Learning about flowers and more books found...





Saturday saw me taking part in my very first Adult learning cause on Wild flowers.
It was a formal event run by 

with  Harry Allenby (Blue hat)

I have  recording and photographing wild flowers for over three years now, around  340  species have been recorded. But I have got to the stage were I want to be better at recording.
For example we all know what a Forget-me- not looks like.

But did you know there are 200 species in the genus, only those native to the Northern hemisphere are commonly called Forget-me-not. Many are popular in gardens, preferring moist habitats. In areas where they are not native, they have frequently escaped to wetlands and riverbanks.
You might have seen..
Changing..Creeping..Early..Field..Great..Jersey..Pale.. Tufted..Upright..Alpine..Water and Wood here in the UK
 all looking lovely but I would like to tell them apart.
As a rule I can  see if a plant looks a little different, to what I have all ready photographed. I will look through wild flower book (I have plenty) use the internet and if that fails I will put it on iSpot.

We just looked at plants you see everyday. We looked at "family" groups, parts of the plant, how some plants got their name. How there is some plants rare in the Bradford area as they came in with the Cotton trade, best of all was were to find Bee orchids in June.
Parts of a flower and their functions
Parts of a plant and their functions
It's all about recording what you see

and the "Keys"


it's like learning a new language, I understood it all when I was there but as soon as I sat back in my car...
...lost it, all gone !

Harry recommended books to read, I had some but did order  
Botany in a Day
Book by Thomas J. Elpel
(Link)
We had a walk round the reserve  looking at the plants we could find.


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I have a large collection of books to do with nature, I have been trying to record them on a "List" (here), so many to go.

Most of them come from second hand shops, found these on Thursday.














Parts of a flower






Comments

  1. What a good idea! Also you can never have too many books on the subject can you, I can spend many a happy hour browsing book shop finds! xx

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    1. Thanks Pam, dam Amazon just let me order four more books tonight ! All penny ones,hope they come when OH is out.
      Amanda xx

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    2. It's so easy to do and at a penny you can't go wrong, i'm sure he'd agree.......... x

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  2. I should go on a course like that, I'm hopeless at botany

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    1. Thanks Simon, it was really good, and free. Going on the next one in a month. Will be doing a lot of reading up before then.
      Amanda xx

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  3. Wow, I think you will keep busy learning all the new wildflowers. The books look great. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, I will be busy.. just hope it sticks in my head this time...
      Amanda xx

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  4. Yes, thanks for the book ideas--it's always fun to add more to the collection! These types of workshops and learning can be so rewarding. I have a little field guide wildflower book that I usually take along with me when I go hiking. I usually find that photographs are much easier (for me, anyway) in wildflower identification than drawings.

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    1. Thanks PP, I do love my books. I get some books just to have even though I know I will not get round to reading them. Could do with a small book that fits in my pocket, and a note book.
      Amanda xx

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  5. I know what you mean about understanding something, and then when you next look its it seems you don't. Lovely when subjects open up like this and you're making lots of discoveries. In turn your teaching - I didn't know about forget-me-nots!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, there was so much to take in on the day, should have taken better notes (will do on next trip) even the simplest plant eg a "weed" is fascinating once you start learning about them.
      Amanda xx

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  6. Very, very interesting Amanda, speaking as someone whom finds wildflower ID a veritable minefield I found this post fascinating. I have to admit I tend to just ID plants by their genus though I would love to improve my ID skills as well one day.

    You have certainly a nice selection of books there and the last one, Roger Philips 'Wildflowers of Britain', is the one I tend to use the most myself.

    Loved your pics of the Chiffchaff and the Jay as well, the nature reserve certainly looks like a good place to explore :-)

    Hope you have a great week and my kindest regards :-)

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    1. Thanks David, I think you would love doing something like this and be very good at it. I'm going to start using the"keys" working on plants I know and see how I get on, it's getting use to the language of Botany.
      I love whole set of books by Roger Philips, and the drawings in the "Garden and field Birds" book.
      They are doing so much work here, new learning centre goes in this week.
      Amanda xx

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  7. What a wonderful course to attend it looks very interesting and informative and quite intense too. I recognise a couple of the books you have highlighted as we have them on our bookshelves. Now I wonder what species of forget-me-not are the ones growing all over our garden, perhaps there is more than one? How fascinating:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie, it would be fun to see how many different forget-me-nots you can find, in your garden and on your walks. Another plant we looked at was Bitter-cress, four species, very similar and Hairy Bitter-cress has NO hairs!!!!!
      Amanda xx

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  8. A very interesting post Amanda - so glad you enjoyed the course and that there will be future events. Wish I could find something like that round here. As you say there can be many species of one flower such as Forget-me-not or Speedwell and its learning all the little differences between the species.

