Sunday, 11 October 2015

Walking for Children in Need

All over Britain sponsored walks are being organised this weekend to raise money for the BBC's Children in Need campaign. Locally a walk was setting out from Byfield with a meeting point at the Cross Tree.

Chris and I decided to go and were pleased when Jacqui agreed to come with us. About twenty people duly assembled. 

Lovely weather was the icing on the cake.

Angelica was blooming near Byfield Pool.
11 October, 2015

We wound our way out of the village via The Twistle and were soon heading towards Boddington Reservoir. This took us across sheep pastures and some wet ground adjacent to Byfield Pool where Angelica, Angelica sylvestris, was still in flower. This plant generally attracts many insects but at this time of the morning was still in shade

Speckled Wood basks in the sun near Boddington
Reservoir. 11 October, 2015

Elsewhere the morning was warming up and the occasional Speckled Wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, was taking advantage of the conditions.

Once arriving at the reservoir I prudently zipped up my jacket; a brisk breeze was keeping the nearby wind turbine moving and dinghy sailors busy doing whatever dinghy sailors do. A rather late pair of Common Terns were making the most of the conditions before heading for southern Africa.
Musk Mallow. Note the deeply dissected leaves at the
 lower right of the picture. Boddington Reservoir.
11 October, 2015

On the stony reservoir bank Musk Mallow, Malva moschata was flowering in its less common white form, with the usual bright pink blooms nowhere to be seen. A limestone gravel formed the embankment perimeter path and this plant, with its liking for alkaline conditions, seemed strong and healthy.

Wild carrot. In the centre of the umbel a single red flower is present.
Boddington Reservoir. 11 October, 2015

Another lime lover also in flower was Wild Carrot, Daucus carota. Related to the Angelica seen earlier on the walk, its single dark red flower was present, as usual, in the centre of the white umbel.

The feathery fruits of Clematis vitalba. Boddington
Reservoir. 11 October, 2015

Our only native clematis, Clematis vitalba, has long ceased flowering but its fruits (technically achenes) with long feathery styles, are far more decorative. The reasons for the old country name of Old Man's Beard, are too obvious to require discussion.

Further on a few plants of Chicory were in bloom, their flowers tatty but of a lovely deep sky-blue. Otherwise few photogenic features were to be seen, at least none that could be photographed as we pushed on at a steady pace. 

And so, back to the pub for a coffee and a few minutes of relaxation and gossip. Most were staying on for burgers or whatever but we had other jobs pending. So, our four miles complete, we left. The kitty stood at just over £100 but more contributions were pending so, overall, a worthwhile morning.

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