Monday, 2 January 2017

New Years's Day (+1) Plant Hunt - a Few Weeds

Delayed by rain yesterday we took part in the BSBI New Year's Day Plant Hunt today.  Cold and sunny in complete contrast to yesterday's rain we were out for 2 hours, covering 4.6 km across the village over a couple of pastures and then one arable field, following roughly the same route as 2016 bit without an extension to the north.

 Our total was only 11 species, which compares to 21 last year (8 the same, 3 new and 13 not found this year).   None of the early spring flowers were in flower; for example a few snowdrops were in bud but nowhere near opening up, but then December 2016 was colder and drier than in the previous year. The average minimum temperature drawn from my wife's records was 3.4°C (2015: 8.2°C) with 7 nights of frost (2015: 0).  The rainfall total was less than half that of 2015 at 30mm in the month (2015: 68mm).

What we did find therefore were a few common and persistent weeds, though fewer than in 2015.   The village is now kept 'tidier' by a part-time village warden, such that weeds are cleared out.  Here are some of those weeds:


Red Dead-nettle


Common Field-speedwell


White Dead-nettle


As ever the arable field proved very dull, and the only interest was a nice clear badger print on the footpath crossing the field.

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