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Back Adder

Back Adder Feb 2022

Ah…it’s always a sign that Spring is just around the corner – when the adders come back. Seeing your first adder of the season means that Spring is just around the corner. And yesterday (27 Feb 2022), I did indeed see my first – just the one, and here it is:

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Mushrooms in the Valley

WARNING: Unless you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing, NEVER EAT mushrooms – many are poisonous or, if not poisonous, can cause severe upset stomachs, etc. Look but don’t eat!

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

You’ve probably played it before. It’s often along the lines of ’20 Questions’, in which someone thinks of an item, an object, a person, and so on. Others then have 20 attempts to ask questions in order to determine the chosen thing – but they can only ask questions that can be answered with either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. To narrow it down, early on someone will typically ask one of the three major category questions: ‘Is it an animal?’, ‘Is it a vegetable?’, ‘Is it a mineral?’ This seems to cover all the bases with regard to how we conceive of the world/universe – everything’s either an animal, a vegetable (presumably meaning a plant) or a mineral. This is fine for a parlour game but is everything actually an animal, a mineral or a plant?

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Happy Christmas 2021!

May you have a Happy Christmas 2021

To everyone in the Breamish Valley and to all our friends and family…

A very HAPPY CHRISTMAS

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Musk Mallow

Gentle perfume of the musk mallow

When is a plant a weed? When is a weed a flower to enjoy? I guess it’s all about context. There are lots of flowers that we can see growing in our hedgerows and along field margins that, if transplanted to a garden, would be considered a ‘flower’.

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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Long time passing?

According to Pete Seeger’s 1955 political folk song, the answer to the question ‘Where have all the flower’s gone? is ‘Young girls have picked them everyone.’ Well, they’d have to have been very busy along the Breamish Valley to account for the ‘disappearance’ of the monkey-flower Mimulus.

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Lady’s Bedstraw

Lady’s Bedstraw – Galium verum

Flowering from June -September, this annual perennial can now be seen carpeting the hedge banks and, in particular, the roadside verges along the Breamish Valley. It grows about 30cm tall and, belonging to the Rubiaceae family, it has distinctive whorled leaves. Whorled leaves are three or more leaves all growing from a single node on a stem (compare it to, for example, ‘opposite leaves’ where just two leaves grow opposite each other on a stem). Lady’s bedstraw can have 8-12 leaves growing in a whorl.

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