Violets, Lichens and Majestic Oaks as spring creeps closer

As a wet February turned into an equally wet start to March we did at least squeeze in some walking this weekend.

Saturday morning it was a solo one from home before the rain set in. Pleasing finds were numerous Sweet Violets including a good number of the white form and one interesting plant with small purple patches on the end of the petals. Despite their name Early Dog Violets emerge later than Sweet Violets and I managed to find just a couple of flowering plants. Along Grays Lane close inspection of some Ash trees revealed the lichen Aspen Lecidella which typically grows on smooth barked trees. Fieldfares seemed to be making some movement with flocks of 50 and 30 over heading NE.

                                                                                                                              Sweet Violets
                                                                                                                           Early Dog Violet
                                                                                                                                   Aspen Lecidella

On Sunday we ventured down into Essex at Mistley as I wanted to pay homage to the 800 year old Oak known as Old Knobbley. Also there were several other fantastic old trees, and even more at Helmingham Hall on the 3rd of 3 walks done on a long day out. On the stonework of an old bridge on the estate I also found Boulder Lichen - a new one for my fledgling lichen list!

                                                                                                                                      'Old Knobbley'

                                                                                                                                 Boulder Lichen

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