Hairy Violet, 23 March 2022

An after-work trip (probably the first of many this summer!) down into the Suffolk wilds to look for a species which has eluded me so far - Hairy Violet. Although relatively frequent in other parts of the country this chalk-loving species is rather scarce in East Anglia. Suffolk has a handful of records and Norfolk very few indeed.

Meg had given me a location near Lavenham so I headed there. And along a field-edge footpath found several patches with no bother at all. I'd expected them to be tricky to find! The very hairy stems, longish, pointed leaves, blunt sepals and distinctively paler and bluer flowers were all noted. Interestingly, in an adjacent shady area of trees there were Sweet Violets.

On the way home I stopped for a walk along Shaker's Lane in Bury St Edmunds which is supposed to hold Barberry. I failed to find any but did record the very similar Oregon Grape and on it a new fungi for me Mahonia Rust. Appearing as rusty-brown spots on the underside of the leaves. In the woods near the lane there were plenty of Early Dog Violets in bloom.

A brief stop at Mickle Mere en-route home was very quiet - a Painted Lady did fly across in front of the hide though.

                                                                                                                                     Hairy Violets
                                                                                                                                     Oregon Grape
                                                                                                                                       Mahonia Rust

                                                                                                                                 Early Dog Violets

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