On the Western edge of Morpeth utility companies have been carrying out some underground work. As they complete sections some areas are covered in grass seeds, some of which may have wild flower seeds mixed in with them. The result is a colourful mix of interesting plants, some of which have long gone as a native but will pop up occasionally if the waysides remain uncut. The most striking plant is Corn-cockle (Agrostemma githago). Phacelia appears to be an increasingly popular plant among seed mixes. Over time dominant plants and grasses will take over until the soil is disturbed again. Pegswood by-pass is a good area to look for plants which have come in with seed mixes; it is probably the only place in the county to find Sainfoin (Onobrychis viccifolia).
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Lesser sea Spurrey (Spergularia marina)
vulnerable juvenile Robin
As the Latin name suggests Lesser sea Spurrey is a coastal plant but it can occur inland where salt is spread on the roads. There are large clumps growing on the curly kews bank in Morpeth. The Robin hopped out while I was taking some photographs; totally fearless of me, the dog, passers by and nearby road traffic.
Monday, 9 July 2012
One thing about the weather at the moment is that there has been an explosion of fungi fruiting in and around the woods in Morpeth.
Still not certain of the identity of the top one but possibly Lepiota rhacodes var. hortensis, the one below is Shaggy parasol possibly of the variety bohemica. The Shaggy parasol pictures were taken just a day apart, the one below 7 inches across. Honey fungus along Ladies walk and a couple of Amanita's at Cottingwood, Blusher and Grey spotted amanita. The moth was in the house the other evening and I think it is a very worn Gothic.
Thursday, 5 July 2012
Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides)
Looking for Common Wintergreen (Pyrola minor) in woodland to the south west of Morpeth but it hasn't been recorded here since the early nineties. I couldn't find any plants but I did come across Mossy saxifrage. Cultivars rarely escape but this plant has somehow established itself in a stony clearing in the wood. It was growing beside White stonecrop, Bugle, Enchanters Nightshade and Wood sage. It is found in the Cheviot hills as a rare native in the county.