Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Every one's a fluffy one

Viper's bugloss is facinating in the late summer, as its flowering takes a different form to the spindly plant that we see at midsummer. Fluffy it is not, despite appearances, for it has many spines which protect it from being picked or eaten. This site shows them well under a microscope.
Old man's beard..... sometimes called smoke-wood, because the vine is sometimes the first thing smoked by boys, instead of a cigarette. Myself, I started on the dry stem of cow parsley or hogweed (but not, fortunately, giant hogweed which grew nearby). I still curse the 'friends' who introduced me to smoking, consigning me to half a lifetime of poverty and bad lungs.
A party of long-tailed tits found the fat-ball feeder.....
...but the chiffchaff in the flock was bemused with their choice of food.
On one of the last days of a great Indian summer, two wall browns were seen along the cliff top, and a clouded yellow was basking and nectaring nearby. Although the clouded yellow flew along the cliff edge, we could see no inclination to fly south for the winter.
A little centaury still blooms on the cliff-side - is it a lesser? I should have examined the leaves.


Warren Baker said...

Heh Heh - That made me laugh! Smoking dried cow parsley and hogweed stems, I remember it well!

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Never seen Viper's Bugloss at this time of year , interesting .
Didn't see a Wall this year .
I still remember my first lungful of smoke , but can't remember what it was .

Greenfingers said...

That's an amazing viper's bugloss plant - almost like a Crhristmas tree

Kingsdowner said...

Warren, I'm glad others did that....like smoking a bonfire!

Greenie, if you can't remember what it was, it must have been good.

Phil, that's true - I looked on your sites to see if you had photographed the plant before linking to another one. Maybe next year you can take some of your brilliant shots?

Mary said...

Those bugloss look like little Christmas trees with flowers on them....but don't sound that way at all. Do you make your own suet balls for that feeder?

Kingsdowner said...

Mary, I have to admit that I buy the balls in bulk. If I made them, they would fall apart....however, the birds prefer my recipe (well, Julie Zickfosse's) but has to be slapped into another type of feeder, as my consistency is wrong.