    Loved looking at the books (no surprise there :) ). You can get some great bargains in second hand bookshops :) Look forward to hearing about the next event.

    Have a lovely week :)

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    1. Thanks RR, you would have loved it too, do you not have a local Botany group near you, or even a nature reserve run them sometimes.
      Have looked at doing things on-line too, found a cause on Ecology for beginners, fancy doing that in the winter moths.

      Loved "A colour guide to familiar" books I ordered two more, Mammals and Woodland and Hill birds. going to need a new book shelf!!!
      Amanda xx

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    2. I think local Wildlife Trust may run one off id events for a few hours (possibly too basic?) - would prefer a longer ongoing one. You can sometimes go along to local BSBI events and join in surveys - will have to have another look and see what is on. The Ecology course sounds interesting too.

      I am awaiting a new book I ordered that is just about to be published by West Midlands Butterfly Conservation on butterflies in West Midlands and am just praying it comes when OH is out (which isn't often)!!! Have to go and get some presents for daughter's birthday this week in Solihull so may just pay a visit to Waterstones!!

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  9. There is so much to learn about Nature Amanda.

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    1. Thanks Roy, think you are good with your wild flowers, even the experts carry on learning.. that's what makes it fun...
      Amanda xx

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  10. This fascinates me, Amanda as this is exactly what I'd like to do, too. I'd love to know more about wildflowers. I think the local dimension is particularly interesting and how plants got their names (and their local names). I know very little about scientific names, too.
    I've got the Phillips wildflower book as well - it really is a great book to have on hand. Lovely photos of your wander around the reserve.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, local groups should have more on for adults, as the interest is out there, this was free but I would have been willing to pay.
      They have many learning events on here, I was going to ask if they would run a Bumblebee event, forgot, will ask him next time. Steve the warden knows all the Dragonflies etc as well as the birds. Going to be there a lot over summer.
      Amanda xx

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  11. I love Roger Phillips book, purely because they remind me of childhood as my Pa had few of his books on the shelves. I don't own any but I'm sure Pa still does! There's always something new to learn or discover with nature and I don't think one can have too many nature themed books!

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    1. Thanks Louise, you will have to see if he still has them, that's what the day most enjoyable learning new things..
      Amanda xx

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  12. I'd like to attend one of those courses too - it sounded really interesting. I like the look of the last book. What made me sit up though was the bird book - I think my Dad has that somewhere because I remember using it when I was younger! X

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    1. Thanks Julie, you will have to have a look round local reserves. The bird books is lovely, beautiful drawings. I had the flower book, ended up ordering two more from the set.
      Amanda xx

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  13. What a brilliant course, Amanda. We studied wild flowers when I was in junior school, going out each w/e to see what we could find, picking a single stem (unless an orchid etc. in which case we just noted our finds). Our lists were compiled through the summer term, with a test on the names each Friday. I found 144 species that term, and many of the names have stayed with me ...

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    1. Thanks Caroline, that's a good number of flowers to find, shame they don't do more of this at school any more.I remember doing a nature project at little school, I think we were recording what we saw on the hill/ road side out side school. I do remember though the amount of "blue" butterflies there were, sadly none when I went back a few years ago.
      Amanda xx

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  14. Oh this sounds really interesting, Amanda. Soon you will be our go-to expert when we are stuck at ID! I knew there were tons of different forget me nots but all I can do is recognise that they are of that family and only know a very few of the different species. I'm sure you will have fun learning with all those books you have there! xx

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    1. thanks Mandy, it was so nice to talk to these people, same interests and very knowledgeable too. I keep looking at flowers now and wondering if I got them right in the first place !
      Amanda xx

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