Nipplewort and Commas

Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself?

We’ve left Monday long behind in a flurry of weeding and pizza and by the time the week ends we’ll have seen a variety of people – we’ve already seen a school, a family picnic, a gent and his carer, the Community Payback team and a visiting Australian today. It’s good that people feel happy to visit, but when you’re up to your neck in a school visit it’s sometimes hard to remain tactful.

I’m talking generalities there. It’s hard for the average person to remain tactful. With me it’s rare to remain tactful. However, I am making progress and it’s several months since…

No, I forgot that one.

…it’s several weeks since anyone has complained about my attitude.

I suppose I ought to pause for a bit of introspection there, give myself a talking to about customer service, that sort of thing. Imagine it done.

We had a laugh this morning when the visiting Australian asked if we had to water our sedum roof. It’s not really a question we’ve ever had to address. Not with English weather being what it is. I’ve just looked up the rainfall for Australia, which I have always considered a bit of a dustbowl, and find they have some regions a lot wetter than the UK average. That’s the thing with averages, about half the UK is going to be wetter than average when you look into it. I am now more confused than ever.

I do know that Australia is the second driest continent after Antarctica. But I also know that if you put a shovelful of Antarctica and a shovelful of Australia into a billy can you would have more luck making tea from the Antarctic.

Anyway, time passes. I have made little impact in my quest to learn more about plants because my ageing brain will not retain the names of plants. So far I have added nipplewort, corncockle and bristly ox tongue to my repertoire, and we don’t even have bristly ox tongue here as far as I can see.

This is a pollinator on nipplewort. It’s a very small flower and blows about easily, so it’s not a great photo.


It is, however, better than the only picture I’ve managed to take of a Comma butterfly in two years of trying.


Having said that, there are many species I haven’t managed to photograph at all. Even the common Gatekeeper and whites never seem to pose properly for me.

I dropped by the £1 shop this morning and now have three washing up bowls to make ponds. None of them, as yet, has been sited or filled. I’m sure I set myself a target about this a few days ago…

Meanwhile, my wife has disappeared with 30 schoolchildren and a party of teachers. They are overdue, she has left her phone in the office.

The Australian influence is strong today and I’m beginning to think of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

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