Well I don’t think that she is.
We are just back from another day of Boar hunting We had seventy three videos on the card. Seventy two of them were of the same Fox.
It is not that I don’t like foxes, especially the shy and secretive country fox. You can’t get away from them if you live in town but eighty per cent of the UK foxes live in the countryside and nobody ever sees them.
It is just that I was hoping to see a Unicorn 😦
It was a nice bright day today but very blowy and we played “The Hat Game” all the way up to the wood.
They are the first leaves of the Lesser Celandine.
Last year I spotted leaves like this in the middle of February and then within a week they were in flower.
When I came to write about Lesser Celandine for EW I read that there is a very short time between the first leaves appearing and the first flowers and as I thought that I had witnessed and photographed that I put it in my post.
Now I will have to rewrite that bit because what I think really happened was the leaves appeared in early January (and I didn’t notice them) and six weeks later the flowers came.
I could be wrong, maybe these will be in flower next week and I will eat my hat 🙂
On the way back from the woods we stopped to photograph the Aspen trees.
You know Aspen trees don’t you? If not then watch this video that I made last summer. The Oak that I turn to look at half way through was just behind me, I put it in to show that it wasn’t a windy day. Aspen live in a world of their own and they are beautiful.
Well, that’s about it except for the flowers….
But wait I have one more thing to show you. The seventy third video. It was actually the very first video on the card but the only one not to feature a Fox.
Wait for the second animal, it’s the next best thing to a Unicorn.
Cardamine species, The Bittercress (Hairy and Wavy)
There are two closely related species of Bittercress. They look superficially very similar and share the same properties. There is not a great deal of difference between the two species and many people will be content to know them simply as Bittercress.
They are both members of the Mustard family, they are both edible and generally they are both regarded as a weed by gardeners.
Hairy Bittercress, (Cardamine hirsuta) is a small winter annual, the leaves are green during the winter months and it flowers in early spring.
The flowers are small (2-4 mm across) with four white petals.
The plant is characterised by the seed capsules that emerge from the centre of the flowers.
Reddish at first they turn green as they ripen. The seeds are arranged inside like peas in a pod and the pods burst explosively throwing the seeds far from the plant. The seeds germinate in the autumn and winter as green leaves.
It is characteristic of the Hairy Bittercress that the seed pods often rise well above the flowers.
The stem of Hairy Bittercress is smooth and not hairy.
Stem leaves are long and thin. There are not many of them.
Most of the leaves are around the base of the plant and these are rounder than the stem leaves.
The definitive difference between Hairy and Wavy Bittercress is the stamen count.
Hairy Bittercress has four stamens.
Wavy Bittercress, (Cardamine flexuosa) has six stamens, a small difference but it is indicative of species.
Wavy Bittercress is a biennial or perennial. It has the same characteristic seed capsules as it’s relative but they tend to be less conspicuous and seldom grow above the topmost flowers.
Unlike it’s “Hairy” relative the stem of Wavy Bittercress is hairy.
These differences can be quite subtle, the only real way to be sure of the species is to count the stamens.
These two species of Bittercress are both native to the UK and they can hybridize, making any distinction very difficult. They can also hybridize with another close relative, the beautiful Cardamine pratensis. (I would call that “getting lucky”)
Species: Cardamine hirsuta
Species: Cardamine flexuosa