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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Tue 19th June 2012 18:57 by Mary Smith
Buttercups and odds and ends
At pesent I am visiting the area around Aveley and South Ockendon quite a bit, botanising. This is just past mid June, and I am only finding two species of Buttercup, one of which is not allowed now. The Bulbous B. is supposed to flower in April, which it did, but not as early or as readily as usual, mainly due to the exceedingly cold and wet month we had. They are, however, still in flower, which they are definitely not meant to be in mid June. There should be Meadow B. out now, and, indeed, should have been for some time, but I have not seen a single one out yet. Creeping B., often the most conspicuous of the three in heavier soils, is flowering, but not as showy as usual. But what has happened to Meadow B.?

Having just read Graham's piece written today, I don't know how he knows all the plants, all the fungi, and, it would seem, nearly all the insects as well!  I take my hat off to you, Graham! But you need to be told a secret about gardeners. A friend of mine married a gardener, and a delightful fellow he is, but my friend has now learnt there are two rules of gardening. First, a garden is never perfect, therefore, you are not allowed to just sit and watch for pleasure, as there is always work to be done. Second, a gardener will choose plants with foliage of any colour you fancy, except green. These two together rule out me completely, and, I suspect, Graham too. He clearly thinks he can just enjoy a garden, and I do that too, though with much less knowledge about the beasties than Graham.

This year our insect hotel has had lots of tenants, some of whom are still present. Last year was the first year the hotel was available for renting rooms, but we only had two or three takers.  However, a friend told me not to worry, but seasoned holes in wood are preferred, so more visitors arrive every year as the holes get more insect-friendly.  But I am sorry to say that I have no idea of the names of any of my tenants, which is a huge oversight. I cannot even say which family different ones belong to. But I do know there are many different shapes and sizes, so some of them at least must be pleased that a hotel is provided for them. One question: should I clean out the used holes in the winter, to remove the varied detritus within? Or leave well alone, as some tenants may be overwintering in there?



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