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Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy Scalycap

Scientific name: Pholiota squarrosa

When out and about cycling along the Breamish Valley last week I passed a few oak trees along the road/lane from Brandon in the direction of Ingram, but before the Reaveley turnoff.

At the base of one of the oak trees was a couple of clumps of rather stunning mushrooms. The caps were bell-shaped/rounded, scaly and measured up to about 13-15cm in diameter.

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Mimulus still flowering

Still many monkey-face flowers

You may recall that I’d discussed and photographed the Glorious Mimulus (monkey) flowers that were abundant along the River Breamish in June of this year (2015). Well…whilst there aren’t so many now, there are still plenty of mimulus still flowering.

If you look down to the river banks from the Branton footbridge, you can still (as at the second week in September) see the yellow monkey-face flowers.

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Sloe news day!

Sloe news: blackthorn fruit

Since the first flowering of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) in Spring the Autumn can now boast a few handfuls of sloes – the fruit of the blackthorn.

Blackthorn is a deciduous shrub/tree growing to about 5m in height. Its very dark, almost black bark, and the profusion of large, stiff thorns give it its name.

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Late Summer butterflies

Late Summer butterflies in Breamish Valley

I’m glad I kept the buddleia (or ‘buddleja’ if you prefer) in my front garden in Powburn this year. When I bought it, it was sold to me as a ‘patio’ plant that wouldn’t grow above 1.5m. Well…that didn’t prove to be the case. It grew so tall and thick that I couldn’t even dig it out last Winter to replace it. I simply had to chop it to ground level and walk away. And, of course, it came back, didn’t it? Not quite so tall as before at the moment, though. Anyway, this meant that my ‘butterfly bush’ was ready to attract some late Summer butterflies (or are they really early Autumn butterflies? See Signs of Autumn).

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Great Mullein

Spikes in the Valley

If you stop off at Branton footbridge (55°26’46” N 1°56’13” W) in the Breamish Valley right now, and walk down onto the rocky banks of the River Breamish, there’s a plant that has to be one of the easiest to spot. That’s because it can grow up to 2m in height and it bears a tall spike of yellow flowers: the Great Mullein.

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Dog rose

I’m grateful…

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
– Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

June and July is a great time to see roses flowering throughout the Breamish Valley. By far the most common is the dog rose. It can be seen scrambling over hedges and fences at the moment – its sweet-scented pink or white flowers quite conspicuous.

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Glorious mimulus

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of April (Early Spring at Ingram), I noted that the Breamish Valley was beginning to turn green again after the winter and that, especially, the yellow flowers of the gorse had started to brighten the whole valley. A month later (Spring Nature Walk: Part 1) the gorse was in full bloom and it had been joined by yet more yellow flowers, this time from the hundreds of broom shrubs along the valley.

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