Tag Archives: Hawthorn

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, 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

Lying in puddles




IvyThere has been a simple misunderstanding here. I was not lying in a puddle, I was moisturising . Even tough guys have to look after their skin. She is only a puppy so I understand….


She is not really a water dog.

FizzI see that I’ve changed my Gravatar.

No, it’s cool. I thought maybe that we could have one with both of us in it. I have got one that I use on Google….


HollyThe weather has been really against us these last few days but I thought that you would enjoy these excerpts from our walks.

FizzWe are not walking along a stream bed in this next video this is a footpath.

I few days ago I started a conversation with a fellow in Australia. I became fascinated with their practice of burning grassland and brush before the available fuel builds up to dangerous levels. It is so different from the UK. Here dead wood habitat is vital to our biodiversity and burning dead wood is the worst waste of a very valuable and scarce resource. Australia is a very different country and the UK is very wet. I shouldn’t complain.




The other silly thing that happened to me was that I offered to help a fellow set up a CCTV system because he was borrowing my trail camera and I wanted it back. Wow that went pear shaped. I had told him that I could do it but then he wanted the system to run through his lap top and that created big problems until yesterday we went out and bought a monitor. Ever said that you could do something and then wished that you hadn’t volunteered yourself?


BrackenSo it is seven o’clock on Saturday morning and outside it is tipping down. We are so lucky to live in this green and pleasant land.

Catch up Poochy!

PoochySpring is coming.


Buddy escaped from the farm.

BuddyBy the time he caught up with us I had come too far to want to take him home.

I was here to set a Badger camera up.

Badger CamI think that they have moved into fields East of the farm but they should still forage here. I have found a nice tree on the East side and tied a camera to it and hope to have some results soon.

My Badgers have escaped the cull. It is not happening here. They started killing animals last Tuesday. They killed 921 Badgers last year and they have gone back to kill some more this year. The people who live there will probably never see another Badger. If I lived there then I think that I would just move. Nature has been destroyed.

The Dogs messed about while I did all the hard work setting the camera  up.



PuppiesThis is another escapee. This one has escaped from a garden.

CotoneasterIt is a Cotoneaster but I have no idea what species. It isn’t native to the UK but several moths use Cotoneaster as a larval food plant and birds eat the berries. It is also a good source of nectar when it flowers.

CotoneasterThere is only one Cotoneaster species native to the UK and this isn’t it. Called Cotoneaster cambricus, Wild Cotoneaster is restricted to a very small area of Wales and there are only six plants left. There is a species action plan and people are keeping a close eye on these last few plants which don’t seem able to naturally regenerate.




CotoneasterMore red berries and these are Rose Hips.

Dog Rose HipsRosa, Rosa, Rosa.

She has gone and taken her family. She left on Wednesday only days after Chicklet took his first flight. She has escaped our winter for African sun. Other bird song is filling the evening air now.

They will be back to do their courting all over again. I will look forward to their return. They are great characters.

Barn Swallows

Barn SwallowsSomeone else who  escaped this week, the House Martins have also gone.

I was reading about House Martin migration just recently and amazingly nobody knows where they go in the winter. We know that they go to Africa but not where in Africa, they just get lost. The BTO are fitting birds with little devices that measure the amount of daylight, they can determine where they have been from this and hope to solve the mystery.

House MartinAnyway Roses.

Dog RoseThat smooth beardless hip above is from a Dog Rose, this next one is something different.

Rose HipRoses are very difficult if not impossible to identify in the field. There are twenty different species of Wild Rose in the UK and they hybridise easily, so you can’t tell what sort of a Rose it is any more.

Well that is what I am told. It all depends on how accurate you want to be. Ten of those twenty Roses are sub species of the Dog Rose and you can’t easily tell them apart.

Okay but as far as I am concerned this is a Dog Rose and that is  good enough.

Dog RoseThis is a Field Rose.

Field RoseMost of the others are rare and I am not going to worry about them unless I am lucky enough to find one.

There is a common white rose called the Burnet Rose but that grows by the coast and I am not expecting to find it here, it has black hips.

There is one other very common Rose that I should find here and  that is the Sweet Briar Rose. It has a pink flower with a pale white centre and it  has bristly hips. I am hoping this is it.



RoseIt is in the same field as the other two species but on the opposite side. I didn’t notice any Roses over there in the summer or maybe just didn’t look closely enough but this is one to have a proper look at next year.

I am going to finish up now with some more red berries. Just before we got back home I found this Hawthorn festooned with Old Man’s Beard and I had to photograph it.

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's Beard

Hawthorn and Old Man's BeardThat’s enough escaping for one night.


The Search for Robin’s Pincushion

This is Robin’s Pincushion.

Robin's PincushionI haven’t seen one of these for years (This is a very old photo)

Well I saw one last night on Clare’s blog “A Suffolk Lane” and I thought to myself, “I haven’t seen one of those in ages.” So Today Fizz and I went to look for one.

They grow on roses and we have lots of wild roses in the hedgerows around the farm, I packed sandwiches and water and off we went.

FizzFizz ate all of the sandwiches almost as soon as we were out of the door so that left me free to poke around in the hedgerow and take photographs. Here are some of the things that we found.

We found miles and miles of cable running through the hedge and thought, “Hello, it looks like the Badgers have bought themselves a computer”. So we followed it.


HoneysuckleBut all there was on the end of it was some flowers.


HoneysuckleWe found lots of blue berries on the Blackthorn that weren’t really blue.


SloesThe blue dust rubbed off and they didn’t look very ripe yet.

SloesIn fact being green was beginning to feel like a theme. The Rose Hips that we had seen were still a long way off.

Rose HipsSo were the Hazelnuts.

HazelnutsElderberries were only just starting to colour up.


ElderberriesAnd the Hawthorn still has a way to go.

HawthornThe only thing that I could find to eat (Having lost my sandwiches to a card cheat earlier in the day) was the occasional Blackberry.

BlackberriesFinally we found the Rose we had been looking for.

Dog RoseThere right in the middle of the bush and just behind the friendly thorns was the sweetest little Pincushion ever.

Robin's PincushionRobin’s Pincushion is a Gall made by the wasp Diplolepis rosae. The wasp lays about sixty eggs in an unopened leaf bud of Wild Roses (Dog or Field Rose). A chemical reaction then causes this weird and wonderful distorted growth that becomes home to the wasp larvae.

Robin's Pincushion

Robin's PincushionI am really pleased that we found one today. 🙂 I haven’t seen one of these in ages.