Cuckoo Pint

The flowers of Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum) are unusual. This plant is also known as Lords-and-Ladies, and Arum Lily. In North America a similar plant is called Jack-in-the-pulpit. The arrow-shaped leaves are the first to appear in the woodland floors and hedgerows; and this year there is an explosion of the plants around Charlton Down following last year’s good season for them. The leaves can either be plain or spotted with dark purplish patches.

The flowers consist of a pale green, cowl-shaped spathe which has a purple margin and wraps around the club-shaped purplish-brown spadix. Later, berries develop on the stalk and form a familiar bright red spike among the vegetation in autumn.

Blooming Ramsons

The Wild Garlic or Ramsons are now fully flowering in the village. For a good display, have a look for them in the circular strip of trees that surrounds Herrison House – if they survive the atypical frosts, heavy rain and strong winds that we have been experiencing this May.

Four Views

Four views taken a few steps from Greenwood House late morning 3 May 2021 when the wind was already high and the rain was yet to come, but promised in the full clouds scudding and fitfully obscuring the sun. Remember you can click any picture to enlarge it and see the caption.

Copper Beech Leaves 2

When the new leaves of beech trees overwinter in the bud, they are neatly folded up – not crumpled randomly. As they burst free in Spring, you can see that each leaf is pleated in a regular fashion so that they unfold like the ribs of an opening fan. The leaves have silky soft hairs around the edges, and the blade shows green as well as red pigments. Later in the year the leaves become darker purple as the red pigments dominate.

View from my window 3

View from my window in Greenwood House. Unedited photographs of the opening leaves on the copper beech trees, glowing red against the dark sky after rain, in the slanted light of the sun going down. 1st May 2021.