Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Things I saw in the woods today, part 19

Bracken is one of the most ancient plants in the UK. Thought to date back to prehistoric times, this fern is one of the most primitive yet intriguing. The opening (unfurling) of the bracken fronds is mesmerising as they take on many forms. In this photo I almost see a bird.  "Bracken grows throughout the world occurring almost everywhere with the exception of hot or cold deserts. In fact it may be the single most widespread vascular plant in the world." (Chavez and Gill, 1999). Contains carcinogens and not recommended for eating although considered a delicacy in some countries- not in the UK.
The dandelion flower and its cache of seeds waiting to erupt with the help of a strong burst of wind.

Upon leaving the woods and heading home, I came upon a baby robin who had valiantly flown out of his nest and landed on the ground at my hound's paws. Luckily my hound prefers to play with rather than eat his new found friends and looked upon this fluffy white thing with some bemusement. At the sight of the hound's muzzle moving in on him, the baby robin used all his might to fly upwards until he landed a safe distance away from us.  Even though a mere infant the robin already knew that we represented danger- they must be born with a sense that anything not like them is a potential threat. I wasn't lucky enough to take a decent photo of the baby robin but I did get this shot of the feather he left behind in his frantic escape. This feather has 'baby bird' written all over it.

Photos copyright SvD.

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