Circular surprise

I first found this surprise a few months ago, just off the top track above Ravens Rock in Home Wood.

Someone has placed a circular wreath made of pine cones on a tree.  We have no idea, who, when or why it was placed, but it is a really nice surprise to find a sculptural form in the woods.

Yellow Angels

Just as the Bluebell flowers start to fade the golden glow of Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) takes over.

I found this dense clump flowering on the Ridge track near Harridge Wood Hole.

Found furling Fern fronds

I found this group of  Hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) are on the diagonal wall alongside the diagonal path that climbs the north side of Home Wood.

I love the uncurling of the new leaves, and they seemed to glow green in the back-light.

This group of Hart's-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) are on the diagonal wall alongside the diagonal path that climbs the north side of Home Wood

Spotted!

I spotted a group of Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) towards the top of the southern slope of Home Wood, near the boundary with Lime Kiln Woods.

The flowers were a bit past their best, but I do like the blotches of spots on the leaves.

Clare’s Rock came crashing down

Clare’s rock is the major landmark of Home Wood, un-missable as it is right next to the footpath.

A safety survey of Clare’s rock had identified loose rocks which were in danger of breaking away and coming crashing onto the public footpath below.

Hence on 4th November 2014 contractors were employed is dislodge these rocks in a safe manner, and the resulting boulders can still be seen on the footpath and below where they landed.

Controlled rockfall on the path below Clare's Rock
Controlled rockfall on the path below Clare’s Rock

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Is that an Oxlip?

Considering the Oxlip (Primula elatior) is limited to the border area of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, the answer is a simple “no”.

This plant, high on the southern slopes of Home Wood, is a False Oxlip (Primula veris x vulgaris), a naturally occurring hybrid between Primrose and Cowslip.  As it has flowers right round the stem, this false Oxlip is easy to tell apart from the true Oxlip, whose flowers all point in one direction.

While there are lots of Primroses nearby, the only puzzle is where did the Cowslip part come from?   As the nearest I know is 1/2 a mile away … time to look more closely.


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Raven’s Rock

High up on the Northern slopes of the lower part of Ashwick Grove is Raven’s Rock.  As it is set back, above the track, it is much less known than Clare’s Rock further up the valley. I climbed up to take photos and discovered the whole mossy slope below, it is actually a scree slope of large rocks all hidden by Ferns and Mosses.  It’s a hard climb, but the views at the top were worth it.

More details of climbs on the Crags of Ashwick Grove can be found on this link.   However note on this site they incorrectly name Clare’s Rock as Raven’s Rock