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Holly, predicting the weather ?

Holly, predicting the weather ?

by Chris ~ 21 December, 2010 ~ 5 comments

Back in November, a number of papers reported that our holly trees were full with their bright red berries, and that according to folklore this was a sign that a hard winter was to come.

There is no clear logic to this, as it is the Spring weather that determines whether there are insects around for the flowers to be pollinated, plus sun and warmth in early autumn to help the berries to ripen.  The berries are particularly plump and abundant this year.  The last ‘good berry’ year was last year (2009) and the winter that followed was the coldest for some 30 years.  Already, we are experiencing cold and severe weather conditions so perhaps the berries are ‘right' again. Read more...

Our changing flora

Our changing flora

by Chris ~ 9 June, 2010 ~ 7 comments

Our changing flora

All of our present plants have arrived in the U.K. since the end of the last Ice Age, about ten to twelve thousand years ago.  Plants and animals moved north as the sheets of ice gradually retreated; they were able to do this as ‘we’ were still joined directly to parts of Europe -by a great plain with meandering rivers, so that present-day East Anglia was linked to parts of The Netherlands and North Germany. Read more...

Common Ivy (Hedera helix)

Common Ivy (Hedera helix)

by Chris ~ 6 March, 2009 ~ 11 comments

The common ivy (Hedera helix ssp helix) may be found growing in woodlands, hedgerows or on walls. Read more...

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

by Chris ~ 23 August, 2006 ~ one comment

It will not be long before the signs of autumn are apparent to all of us, especially after such a hot and dry summer. Once again the BBC, the Woodland Trust and the UK Phenology Network are inviting people to help chart the advance of autumn – by recording 6 key species – blackberry, hawthorn, swifts, conkers, ivy and oak.

The collated information will help the UK Phenology Network build up a picture of Read more...

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