Bryn Euryn Nature Reserve, buff-tailed bumblebee, germander speedwell, grey-green lichen hanging from tree, hairy rock cress, hawthorn in flower, may blossom, salad burnet, wildflowers of Bryn Euryn
The last day of May was overcast and cool but I wanted to go back to the Bryn to photograph a plant I had spotted there on the rocky cliffs amongst the rockroses but forgot about until I got home. I took a different route up to the top today, passing through the grassy meadow area to see what I could find there.
There’s a lot of Ribwort Plantain, whose flowerheads I find fascinating, every one seems slightly different to the other.
The star of the flower show today was definitely the May, the blossom of the Hawthorn. Perhaps we can all ‘cast a clout’, now that May is out, both the blossom and the month.
Close to where I stopped to photograph the May blossom I noticed the more unusual Salad Burnet plant. This is one of those plants that is very easy to overlook as it seems to really blend in to its surroundings, but once you have it in your mind’s eye you then notice them in other places.
The leaves are very pretty, and as the plant’s name suggests, are edible.
The Oak trees are fresh-coloured and in just about full leaf now.
On a rocky outcrop there were low-growing common rockroses, bird’s foot trefoil, kidney vetch, almost over but attracting the attention of a number of little ginger-headed bumblebees, small patches of wild thyme and taller-growing hawksbit flowers.
I wasn’t able to get a particularly good photograph of a bee, but I liked the lichen-covered rock in this one.
The patch of bird’s-foot trefoil had obligingly placed itself near the edge of a rock, so taking an eye-level picture was a nice option. I didn’t notice the ‘Cuckoo-spit’ until I looked at the photograph. I’d forgotten about Cuckoo-spit. I must remind myself what generates it, some kind of thrip, I think.
There seem to be masses of the beautiful blue Germander Speedwell here this year, I don’t remember it being this prolific before.
I finally got up and around to where the plant I had come to find was located; probably not as exciting as you’d expected, but I was pleased to find it. The plant is Hairy Rock Cress, an under-stated little plant with tiny white flowers like most members of the cress family, not at all showy like its golden-bloomed neighbours, but none the less interesting. Even though it’s flower’s are almost over and it’s going to seed.
The scientific name for Rockrose, helianthemum, means sun-flower. They don’t bother to open up on dull or damp days, particularly the little blooms of the Hoary Rockrose.
It was getting quite late on now, but there was one more distraction to waylay me before heading back down the hill. A Mistle Thrush was out hunting on the path around the edge of the rocks, which I had to stay and watch as I’d not seen one here before. When it flew off with its gatherings I took a photograph of the top of a lovely Ash tree which has houses of Rhos-on-Sea below and peeking through its leaves.
On the way down through the woods I spotted some very pretty Oak Moss lichen hanging from some twiggy branches; I don’t know why I’ve not noticed it before, there’s quite a lot of it.
Almost at the bottom of the hill, I couldn’t resist taking a final picture of a Buff-tailed Bumblebee that was either excavating a hole or looking for an existing one to spend the night in.
Oh dear, shame about your weather! It’s actually still rather lovely up here, although cooler today. I love the common names for plants, as you probably guessed, I often wonder why some have pretty names, like germander speedwell and other quite pretty flowers got lumped with Hairy Rock Cress or Hoary Rockrose, enough to give any flower a complex.
Sitting here in three jumpers and contemplating turning up the heating – someone turned the sun off. Oh the joys of British weather. I love common names – Hairy Rock Cress – what could be better!
What beautiful photos!
I like the other interpretation of that proverb, the one about May blossom (hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna). When C. monogyna starts to bloom, the weather’s warm enough to take off winter clothes. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/till-may-is-out.html That sounds to me like listening to the land.
Thank you for your kind comments. I was never sure whether the expression meant the month or the blossom, so I thought I was covering myself either way by waiting till I saw some! My mum always took it to mean the month and was loathe to let us wear summer dresses for school till June.