This was @wildflower_hour’s tweet announcing this week’s #WildflowerHour challenge:
Samaras, siliques, nuts, drupes, berries, hips and capsules, how many different types of wild fruit can you find? That’s the challenge this week for #WildflowerHour. Share your pics this Sunday 8-9pm using the hashtag #fruits.
I’m saving my samaras, siliques, nuts and capsules for another day but here are my drupes, berries and hips: an assortment of Black bryony, Bramble, Buckthorn, Crab apple, Dewberry, Red-osier dogwood (with vivid red stems and white fruit) and Common dogwood, Guelder rose, Hawthorn, the hips of Japanese rose (these grow wild at the local country park) and Dog-rose, Sloe, Whitebeam, Woody nightshade and Yew.
It’s not only humans that like to go foraging for ripe berries in the autumn. Though the raw berries of the Elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra) are mildly poisonous to mammals, they do not seem to affect fruit-eating birds, and Blackcaps, in particular, love to feast on them. This beautiful female had interrupted her migration journey south to top up her tank with their succulent goodness.
I’ve been resisting taking berry photos, trying to deny the fact that the days are shortening and the summer heat slowly fading, but I have been watching the Wayfaring trees I featured earlier this year, in the post The Wayfarer, and I couldn’t resist documenting how the glorious flowers from May have gradually been developing into luscious shiny red berries.
A rustle of vegetation … an eye … who’s this lurking behind the ‘snipe paddock’ fence at Cosmeston?
A female Pheasant? A common enough bird in the local countryside but not normally seen here in this dog-full park. She has quite short tail feathers and she’s not too bothered about my presence so I presume she’s a juvenile.
It seems she’s quite partial to blackberries.
Are there more of those delicious treats?
Aha, yes, another ripe one.
And, after scoffing those couple of berries, she wanders off in search of more.
You thought I was joking with yesterday’s post about autumn arriving early this year, didn’t you? Well, the gorgeous colours of this Guelder rose look very autumnal to me. Bring on the glorious shades of autumn!
It’s only been a few weeks since I saw my first winter thrushes of the season but now they’re everywhere, feasting on autumn’s bounty of lush, delicious berries. Song and Mistle thrushes, Blackbirds, Redwings and Fieldfares and, not a thrush, the Woodpigeons are also indulging in the berry-fest. The Redwings are particularly skittish but I’ve managed to sneak up on a few to grab photos, though, more often than not, the whole tree I’m trying to approach will suddenly erupt with birds flying off in all directions. And then I feel a little guilty about interrupting their repast.
‘On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like
clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruit were jewels …’
~ Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
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