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John Vetterlein's Wildlife & Butterfly Walk-16th April

Monday 17th April 2017

The second of John Vetterlein's 'Flower & Butterfly' walks of the year was blessed by fine weather and an attendance of 20 visitors [1]. After a thorough examination of the area by the entrance, we were led on a broadly clockwise tour of the Cemetery, looking at the wood on the Hill Lane side before heading up to the northern boundary via the Main Carriageway and some central meandering before returning down the Yew Tree Path to the entrance. Once again John had kept everyone's interest as he pointed out a succession of flowers, some from last month still showing as well as many more that had come into bloom since. Neither a passing sparrowhawk nor a circling buzzard could distract visitors' attentions from their floral focus, although three types of butterfly did succeed in doing so: the Speckled Wood, Holly Blue and (possible) Small White. The list of plants we were shown is a long one, and here only some have been selected for photographic inclusion [number in picture sequence]: Hawthorn, Green Alkanet, a Sow-thistle [2], Bay, Dandelion, Red Dead-nettle, Daisy, Common Dog Violet, Germander Speedwell [3] (also seen covering an anthill later [6]), Wild Strawberry, Primrose, Field Wood-rush [4], Laurestine, Garlic Mustard [5], Round-leaved Cranes-bill, Cow Parsley, Bluebells [7] (ours being a variety of the Spanish form), Lords-and-Ladies (showing the spadix [8], which serves to attract flies which are then covered with pollen before escaping), Wood Anemone, Oak (with male catkins and female flowers [9]), Lesser Celandine, Papauma (an introduction from New Zealand), Shining Cranes-bill, Herb-Robert, Cuckooflower, Wild Cherry tree, Japanese Laurel, Alexanders [10], Greater Stitchwort, Ivy-leaved Speedwell, Pignut, Rhododendron (now fully in flower), Elm (with seeds [11]), Sorrel [12], Gorse, Lawsons Cypress, Ash, London Plane [13], Lilac, Bulbous Buttercup, Thale Cress, Ribwort Plantain [14], Hairy Tare, and finally but certainly not least, some Cowslips [15] and the hybrid with their Primrose cousins, the False Oxlip [16]. Once more our thanks to John for the informative walk, and of course to those who attended and who also kindly donated to FoSOC's coffer.