Sunday, 3 June 2018

EMERGENCY INFORMATION

Flowers of Mountain Ash. (Rowan) I think!
Flowers on a Mountain Ash tree (Rowan) (I think!)
Taken 2nd July 2018
I'd never thought to look for the flowers before - had only noticed the berries.
I've discovered a glitch with Google's new comments arrangements which means anyone can leave any ole comment they like while pretending to be YOU. 

To protect you from this, I'm turning off the comments option for the moment. 

I hope this will be only a short term issue. Please don't go away! 

Meanwhile, if you would like to leave comments by email, I'd be delighted.


looseandleafy@googlemail.com 

I can also be contacted on Twitter. @LucyCorrander

New EU laws say I must promise you that if you email me I will not reply with a load of spam. I promise!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

AN OUTDATED STREET PLANT POST (Should have been posted at the end of April.)


I'm horribly disorganised. When I first wrote this post at the end of April, we were well launched into the first dandelion season of the year. It was freezing cold but there were dandelions everywhere. I need not have worried that I'd miss them when I left Dorset. Not only were they unmissable but in some places nature had arranged them so beautifully it was as if they had been flower-arranged.



There's a surprising amount of countryside in this very built-up Halifax. Even outside the wooded ravines which cut into the town there are reminders of what happens when a tree falls. This fungus is growing on a the remains of a lopped trunk in a car park.




And earlier in the day I'd came across violets on a small patch of earth outside an abandoned house.

Then there are walls. Non-stop walls. Dry stone walls around almost everything: gardens, fields, industrial premises. These are wonderful places for plants to dig their roots into - and I've been surprised how little the walls seem to crumble under such invasion. Of course, I should have put a photographic illustration of this here but I didn't. All a bit of a rush! And since then I've been busy doing the usual excuse type things like digging acres of mare's tail out of my allotment. But the point I was heading to at the time was that not even the flat fronts of buildings can deter a determined fern.



And drains. In Dorset I grew a habit of looking down drains to see what's growing there. Drains rarely disappoint. They are a bit like the shells hermit crabs grab. They look pretty similar on the outside but you never know who or what's lurking inside till you look.





And trees. No urban garden would be complete without trees. I think this is the most spectacular I've come across. Can it be a silver birch?









Sorry for the delay. Someone found my glasses for me. They are gold rimmed which makes them extra difficult to find unless I am already wearing them. But anyone else can lift them up and say 'These?' But other things have been getting between me and Loose and Leafy posts too. Like a plasterer putting up an acoustic wall, local elections in Halifax and civil unrest in Armenia.

We all have backstories!

P.S. I really do recommend that you read about Hermit Crabs.

Friday, 20 April 2018

IN THEORY IT'S A STREET PLANT POST

Large green leaves with prickles in car park.
Messed up again! If it's not one thing it's another. I could give you a list but just at this moment it's that I've lost my glasses. As you know, I'm sharing a house with fellow blogger Esther Montgomery. And one of her sons decided to clean out under the floorboards of his room. The house was built in 1885 and a lot of dust has drifted down there since so when I was offered the honour of lifting a board and it pinged up all of a sudden, a lot of that dust pinged up with it. Then, when I went to wash it off my face I took my glasses off and now, er, I don't know where they are.

So, nose to screen, here's a picture of a plant I photographed earlier today. I don't know what it is. Could it be in the teasle family? More will follow when I can see!

Then, when it's a proper street plant post, I'll put a box here in case you want to add your link to a street plant post too.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

IT'S AS MUCH ABOUT THE RAILINGS - TREE FOLLOWING IN APRIL

Catkins of an alder in front of a stone building in the golden light of evening.
Evening is unpredictable. One moment it's sunny, then it's gold, then it's dull, then it gives gold another innings, then it's duller and duller till it's dark. And I, it seems, never manage to get to the tree I'm following during its sunny moments. Dull is standard. Gold a bonus.

Here is a view towards the building where, one day, when it isn't after hours, or dull, or raining, I'll see if anyone will let me up to look down on the tree.

Alder with catkins, with plastic in branches, in front of a fancy street light.



Much depends on which direction one faces. Two minutes apart, looking another way, noticing the plastic which has been there since the beginning.

An ant on the bark of an alder tree.



No leaves, loads of catkins - and a moderate flow of ants. Ants are hard to capture crisply in fading light but there is one there if you peer.

Bent railings on the guard around an alder tree.



I am captivated by the railings around the tree. I'm as much railings watching as tree following for they seem to contain as much life as the tree itself.

Someone has bent them so two prongs lean towards each other.

(A friend said 'here, I'll take a photo - so he did - and this is it.)

Glasses hanging on the railings of the guard around an alder tree in Halifax.



The 'Lost and Found' function continues with a pair of glasses.

(I'm beginning to think this tree is pivotal.)

Small green plant at the foot of an alder tree with fallen catkins around.



In November there were little leaves at the base of the tree. They've gone. If we hadn't had snow, maybe they would have still been there. I don't know. But instead, at its foot - here come the plants! Green-ness! Flowers ahead! (As long as the council leaves them.)




P.S. While I was photographing the tree, people were arriving from two directions, hurrying happily into the theatre opposite. What was on? Clearly a big event. So I peered between the posters of future events stuck to the window of the box office . . . but they turned out not to be stuck on the window itself but to clear stands within . .  which meant I smashed my eyebrows, nose and forehead wham against the glass. Not good.

Having failed to find the answer written up I asked a woman waiting for a friend on the steps. But she couldn't remember what she'd come to see. Evening does funny things to people.



For more about Tree Following go to Squirrelbasket and you can become a Tree Follower too.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

STREET PLANTS AT THE END OF MARCH FOR THE BEGINNING OF APRIL

Stong groundsel plant beside a stone wall.
This is a picture post. There's not much to read. If I had lots to say, I'd say it. But today, I don't. I'll let the plants speak for themselves. Or, rather, not speak for themselves for they are pretty quiet at present; battered by frost and snow, constantly being deceived into thinking it's spring when it isn't.

The exception is this groundsel which seems pretty chipper. I've never described anything as 'chipper' before but the word seems to fit. The angle shields it both from north and east winds and for the moment it's not garlanded with litter.

Ferns in a stone wall.
For the most part though, I look higher up walls to find plants. I've never lived anywhere with so many stone walls before. All seem to be built in the same way; two walls built parallel to each other and the gap between them filled with smaller stones. On top of these is a layer of long stones laid horizontally, with a row of quite hefty, sideways stones on top. The work which must have gone into these walls must have been phenomenal. The tonnage, mind boggling. And because of the topography here, some are waist or shoulder high on one side but way, way higher on the other.

Dandelion growing in the gap between stones on a stone wall.



Here are dandelion seedlings beginning to look out newly on the world.

Foxglove in the gaps between stones on a stone wall.



And foxgloves which have overwintered are beginning to green.




This is common but I can't name it.





A dilapidated ivy leaved toadflax would you say?




And the always-interesting shape of an unfurled willow-herb seed pod.

All these plants were photographed on 30th March, ready for the first of the month posting. Daft. So I'm moving the street plant posts to 20th of each month. I'll put a link box then too - and afterwards always on the 20th.

In the meantime, if you have a street plant post that you'd like us to know about, do put its URL in the box below.

(The site which provides the link box seems to have gone down . . . and the link box has vanished along with it. By the time I next look, hopefully it will have reappeared. In the meantime . . . . if you have a Street Plant Post to share - leave its URL in with the comments.)