and anyway it is not very nice out.

I may not even walk her today and if I do I won’t take my camera. It is not because of the bad weather but I always feel guilty waiting for her to come back from the beauty parlour.

It must cost a few bob and they go to all this trouble to get a lovely clean, tidy dog and the moment she gets home we go out and roll in mud. I might let them enjoy their clean dog for one day.

I walk Fizz more to give her the stimulation and interest than to exercise her, she could run around on her hamster wheel if she needed exercise. I expect that she will find three hours at the BP stimulating enough for today.

So what to do?

I am going to talk about Bluebells (we will be going to see them soon)

When I was out finding new Speedwells I noticed a few other flowers about. There was a lot of Bugle.

BugleBut this is really such a nice flower that it deserves a post of it’s own (when the weather is better)

BugleThe other thing that I saw a lot of was The Enemy.

Hybrid BluebellThis is not a Bluebell. Well it is not a Hyacinthoides non-scripta, a native British Bluebell.

It doesn’t really look anything like a Bluebell, it is not the same shape. This is a hybrid of the Spanish Bluebell and a sweet and innocent English Bluebell that was seduced because of her innocence.

The key to telling the species apart is normally given as the pollen colour.

Come here you! Show them!

Hybrid Bluebell

Hybrid BluebellThis is what The Natural History Museum has to say,

“The easiest way to tell the difference between native and non-native bluebells is to look at the colour of the pollen.

If it is creamy-white then the bluebell is a native. Β If it is any other colour, such as pale green or blue, then it is definitely not native.”

These are native.

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Hyacinthoides non-scriptaSo what is this?

Hybrid Bluebell

Hybrid Bluebell“If it is creamy-white then the bluebell is a native.”

No Sir. You are wrong.

Growing in amongst these obvious hybrids there were a lot of white hybrids.

Hybrid BluebellI searched every flower and there was not a trace of blue or green pollen to be seen, every single one was creamy white.

Once upon a Β time these flowers would have been shot as spies, they are out of uniform but they most definitely are not Hyacinthoides non-scripta.

Hybrid BluebellThis is what a white native Bluebell looks like.

Hyacinthoides-non-scriptaThe enemy is at our door and it seems that in many cases they are becoming smarter than us. More vigilance is called for.

Photos of a newly shorn Fizz will be coming up soon πŸ™‚

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26 thoughts on “There’s No Sun Up In The Sky”

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the walk this morning – the flowers are little prizes. Fizz is adorable, but would like to see her photograph after she is all fluffy and clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Send some of that rain to California in the US. We are in our fourth year of drought. It’s really noticeable when you go out to shoot wildlife. And, yes, post a post BP shot of Fizz. Thinking of taking in Gem, my dog, today also. Although I like him scraggly looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ann πŸ™‚ I do get comments saying that people prefer the scruffy look on Fizz. The haircut is much better for her in the summertime though. She gets so hot chasing that little ball πŸ™‚

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  3. Fizz looks just fine to me. Why does she need to go to a beauty parlour just to hunt boar? We have lots of Bugle too so I look forward to it having a post to itself.

    I was up on the Down a week or so back and saw a patch of Bluebells with 3 different shades, including white. I am shocked that the NHS could be so wrong on Bluebells. Surely even doctors know about hybridisation? Now I understand why we have to “Save the NHS”. If its wrong on Bluebells what else might it misdiagnose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Andrew πŸ™‚ White bluebells are really quite common and easy to spot. I do hope that you never have to rely on the NHS, bluebells isn’t the first thing that they have got wrong. I do sympathize, they are doing their best but unfortunately medicine is not an exact science, as they say πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Emily πŸ™‚ and I am sorry it has taken me so long to get round to this reply. It is a big question and I think that I need to do a post about it. I have been back to look at those white hybrids several times since writing this and the pollen is all creamy white so that alone is not enough to prove a Bluebell native. The flower shape and the form of the plant are indicators and so is the width of the leaves. One of the biggest differences must be the scent. I was in a bluebell wood yesterday and the sweet scent was so noticeable, your nose can tell you that you are in native woodland.

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    1. Thank you Ettel πŸ™‚ I am late replying and I hope that by now you are feeling much better. There will be bluebells coming up, Fizz and I have been spending a lot of time in the woods.

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  4. I’m fed up with all this wind and rain! I was in a bluebell wood on Monday. All natives there as far as I could see. Unfortunately we are discovering non-natives springing up in our garden! How dare they!

    Liked by 1 person

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