Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On





in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

floristic catalogue
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gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
>> 2009 May 1
<< 2009 Apr  9

19 April 7:59


                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2009 April 23 to 25, Thursday to Saturday

Lots of rain and some mist in the early morning create a special atmosphere on the terrain these days.








Photograph taken on 19 April 7:58



19 April 8:01

19 April 8:06


The abundant flowering of the Lady orchids (Orchis purpurea) is spectacular. I counted more than 60 plants, sprouting all over the terrain but especially on the centre terraces. On an excursion in the nearby surroundings I couldn't find almost any of these orchids, which corroborates my theory that their abundance on the terrain can be explained by the absence of grazing sheep.





3 Orchis purpurea along the centre path.
Looking north-west.
Friday 17:28
A robust specimen of Orchis purpurea together with another one just emerging.
Middle, oriental terrace.
Saturday 12:05




In the bulbs area the flowering of the Wild tulips has given way to the flowers of Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star-of-Bethlehem, Grass Lily). Of the 10 planted bulbs, 8 have emerged so far. They are native for Spain and reproduce by bulbs and seed.
Funny how the 9 different species of bulbs that were planted last autumn have managed so far to flower one after the other without almost any overlap.



PS. On 2 May 2009 I detected 3 flowering plants of Ornithogallum umbellatum on the path to our terrain.

  The  filaments of the flowers of Ornithogalum umbellatum are aspiring  to become part of the perianth. 
Thursday 17:05



Ornithogalum umbellatum sunbathing.
Friday 17:23

On the left the same flower on the next morning. The closure is really neat.
Friday 10:02



Three examples more of the many species that started flowering these days: Common Rockrose (Helianthemum violaceum), Yellow Fetch (Vicea lutea) and Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga).







Helianthemum violaceum massively flowering near the entrance.
Looking west.
Saturday 10:45

Veronica beccabunga .
At the back on the left Iris pseudacorus, on the right Sparganium erectum.
Thursday 17:26
The yellow Vicea lutea among the  flowering grass Bromus diandrus on a south-facing slope on the central terrace.
Looking north-east.
Saturday 12:01


The combination of water, stone and life in the ponds is always offering interesting images. The water is turbid as a result of run-off rainwater but both ponds are full of animal life with tadpoles, snails,  backswimmers and pond-skaters.











Lower pond.
Photograph taken on19 April  8:17


Saturday 11:47

Sonchus oleraceus
Sow thistle) starting to flower  in the higher pond.
Saturday 11:54



Old and new leaves of Sparganium erectum (Bur reed)
The old ones are favourites of numerous small snails.
Thursday 17:37



Iris pseudacorus (Yellow flag) preparing its flowers.
Thursday 17:23



The ground near the caravan, the garden house and the entrance is suffering quite a lot of trampling and compaction by cars, tractors and lorries and it is interesting to watch how the vegetation is reacting.
Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seems to take advantage of the situation, as seems to do so a relatively recent species: Scorzonera laciniata.










  Taraxacum officinale near the entrance.
Looking north.
Friday 9:55

The rosettes of Centaurea calcitrapa suppress effectively possible competitors.
The budding stalks are from Scorzonera laciniata.
19 April 19:11
Flowering Scorzonera laciniata near the entrance.
Looking west.
Saturday 10:41


Overview of this area.
At the front the sprouting Sedum telephium, together with Sedum acre and Sedum sediforme.
20 April 10:48 

Erucastrum nasturtiifolium stresses nicely the third dimension in the relatively short vegetation.
Looking north.
Saturday 10:47


This fox (Vulpes vulpes) was a bit absent-minded and didn't notice me at first when I came out of the caravan. He is a regular visitor to the terrain, together with a rabbit and, less frequently, some squirrels.



  With a tail almost as thick as his body, the fox was rummaging quite at ease in clear sunlight.
Thursday 16:54

In the foreground, the peas (Dwarf Sweet Green), sown on 14 March, are doing fine. 2 more rows were sown on 18 April.
In the background the green berry shrubs.
Saturday 12:14




In the vegetable garden things are going slowly, due to the relatively low temperatures and lots of rain.  The more than 20 grapevines that were planted don't show much life and I wonder if they have also suffered the lethal effect of the straw blanket. Fortunately the kiwi plants recovered from the frost blow and are showing a lot of new leaves.



I treated the garden furniture with used motor oil (from the gasoline generator) to preserve the salvaged wood a little longer. The effect is that of an oxidation, although probably the weather will turn it into something more woodlike again.



Overview to the north-east, with the oxidized chairs.
Friday 17:30

floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
>> 2009 May 1
<< 2009 Apr  9











Latest revision on:  01/08/2018