Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

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gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
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>> 2009 May 23
<< 2009 May  9

                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2009 May  16 & 17, Saturday & Sunday


 

Temperatures are reaching just above 20 and some 15 litres of rain were collected in our rain gauge. 
The wet conditions this spring must have played an important role in the outburst of a newcomer on the terrain: French Hawk's-beard (Crepis nicaeensis). Surprisingly proliferating  now on many places, its yellow flowers only open for a few hours in the morning. It needs some disturbance of the soil for germinating and for this a fox or badger must have been responsible, in their hunt for the fat worms.
P.S. 26 May '09: I probably confused Crepis nicaeenis with Hypochaeris radicata in previous years, so the plant is not a complete newcomer.


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Overview of the higher western terrace. The yellow
Lotus corniculatus and Hippocrepis comosa on the right, the white Helianthemum violaceum on the left.
Sunday 9:30

  The yellow composite flowers of Crepis nicaeensis on the higher western terrace.
Looking south-east.
Sunday 9:28
 

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The bee colony has disappeared, but other creatures decided to make their home on the terrain: two of the nest boxes are being occupied by tits. The smaller nest boxes I had made from mouse cages  have not attracted any birds so far and will replace them next season for decent ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 
   
Nest with youngs of a Blue tit.
Saturday 18:23
Nest with youngs of a Great tit.
Saturday 18:02
 

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In the collection of curiosities it's a nice moment to present the flowering Aristolochia pistolochia, a westerm-mediterranean Birthwort species. The strangely formed flowers act as traps for flies who in this way carry out the pollination.
Mysterious is also the parasite
Clove-scented broomrape (Orobanche caryophyllacea), which I commented on some weeks ago. It is flowering now on many places and attracts especially bumblebees.

 
Aristolochia pistolochia in the half shade of the oak wood on the higher terrace.
Saturday 17:53

Orobanche caryophyllacea parasiting on Galium fruticescens
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Central terrace looking north.
Saturday 18:51
 

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This is another Boraginaceae species: Italian bugloss (Anchusa azurea).

 

 

 

 
 

Close-up of Anchusa azurea flowers.
Sunday 12:19

Anchusa azurea on the central terrace where 2 plants were growing.
Sunday 12:18
 

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Two sub-species of Purple Salsify (or Oyster Plant): respectively Tragopogon porrifolius subsp. australis and porrifolius. The latter is the one that has been cultivated for its edible roots since ancient times. The taste seems to be somewhat like that of oysters and we will certainly try them out, raw and grated in a salad or cooked in a soup or stew.

 

 
Tragopogon porrifolius subsp. australis.
Sunday 8:33
 
Tragopogon porrifolius subsp. porrifolius.
Photograph taken on 10 May '09 10:11
 
 

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Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) and Dwarf Mallow (Malva neglecta) were detected before but haven't been properly introduced in the species catalogue. Asparagus is of course edible when properly selected and cultivated but also Dwarf Mallow is reported to be edible: its seed contain more than 20% protein.

 

 

 
Asparagus officinalis on the lower terrace.
As I have never detected the red berries I suppose these are male flowers.
Saturday 19:19
 

Malva neglecta on the remainders of the stones we used for the foundation of the garden house.
Looking north.
Sunday 12:36

 

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In the vegetable garden the edibility of some plants is such that little remains for human consumption. For example of the amply sowed Lamb's lettuce (Valerianella locusta) I haven't been able to see any seedlings and also the Beans have been heavily predated. Plants of the onion family (onions, garlic, leeks) are mostly doing fine though, as do the potatoes, peas and carrots.
 

 

 
  The vegetable garden with garlic on the far left, potatoes on the left and peas in the centre.
At the back on the right, the berry shrubs.
Looking north-west.
Saturday 19:26
 

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A practical new feature of this web site is the improved index page. Apart from an overview by date it is now possible to search by topic. I selected four important topics, whose development in time can now be traced easier, respectively: the garden house, the green roof, the two ponds and the vegetable garden.

 

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
map
>> 2009 May 23
<< 2009 May  9

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  01/08/2018