know your local flora & fauna (or learn to)

During our walk last Saturday, the first thing that I noticed was a sweet fragrance in the air. And very weirdly (or not), I knew right away what it was, before seeing the source. It was Calamintha nepeta (Lesser calamint), which I had seen growing in totally different place. Then I saw it & it confirmed my first thought. And growing as abundantly as calamint, were daisies. So many of them !

Calamintha nepeta

Calamintha nepeta

here's my youngest picking me a tiny bouquet of daisies, sweeeeeeeeeeet !

here's my youngest picking me a tiny bouquet of daisies, sweeeeeeeeeeet !

Here are more photos, actually the rest of the photos from that day.

Almost each time we're out in nature, hubby & I try to remind the boys the names of lots of plants, flowers & animals we see. We first ask them "do you remember the name of this plant ?" and if they don't remember, we refresh their memories. TIt's very important, and almost necessary for them to know what grows or lives around here, it's part of their local knowledge. On the next photo, hubby is showing the boys Pistacia terebenthus, which I have already used for dyeing. (and photo above shows a photo of a leaf of Pistacia terebenthus, but they're usually not speckled !)

ca8.jpg

And most particularly when there are species that are very local, such as Acer monspessulanum, of which you can see a leaf above. (next to a berry of Juniperus oxycedrus)

Some species are sometimes hard to distinguish though. For instance, there are two perennial flowering plants that really look alike, and when they're in the seeding state, it's hard to know which one is which ! They are Ornithogalum narbonense & Asphodelus rasmosus. This is what you can see above, and I liked the ruffled edges !

And sometimes I simply don't manage to identify what I see, even with the help of my trusty books ! (like these two plants below)

Yet, I managed to identify this deceased butterfly, which was a Colias croceus aka dark (or common) clouded yellow.
And the next photo shows Ruscus aculeatus (sweet broom or butcher's broom) in its dry state. I've picked several stems to bring back home, but there still were lots of it all green & with its festive round & red berries. (like here)

I hope you enjoyed this little botanical stroll as much as we did.

ox

Sonia