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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Purple and White mysteries {Swallows, shingle, Swans part 2}

Monday I took 386 pictures of mainly the Wildflowers which had sprung up since last time, and I’m still sifting them. I’m surprised how many I’m able to ID with my little Irish Wildflower book. Still there’s always one or two which just keep baffling you. One of these is a strange stalk, growing next to a fading stem of Foxglove, its lower lips pouting in the Sun and trying to soak in new life. Around the two stems, Nettle was growing rife and the Thistles also were showing how well they could do too, just with a little Sun, a lot of rain and wind, I wonder how Thistle would have looked in the past? Has time shown progress in how these plants and have figured out how to best grow, set & spread seed and germinate
However it is not the Thistles themselves I was attracted to; I’ve had these in my front garden a few years ago {and this made for delightful birdwatching from my PC as I sat working too!}
It is the strange fleshy ‘thing’ which grows tall beside the Foxglove which makes me go philosophical, like the Wild Angelica flower-bud I came upon in Mizen Head. This one too is looking fleshy.
As if to protect itself, it has nestled in between not only Thistles to ward off any harm from outside, but also within a sea of Stingy Nettles. The Foxglove is about as high as I am in my wheels, and my wheels are higher than your average ones. The green plant will come up to my elbow, I’d think, and I’m sorry if that is of no help to you, the reader.

Moving away from this strange plant, I am enthralled again by the little pink flower which seems to be popping up all over the place. Not in big numbers, mind; every few metres or so, I see the little pink heads, looking up at me. Another one, which is ogling me is a small white one, she just reaches out to the light, from under the dense leaves which form the hedge between fields and road, and more than her little white face I cannot see. My mind is going through the families in my little book; Buttercup, Geranium, Pea, Dandelion, and all the others, whose members I’m starting to learn. {Catherine C. would be proud of me!} I thought it looked familiar, but it is the split petals which bother me and which should make identification easier, but it does not feel that way in my mind.
Then I remember that some in the Geranium family do have 10 petals instead of five, where they have that same split personality. At least now I’ve got something to work with. Also unusual is that it has a green centre, instead of yellow which is much more common in my mind. Yet I wonder, will these five petals still split further and will it end up in having 10 petals perhaps, instead of five? Is it that I should be looking for such a face instead of the five petal one? And I might have seen two other beautiful specimen, one of which is most likely Strife, it is this little one which would go so often unnoticed as it did not need large flowers, flashy colours or tall spikes, and grew in a shady spot too. It was definitely my highlight of the day. And nearby was this lovely little plant with 5 purple flowers, which looked like those with a lip perhaps? Even if I had put my plastic magnifyer to it, I would not have seen much more, it was barely 10-15cm tall, and there was no way I would be able to get close enough. I was leaning far to the right, in order to get a decent picture. It had long unlobed leaves, despite being surrounded by Maple-like leaves. Once I started looking, I could see they had sprouted around the area. ~it was growing close to the star of the day, my green-hearted white flower and also the Wild Strawberries. Okay, I was able to name about half of my Wild Flower species I've seen on the day; However, I'm still left with 8 or 9 species which remain a mystery to me. Perhaps you can put me in the right direction?

Thistle {Cirsium palustre} with seedfluff
Selfheal {Prunella vulgaris}Purple Loosestrife {Lythrum salicaria}Tufted Vetch {Vicia cracca}Common Mouse-ear{Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare}Acanthus, {Bears-breeches}Thistle seed caught on Meadowsweet {Filipendula ulmaria}Wild Strawberry {Fragaria vesca} and Scabious like flowerGreater Bird'sfoot Trefoil{Lotus pendunculatus}Foxglove stem{Digitalis purpurea}A probable Myrtle{Myrtaceae family}A view over Dunmanus Bay at the shingle strand

With thanks to Jenny Seawright for help with the ID of many of my mystery flowers.


  1. A great post Yoke and some amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing your day :)

  2. Thanks, Tricia. Hope to get back tomorrow. want to keep track on the Acanthus {the fleshy one} and just see what else I can spot out there.

    was rather pleased with the photos myself too.

  3. I admire the way you write so poetically. Lovely shots.


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