Stinking Iris

We have quite a lot of Stinking Iris, Iris foetidissima, in the margins of the meadows. It is not a very striking looking Iris with scruffy broad leaves which apparently smell unpleasantly beefy when they are crushed leading to its other name of Roast Beef plant. The flowers are purple but insipid and a little bit dull. Its native to the UK, growing in woodland, hedge banks and sea cliffs.

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But it really comes into its own at this time of year with its magnificent scarlet seed heads and here are some photos showing how it is brightening up the hedgerows at the moment:

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Return to the Meadows

We have been away from the meadows for a fortnight and were longing to get back out there to see whats been going on.

Its now properly Autumn although still not cold and I don’t think there has been a frost yet. It really knows how to do wet and windy here though and this is what its up to today, although our son and his friend went swimming in the sea this morning just down from the meadows, watched on by our parents who are in their eighties but promising to go for a dip themselves next summer. I’ll tell you what, if they do that, I’ll put a photo of it on this blog, even though its not really to do with the meadows. It will be a sight worth seeing!

Firstly, we were amazed that there are still House Martins and the occasional Swallow flying over. They have got such a long way to go, shouldn’t they have got going by now? The wind today is a South Westerly and so they are going to have to hang here for a bit longer still.

Secondly, it is also surpising how much things are still growing and flowering. Here is the ground in the small paddock that had been covered by the pile of hay until recently and, once re-exposed, showed itself to be quite ravaged. Its greening up again nicely now though.

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Also, in this paddock is what is an unpleasant outstanding job – to cut back all these Blackthorn shoots before the whole place transforms itself from grassland into thicket. Its very wiry and viciously thorny and its going to be a case of cutting off at the base with loppers and burning in the brazier maybe.

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Fourthly – this hole has appeared in the paddock.Its quite a small diameter hole but with an enormous amount of soil excavated out of it. Goodness only knows who made this – and if only we hadn’t managed to break the trap camera we would train it onto this hole in an attempt to find out.

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Finally, a new hole has been excavated between the cliffs and the meadows, which has involved concerted digging from both sides of the fence.We have been watching the progress of this hole over the last couple of months and it has now finally become a viable thoroughfare. Presumably this is the work of our badger but, again, another position for the trap camera once we have one again.

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