After two minutes I stopped to get my breath back and then pushed on.
Only a few days ago I weighed myself and turned the scales at 12 stones 4 pounds. I ate frugally for the next 24 hours and put in a brisk 3 miles walk. I reweighed myself and found that I had put on a pound. 'Oh dear me,' I said. (Chris says that my words were more colourful, but I can't believe I said what she claims.)
Today's walk was planned to visit areas of Daventry not yet explored; what wonders awaited me on my journey? [Er - this is Daventry...]
|The gall of Psylla buxi on Box. Christchurch Road,|
Daventry. 15 January, 2015. Small clusters
of flower buds can be seen.
|The flower buds of Prunus laurocerasus were swelling|
nicely. Stefen Hill, Daventry. 15 January, 2015
On another evergreen, Cherry Laurel, flower buds were fattening nicely. This is Prunus laurocerasus and despite its thick, leathery, evergreen leaves it is a true member of the Prunus (cherry) genus. It looks superficially so different that many botanists once referred to it as Laurocerasus officinalis but placing it in a different genus is not, it seems, justified.
The biting westerly wind that has been with us for about three days now was still a problem as I strode out west towards Staverton. The bare fields bore a scattering of flint and igneous rocks - mini-erratics left behind as an ancient glacier melted - but fundamentally the soil is a sticky clay. This is slow to warm up and it could be weeks before plant growth really gets going. I was glad to change direction and head back to Daventry with the wind behind my back.
A tree stump in Thames Road was steadily decaying and bore a large crop of toadstools. They were easily recognised as Honey Fungus, Armillaria mellea.
|Honey Fungus, Armillaria mellea, in Thames Road,|
Daventry. 15 January, 2015
This is a very variable fungus and some authorities now feel that several species have been lumped together under the general name of Honey Fungus. I'm not qualified to comment further.
I can only hope that my walk was beneficial to health because it sure didn't create much in the way of excitement!
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