Saturday, 24 November 2018

Nasty November

Early November, with the trees still bearing foliage of scarlet, russet and gold, can be very pleasant. But then it deteriorates. We have had two or three frosty nights, but even though milder weather has returned, grey skies and the now-leafless trees impart a sad feeling to the landscape.

Chris was attending a fitness gym for an hour so I went with her as far as the car park and then walked home. We take our exercise in different ways.

This autumn has seen bumper crops of domestic apples but my stroll into Daventry made it clear that crab apples had done equally well. Large numbers remained on the trees...

 Crab apple trees are still heavy with fruit near York Way, Daventry.
24 November, 2018

… but enormous numbers lay on the ground too. Blackbirds and the like will feast well over the next few weeks.

And the ground beneath the trees was littered with fruit.

Among the various street trees on view was a surprise.  A specimen of Tibetan Cherry, Prunus serrula, was displaying its lovely bark. Our local Wild Cherry or Gean, Prunus avium, is very commonly planted hereabouts but the Tibetan Cherry less so.

Prunus serrula in High March, Daventry.
24 November, 2018

Making my way to the London Road I headed for the town centre. Daventry was once an important stop for coaches plying between Birmingham and London and a milestone (genuine?) is a reminder of those times. The metal plate appears to be the real thing, the stone setting not. 

Eleven and a half miles to Towcester, another town with old coaching inns.
Daventry, 24 November, 2018

A few yards beyond this stood a Himalayan Honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa. It is not a true honeysuckle but is in the same family, Caprifoliaceae. It is obviously not a British native but with its nectar-rich flowers and succulent berries it is a good plant for wildlife. The berries are edible to humans as well as birds and 'foragers' speak highly of it. A leaf bore an interesting leaf mine in the form of a fold. It was created by the larva of the Honeysuckle Midget, a widespread micro-moth.
A Honeysuckle Midget has created this leaf deformity.
London Road, Daventry. 24 November, 2018

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