Friday, 3 June 2011

Images from a walk. Part Three (2) - Wild Flowers

                                                BEACON HILL AND  SURROUNDS 

Part Three (2), and the final part, of the series of images taken on my walk around the area between Ivinghoe Beacon and (including) Incombe Hole.

Spear Thistle
The Spear Thistle gets its name from its long, sharp pointed spear like leaves.

The next two flowers I found on the headland (border) around a Barley field, although classed as wild flowers, these had been sown in a “wild flower mix” by the farmer for the advantage of the local wildlife. On my route along two sides of the field I saw Pheasants, Brown Hares (2), Meadow Pippets. Skylarks, a Buzzard and a Red Kite all making use of the headland.

Field Pansy

The Field Pansy, unlike its relatives the Mountain Pansy and our garden Viola which have large multi-coloured flowers, almost always has small cream coloured flowers.

Scarlet Pimpernel
Although, as the name implies, the flowers are usually scarlet they can also be white, blue, lilac or pink.  The Scarlet Pimpernel is found all over Europe and is not as ‘elusive’ as the Pimpernel in Baroness Orczy’s novel would suggest. It does however make itself elusive in another sense by the fact that its flowers close by mid afternoon and never open in wet or dull weather.

Pronounced ‘sayn foyn’ the name comes from the French for ‘wholesome hay’ and was once widely grown for cattle food.

Common Spotted-orchid
As the name suggests one of our most common Orchids and prefers chalky soils.

Dog Rose
The Dog Rose is the commonest of our wild roses. The stems have numerous hooked thorns and the pale pink flowers have a sweet scent. The fruit of the Dog Rose is the ‘Rose Hip’ from which syrup is made. The Dog Rose is also cultivated to provide healthy and strong rootstocks to graft our, more delicate, garden roses onto.

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