David Beeson, 7th November And, yes, as it was a dull day, and I wished to raise your spirits, so the images have been enhanced a bit.
Category Archives: Botany
A Walk through an Ancient Forest, 1. RE-posted 1st November 2020 A walk from the B3400, south along the footpath from Andover Down to the Middleway. SU403463. Pisa Cottage stop on the 76 bus route from Andover to Whitchurch and Basingstoke. Harewood Forest has been woodland forever. It is in north-west Hampshire near the marketContinue reading “Harewood Forest”
David Beeson A tour of the chalk landscape. For me, this is a quiet time. The male birds (except the pigeons)are non-territorial and mostly quiet, although the UK robin is his normal pugnacious self. Butterflies have largely vanished to dust, while a few struggle on. It is the same with the flora, some show theirContinue reading “Early September”
Plants are clever. 2
David Beeson For more information on this topic: see MOSSES article. September 2020 Seeds are crucial to the survival of a plant species. No viable seeds and the genetic line will die out, although some plants (e.g. English elm) mainly asexually reproduce from suckers forming a genetically identical cluster of plants. Seeds are a geneticContinue reading “Plants are clever. 2”
What do plants look like inside? Part 1, leaves.
David Beeson August 2020. A section through the mid-rib of an Acer plant. A section through the mid-rib of an Acer plant. The mid-rib is the central support of a leaf and has both structural support and the transport (vascular) tissues. The cells are visible as they have firm cellulose walls which hold their shapeContinue reading “What do plants look like inside? Part 1, leaves.”
Plants are clever. Part 1.
Plants are well adapted to life, part 1. David Beeson, August 2020 Annuals, biennials and perennials Evolution, through Natural Selection (Survival of the Fittest), is a powerful force. Death does that! If a plant’s strategy is poor, it dies and fails to pass on its genes. On the other hand, if it gets everything perfect,Continue reading “Plants are clever. Part 1.”
Nectar, food of the gods?
Firstly, some questions. Now, no cheating and you really should write down the answers. Question one. (An easy one to give you confidence) Does nectar contain dilute honey? Question two. Are nectar and honey of the same composition, even if honey has less water? Question three. Where is nectar made? (Precision needed here!) Question four.Continue reading “Nectar, food of the gods?”
I poison myself
Euphorbias David Beeson, 12th July 2020 Now, I should know better. I write articles on plant toxicology and specifically know that euphorbias are poisonous … yet, I can be amazingly thick / uncareful at times. It was time to cut back some ‘spent’ plants in the garden. It’s a big area for the UK –Continue reading “I poison myself”
The most hated wildflowers?
Trampled, poisoned and mown to the ground. Are these the most hated wildflowers? Grasses and their allies David Beeson Delicately waving in the summer’s breeze, their leaves capturing the sun’s donated energy and using an alchemy to weave it into chemical bonds that trap the Kilojoules (Calories) into a usable form, grasses have a vitalContinue reading “The most hated wildflowers?”
Searching for the UK’s wild gladiolus David Beeson, 23rd June 2020 Gladiolus illyricus is found only in the New Forest. This is no garden escape; it is a true wild UK plant, just very rare. The plant was only ‘discovered’ in 1856, but must have been hiding away for hundreds of years and ignored byContinue reading “Wild Gladiolus”
Harewood in Summer
An ancient UK oak woodland in summer David Beeson. 21st June 2020 In the end the important thing is to add it all together. Most of us enjoy spotting things. As a kid it happened to be steam locomotives and then, thankfully, young ladies. I didn’t keep a ‘black book’ but I can recall allContinue reading “Harewood in Summer”
Edge of the A303, part 2
The UK has left the odds and sods spots for nature. We should be ashamed. Yes, France, Italy, Spain and the USA have some great locations to view wildspaces and the natural inhabitants that occur there. For example, the limestone meadows of the Dordogne, the Italian Dolomites with their iconic mammals, Grazelema and the lynxContinue reading “Edge of the A303, part 2”
Conifers David Beeson Conifers are a magnificent group of gymnosperm plants that produce seeds without the need of fruit or flowers. They include some incredible trees such as the Giant Sequoias of North America that can grow over 110 m tall. Conifers do not have flowers that a child would recognise. Instead they bear maleContinue reading “Scots Pine”
Dino-botany in Andover
Rooksbury’s Dinosaurs David Beeson Best time to visit is late spring or summer. If you enter the Rooksbury Local Nature Reserve from the old Test Valley railway line and soon turn right you will spy a miniature forest of horsetails on your right. They grow up to 60cm in height. Their relatives were around withContinue reading “Dino-botany in Andover”
Some of the first land plants: Mosses.
Moss in the Grass David Beeson So, how do you gardeners rid your lawn of moss? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out! When life started to emerge from the watery realms it, unexpectedly, was poorly adapted to life on land. Evolution needs time to work its miracle. LOTS of time. The mossesContinue reading “Some of the first land plants: Mosses.”
You Cannot See the Wood for the Trees
Surely you wood know David Beeson Sitting under a walnut or apple tree when the fruit is ripe is hazardous. A chunky apple or a dozen woody nuts may aim for your head. Ouch! A half-kilogram apple would certainly hurt me. Yet, the tree holds dozens of them aloft … and all the branches, leaves,Continue reading “You Cannot See the Wood for the Trees”
Botany and Geology
Understanding out local botany David Beeson As we all wander the local terrain plants come to our notice. Some people record these and dump their data onto spreadsheets. I do the same with mammal sightings. Only when this information is amassed onto a map do those sightings have real meaning. Then one can see howContinue reading “Botany and Geology”
Butterflies and chalk flora
Figsbury Ring, National Trust Adonis blue butterflies and chalkland flora. Early June. David Beeson Figsbury Ring is a Neolithic and Iron Age archaeological site near Salisbury. It lies to the north of the A30 and reached along a narrow and bumpy chalk track. As the area is elevated it is prone to being windy, soContinue reading “Butterflies and chalk flora”
Native bluebells and other bulbs David Beeson Our native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is found widely around north-west Hampshire. The UK has 70% of the world population of this plant and we can rightfully claim plenty of that locally. Like many of the plants that grow under deciduous woodland the bluebell comes into leaf and flowerContinue reading “Bluebells”