Camellia

The camellia bush outside my office has been flowering profusely for the last few weeks – a sure sign perhaps that spring is finally on its way?

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A Walk into Town

It’s surprising what you see when you just pay attention to the world around you as you stroll into town to do your shopping.

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Spring Flowers

The spring flowers  continue to bloom here and this is a small selection of those currently flowering. wpid-spring5_1_wm.jpg

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Saturday Sunset

Yesterday there was the most amazing sunset and I managed to take a couple of quick photos from my window before the sun dipped too low.

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Honeysuckle

I found these highly scented flowers in the hedgerow today and I think they are a kind of wild honeysuckle. Certainly the flowers smell like the well-known garden varieties and don’t look dissimilar but they grow on an upright shrubby plant rather than the normal climber that one gets in the garden.

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Lichen

A lichen is a composite organism that emerges from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a mutually beneficial relationship. Lichens come in many colours, sizes, and forms. The properties are sometimes plant-like, but lichens are not plants. Lichens may grow like a tiny, leafless, branching shrub, like it has leaves,  like a crust of paint on a surface or have other growth forms. Common names for lichen may contain the word “moss” and lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but they are not related to mosses or any plant. Lichens do not have roots that absorb water and nutrients like in plants – instead they produce their own food from sunlight, air, water, and minerals in their environment. They are not parasites on the plants they may grow on, but only use them as a substrate to grow on or in. Lichens occur in a very wide range of environmental conditions, and can grow on almost any surface. Lichens are abundant growing on bark, leaves, mosses, on other lichens and hanging from branches “living on thin air”. They grow on bare rock, walls, gravestones, roofs, exposed soil surfaces, and in the soil as part of a biological soil crust. They can survive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. They can even live inside solid rock, growing between the grains. Some lichens do not grow on anything, living out their lives blowing about the environment. It is estimated that 6% of Earth’s land surface is covered by lichen. (source Wikipedia).

Here’s a small selection I found growing on the trees nearby.

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Catkins

Now that spring is just around the corner all sorts of plants are beginning to show themselves and the catkins on the hazel trees are no exception.

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