Anyway, yesterday I decided to have a stroll round it and so, sweep net poised, I gave it a recce. The first thing to catch my attention were the waterside plants. Cattle regularly visit the pond/lake to drink and their trampling has created a very interesting uliginous environment with Celery-leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus scleratus), Red Goosefoot (Chenopodium rubrum) and Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum) present. None of these is rare but, with the loss of this kind of habitat, all are far less common than was once the case.
|Marsh Cudweed beside pond near Byfield. |
16 September, 2013
|Celery-leaved Buttercup beside pond.|
Byfield, 16 September, 2013
|A closer view of the same plant.|
As a child I was familiar with this little buttercup at Kingsthorpe Mill and elsewhere. I rarely see it nowadays so I was delighted to make its acquaintance once again.
Red Goosefoot is another frankly dull plant. It is probably most often to be seen on manure heaps, and many people would probably argue that it is an appropriate habitat for this member of the Amaranth Family, Amaranthaceae. Until recently it was always placed in the Spinach Family, Chenopodiaceae, but times are a-changing. The pondside mud in which it was flourishing was probably enriched with cattle droppings so, although the plant is edible ("a delicious addition to salads", claims one website) I didn't exactly salivate and the plants remain where I found them.