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Archive for May, 2012

Have you ever walked past a dock and seen the purple spots on it? Probably. Have you ever wondered what they were? Probably not. It is very common and no one has yet officially registered it as growing in this county. Having not a lot of fungi to look at I had a go at working out what it was, and got it all wrong. I have been rescued by Keith Cavanagh who has pointed me to the right identification. (Thank you Keith). In the end I found it quite interesting.

So after many years of noticing it and several unsuccessful attempts, it is now known to be Venturia rumicis. The kind of dock it is growing on is broad leaved dock, Rumex obtusifolius. I have a full description, well as far as I can get it, in my notes.

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Usually in June, but suddenly a bit early, a first rose….

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery May 2012.

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There are a couple of patches of this plant, whatever it may be, exuding a garlic scent along one of the Abney pathways, in this mornings early warmth. Although I don’t know exactly what it is, it is holding up better this year then I can remember it doing before. The rain and overcast conditions held it back until this last week, and the flower stems have shot up in response to the sun, so not been battered as can often happen. Result… glowing white flower heads above the shaded leafage worthy of Chelsea Flower Show.

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Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery 2012.

Link to photos of wildflowers in Abney Park Cemetery.

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This tree caused Russel Miller a lot of problems in identification, but he got there in the end and he put up a notice about the tree. This notice is so informative that I can’t improve on it,  I can only copy what he wrote.

“Spotted Thorn, Crataegus punctata, An original Loddiges planting (from) 1840. This magnificent old American Hawthorn was planted by Loddiges nursery in 1840. It is called a Spotted Thorn because the fruit or haws have spots. The tree is completely hollow but very healthy. Deadwood in the crown hosts weevil larvae, while fungi grow in the fallen branches. Over the years leaf litter has filled the tree giving a home to hundreds of tiny insects and fungi. The tree uses this soil, as internal roots recycle the compost. In 2009 holly was removed from close to the stem. In future years the tips of the upper branches may be trimmed to reduce the risk of these branches splitting away.”

It is an old tree, and the stem in winter can look in a poor way, but at the moment the tree is in flower and looks vibrant. It is probably the best I have seen it.

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It was one of those magic moments. As I walked along there was a crash in the poplar tree next to me, so I watched. A young Jay was making its way down the tree branch by branch, missing some perches and just making the one below it, falling eventually onto a gravestone on which someone had left titbits. These were carefully eaten for a while, then a noise somewhere startled the bird. It slowly made its way back up the poplar to safety. It took a good 4 minutes to get back up. I didn’t dare to get too close so my photos are enlarged sections of the taken image. Not the clearest.

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Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery May 2012.

Link to photos of birds.

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The sudden hot weather combined with the recent rain has led to a distinct surge in growth. It all feels a lot more

 

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery May 2012.

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In the road next to the side entrance to Abney Park Cemetery, a starling was feeding her 2 young fledglings. These young birds seem to be around a great deal at the moment. Many end up in the undergrowth at some point during the process. At this time of year it is more important than usual to keep dogs restricted to the pathways to avoid disturbing them.

Link to photos of birds Abney Park Cemetery.

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery in Amy 2012.

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