On warm summer days on the Boggy Brae one’s surround sound is the ‘chirr’ of grasshoppers. One doesn’t see them often because they have a perfect grasshopper jungle to hide in. Sometimes, though, one of them will happen to move and you will see where it lands for a chance to photograph it. I took several of the chappy below. I was looking at the yarrow yellow and saw the grasshopper’s movement out of the corner of my eye. The photos were all bad but here’s one for the record.
The speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys, I think) plant from which this 70cm stem comes (there were several others similar to this) is growing right next to a compost heap up at the top of the Boggy Brae garden. The leaves are 4cm long. I’m sorry I missed its flowering. I shall look out for it next year.
Today I measured the tallest Boggy Brae foxglove after it keeled over. It was two and a half metres tall (over eight feet).
Then I continued my wander and enjoyed the yellowish stipes of lemon-scented fern and four baby trees. They are all right at the base of two well grown birch trees. The question is whether to leave them there to grow or hoik them out. I’ll leave them for a while anyway.
If you look up from near these wee trees, there is a treescape of birch, sallow and a bit of honeysuckle that’s growing up on of the sallows.
On Wednesday I found a single plant of Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) just outside our top fence in the green lane between two fields.
On Thursday, as it was a lovely morning, I decided to walk around the field to see if I could find any more. I started at the top where it’s easy to do a scissor step over our fence and I was nearly round to the bottom field gate before I found some good sized patches. I photographed the field border below them so that I could find them again.
During my trundle I found some other flowers and a couple of fungi:
Foxgloves put on a good show against a backdrop of gorse bushes intermingled with brambles.
First pic is Broad-leaved Willowherb (Epilobium montanum), showing its relatively (for a willowherb) broad leaves and its four-lobed stigma. Pics two and three show Square-stalked Willowherb (Epilobium tetragonum) with its club-shaped stigma, its narrower leaves and its square stalk. The light and shadow on the stem in pic three does show two distinct sides of the stalk though it’s easier to detect this characteristic if one rolls the stalk between one’s fingers. The supposed conspicuousness of the stem corner ridges is not very apparent on this specimen.
I went down to the pond triangle to see how the ragworts were doing. They have not had much sun but they are getting going at last.
It’s definitely self-heal season now:
Walking back up I came across the first Amanita fungus of the Boggy Brae year. I think this is Orange Grisette (Amanita crocea). It’s right under the big birch on the drive.
It’s beginning to look quite autumnal in the shade of the big birch and the holly tree on the opposite side that’s in our neighbours’ garden.
A few weeks ago friends helped with chopping and stacking some dead cypress wood at the top of the garden. Some of the large prunus on the front bank was cut down too. I left its tidying for another day. Then I broke my arm falling on another steep bank. Now my right forearm is into its fourth and, I hope, final plaster (or ‘stookie’, as it’s known hereabouts) and it was a nice sunny day after many rainy, muggy ones, so I got on with some tidying. One-handed, it takes a certain patience, but the Boggy Brae demands that always so, with a left-handed wielding of loppers (just as well I have always used my left hand almost as much as my right!), a bit of nudging with booted toes, and some springy stomping on scrubby twigs, a small log pile appeared on the front terrace and a twiggy scrub pile—future bonfire material—by the field fence.
Hogweed has begun to flower and both it and Whorled Caraway are attractive to Soldier Beetles. Ringlet butterflies attended my work and grasshoppers sang a summer tune.
A Twitter acquaintance sent me some Black Cornflower seed last year. They are beginning to flower now. Perforate St.John’s-wort has begun too.
Some old favourites below, clockwise from top left: Whorled Caraway, more Reflexed Stonecrop and its spreading on a drystone wall, Astilbe behind its deer protection, and Monkey Flower.