Thursday, 7 April 2011

First Sighting

We may have the first sighting of Small Copper for the whole county here in Rother this year. Today Katie Walker has recorded Small Copper at Darwell Wood; the first one seen in Sussex last year, was at Wilmington on 23rd April.
There are more spring flowers and shrubs out at Darwell too. What could be more springtime than bluebells? Greater Stitchwort. I heard somewhere that the Anglo Saxons were responsible for many plant names ending in “wort”. Wort means “root” and the plant was thus named for medicinal purposes. “Stitch” is what you get from running around too soon after dinner, not that I do much of that these days, and the root of this plant is the cure. What I need now is “napwort” to get me a bit active after dinner!Blackthorn, apparently named from the dark bark of its branches. This shrub is a valuable source of winter food for birds and its thorny branches are well suited for protecting birds' nests. Hawthorn, which is found in two varieties, Common Hawthorn and Midland Hawthorn that may be distinguished by the shape of the leaf. All pictures by Katie Walker.

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