We kept seeing all these photogenic trees, but this the only decent shot I got of one.
English Ivy seems to be as nasty in its native country as it is in the US -- every lone tree seemed to be wrapped in it.
Tiny bit of distracting windshield shmutz photoshopped out.
Geotag is highly approximate.
Found along a canal in London. I don't know British wildflowers at all; can anyone help? ~4 cm across. I have a growth-habit shot I can upload if it will help. The petals curl as they age; that and the very long leaves are fairly distinctive.
Found along a canal in London. Thanks to Dave Appleton for the ID!
Love the delicate pink of this blackberry blossom -- most of the ones we have in the US are white.
Knew blackberries were difficult to ID, so I took careful shots of foliage, etc. Got home & took one look at the key for Rubus & threw up my hands. Rubus subgenus Rubus sect. Corylifolii(?) I can upload more shots if anyone wants to give it a go.
I love the way the inner floret are rolled up into tubes. Dune habitat. ~2 cm across Leaves basal, hairy, ~10 cm, with deep but rounded lobes.
I was surprised by how many wildflowers were still in bloom at the end of Oct. The climate in England is really very moderate.
Spot the bonus bugs -- I see at least 2.
Tough customer, as you can see. All over the place -- probably because most sheep won't eat it.
Mostly done blooming, but I found a couple of fresh flowers. Wish I'd gotten a better shot, but didn't have much time, & light wasn't great.
Widespread, and apparently blooming *very* late: www.botanicalkeys.co.uk/flora/content/species.asp?1128 says May & June. Much showier than the white catchfly common here in NJ.
Pedicularis sylvatica. It's a parasitic plant. www.botanicalkeys.co.uk/flora/content/SEARCH.ASP is totally awesome! I've been able to identify almost all my British plants with it. I had no idea what this was.
I can't say I'm too happy with the macros I'm getting with the new camera, but it's early yet.
This one is supposed to be evergreen through the winter, hence the name. Growing on the ground on slopes -- richer soils than the cliff-dwelling pioneer species, but not bottomlands like the Sensitive Fern and Ostrich Fern.
Pioneer species on wet marble (or limestone) cliff faces. Very small (leaflets 5 mm).
Big, graceful fronds (~1 m long) carpeting rich bottomlands.
Small fern; larger leaflets to 2.5 cm. On a rock outcropping in New England woods -- I think probably marble, which would mean more basic soils (quartzite is also present here). Ferns of the Coastal Plain says "circumneutral" soils for this species.
An uncommon species, restricted to limestone cliffs. Growth habit shot here www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/3036424745/.
Limestone (marble, actually) cliff species. See here for a shot of one of the bulbets on the underside, and the sori.
Doesn't look like a fern, but it is! It's just one in which the leaves are simple (uncut) -- the number of fractal subdivisions is zero. I'm sure there's a way to formally quantify that in terms of the fractal dimension, but I wasn't able to put it together with a few minutes of googling -- maybe someone will be be able to help. All sorts of other interesting examples in this little set of ferns -- the Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort) www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/3036415289/ is in the same genus but is once-cut, looking much more like a proper (albeit fairly simple) fern with a compound leaf. I don't have any of the really lacy thrice-cut ferns -- will have to see what I can pick up around here next summer.
The leaf tips will root and sprout new plants -- hence 'walking'.
Sorry about the nasty flash photo; there just wasn't enough light deep under the canopy here to get a natural-light shot.
Good-sized fern (larger leaflets ~20 cm) growing in rich low-lying areas. Leaflets range from almost completely straight to pretty deeply cut, like here, averaging wavy. Macro here here.
The book I have says the name probably comes from cold sensitivity; it dies at first frost.
Digiscoped through the very nice Zeiss spotting scope belonging to host par excellance Dave Appleton.
Unrelated to the American Robin -- this is a member of the Old World flycatcher family. The New World bird was named for its similar coloration, but is a good bit bigger & is in the thrush family.
Digiscoped through the very nice Zeiss spotting scope belonging to host par excellance Dave Appleton. There was quite a lot of excitement about this little flycatcher because some people though it was an Asian subspecies, but that doesn't seem to have been borne out.
Wild ravens had been resident at the Tower of London for so long that a legend arose that if the ravens ever deserted the Tower, it would fall. Not wanting to take any chances, one of the monarchs decreed that at least six ravens be kept on the premises at all times. So now there are eight semi-tame ravens (two spares). One of the Beefeaters serves as the Ravenmaster: clipping their wings periodically so they can't fly too far, feeding them their daily ration of beef (the joke is that they're the real beefeaters in the Tower), and retrieving them from the grassy bottom of what had once been a moat when they fly down from the outer wall and can't get back up.
We saw wild Carrion Crows joining their larger cousins here, but apparently wild ravens are very uncommon in southern England, at least nowadays. We had to wait until Scotland to see any of those. So apparently the ruler's precautions were wise.
Unfortunately, the best shot I got of this common species.
A species familiar from North America.
I'm likin' the new camera!
Winter adult plumage Black-headed Gull. These look very similar to North America's Bonaparte's Gull, which favors open water. So I was surprised to find that these seem to occupy the niche in Great Britain that Ring-billed Gulls occupy in the US: smallish gulls that can be found well inland; abundant, especially around human habitation -- well, alright: "garbage gulls".
Larus argentatus -- species recently split from American. Large. Note the oiling on legs in this busy harbor.
Larus argentatus (winter adult) -- species recently split from American.
Species recently split from American. This individual (and many of the others I saw) has much "cleaner" brown on white markings on the mantle than most first-winter American Herring Gulls -- looks more like a first-winter Great Black-backed Gull, but a little lighter.