Audio version of Cowslipss – Paddy Madden The cheerful primroses which are in the same family as cowslips graced woodland edges, hedgerow bottoms, roadside verges and embankments from March to April. As their flowers fade tiny green seeds form in the fruiting capsules at the base of the plants.  Meanwhile its close relative, the cowslip, (Primuls …

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Audio version of Bluebells – Paddy Madden May is the month for observing broad swathes of bluebells carpeting old woodlands and running along the edges of old hedgerows.  They emit a sweet scent and are pollinated by insects, especially bumblebees.  The native Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) has bell-shaped flowers on one side of a drooping stem.  …

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Audio of Butterflies – Paddy Madden The Orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) butterflies have been active since late April.  The male is easy to recognize with bright orange tips on its forewings. The female, however, does not have the male’s orange markings. Instead she has dark grey wingtips with a black spot in the centre of …

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Unfolding buds

Audio of Unfolding Buds – Paddy Madden Beech buds (Fagus sylvatica) are among the last to unfold in spring.  The lovely, soft, silky, lime-green leaves slowly emerge from the cigar-shaped buds. Some people find these leaves very tasty when they are at this stage of development. The black ash buds (Fraxinus excelsior) are slow to open …

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Audio version of Flowers – Paddy Madden The barely noticeable cross shaped white flowers and nettle-shaped leaves of Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) or Hedge garlic on the road verge do not command the attention of most passers-by.  Nonetheless, this is an extremely important plant for the caterpillars of the Orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) butterfly.  In …

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Buds of April

Audio version of the Buds of April By: Paddy Madden New life unfolds in April.  Buds continue to open in woods, hedges, parks and gardens displaying the new, fresh growth within. The black, hard leaf buds of Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) are among the last to open.  Nonetheless, buds do open on the ash, but these …

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Connecting with Nature today

A dry, sunny spring day.  Egg-shaped Sycamore buds beginning to open and unfold fresh, pinkish coloured leaves. The Coltsfoot which some people confuse with the dandelion in full splendour. (The leaves resemble a foal’s foot). Noticed the Greater stitchwort with its star-like petals weaving through the hedgerow for the first time this year.  The hawthorn …

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