Tag Archives: Lords and ladies

Fascinating factoids about yet more flowers out now (or not, depending on the season)

Lords and ladies

158 Lords and Ladies cropped

The starchy root of Lords and Ladies was once used to produce a home made version of arrowroot.  This was called Portland sago.  As all parts of the plant are poisonous it was not otherwise consumed.

Lords and ladies was recommended by some to treat sore throats and ringworm.  It was used to encourage the afterbirth to detach. Continue reading

A productive and enjoyable walk to see Autumn Fruits (and other nature stuff), Part 2

Following on from the spectacular hop harvest we found at the end of Part 1, just round the corner we joined a hedge that contained Spindle trees, with their spectacular coral pink and orange berries (not yet quite at their best), Continue reading

My first Track a Tree monitoring visit – the downsides of choosing a cold morning

The whole idea of the Track a Tree project is to build a database of observations sensitive enough to spot how the timing of Spring varies.  More specifically, it will monitor the timing of bud break, leaf break and flowering of selected trees and flowers across the country.  In practice this means that the recorders have to go back to their trees frequently enough to make accurate recordings of when things happen.  This should be done weekly.

And so it was that, six days after my initial visit, I was back there again. Continue reading

Deadly berries and how their toxins work

A few of the berries in the UK countryside contain deadly poisons.  If ingested in sufficient quantities these can kill human beings – and not in a nice way.  In this post we show which the worst of these berries are and explain how their toxins work. Continue reading

Autumn Fruits Foray around Hillhouse Wood, Colchester

In the odd moment I get when not counting the vast profits we’re making from the Naturetale app, or planning where to buy the next of my country retreats, I volunteer for the Friends of Hillhouse Wood.  On the basis that everyone else ‘took a step back’, I have found myself leading wildlife walks around the wood. Last Saturday I led a new one for us. Continue reading

A walk in Pewsey Vale finds some deadly stuff

Several years ago my sister and brother-in-law moved to live in a little village in Pewsey Vale, situated at the bottom of a chalk ridge.  There is a lovely walk that runs from the end of the village lane up on to the chalk.  Over the years I’ve done it many times, but since we’ve developed the app it has taken on a new dimension. Continue reading

Nature prepares its harvest – berries ripening in August

For me August (especially the third week, when the first morning chill in the air is most likely to be felt) is the worst time of the year.  It is the month in which summer ends (assuming it ever started), which is bad news for an ultra-violet addict.

But we must be brave and search for an upside.  Luckily nature can be relied on to provide several of these, one of which is the ripening of an increasing variety of berries.  These bring both colour and interest to the countryside, several of which have stories to tell. Continue reading