Coincidence..... this week two Philips pointed me to a plant that I've been searching for - Dittander. For the past few years I've looked for it in vain around the bleakness of Sandwich Bay, and then within a couple of days of each other Phil Milton and Phil Green (of the WCCP) brought different plants to my attention.
The former is by the garage pools north of Sandwich Bay, and the latter by the railway line at Folkestone Warren. What's more scary is that neither knew I was looking for it! I expect the Pigswill Botany Annual will carry a report this year.
So this begs the question - is the plant spreading? According to Dr Philp's atlas, that could be so.
One of the reasons I had been searching for it was that it figures in Gerard's Herbal, as a remedy against the stinging of serpents, under the nice name of Dittany which I assume is of French rather than Germanic derivation.
Reading Gerard, I noticed that Borage gives a fillip..... Those of our time do use the floures in salades, to exhilerate and make the mind glad... driving away all sadnesse, dulnesse, and melancholy. I'll have some of that!
Another reason for walking aimlessly around Sandwich Bay at the moment is to follow the Open golf. This we did yesterday, and very pleasant it was too. For an introduction to the area (from the air) and to see Kingsdown's rifle range, there's a helpful clip from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/golf/14087151.stm at about the 1:30 minute mark.
And the Royal and Ancient (no, not Tom Watson) provide a guide to the precautions taken to protect wildlife in this fragile habitat.
We saw a hare (and hare's foot clover), and the skylarks, meadow pipits and corn buntings ignored the "Quiet" signs.