Saturday, 14 January 2017

Last Fruit, First Shoots

Entirely appropriately for a post published in January, this article looks back at the last seeds and fruit of the old year, and the first green shoots of the plants which will eventually flower in the spring of the new year.

Two teasel seed heads silhouetted against the rising sun
Cabaret de Oiseaux - 2 January 2017
The dawning sun on a new day in a new year provides
a suitably dramatic backdrop to the seed heads of teasels from last year.

 

Cabaret des Oiseaux (or more prosaically teasel)


What a wonderful name for a plant – a spectacle of birds – if my schoolboy French is correct. With a name like that doesn't the plant look even more majestic, and can't you just see a cloud of goldfinches feasting on the seed heads? It presumably gets this name from the birds feasting on its seed heads.

Besides that name, the English 'teasel', or 'gypsy comb', or 'brush and comb', sound functional and unimaginative, all derived from the use of the seed head to tease or raise the nap of woollen cloth. Somehow, such names drain the plant of its stature and becomes just another brown plant with an industrial use. Yet, in this most drab time of year, the teasels are impressive, standing very upright, seeming to challenge the weather to do its worst and blow them down.

Teasel plants with seed heads and no leaves stand out against the sky
Tall and majestic - 11 December 2016
A group of teasel plants stand proud against the skyline.


Teasels are not widespread in Milton Country Park, but a couple of clumps in the Orchard are particularly noticeable as they are growing on top of a small bank, where these photographs were taken.

Burdock

 

Burdock fruit, velcro like hooks clearly visible
Burdock Fruit - 5 January 2017
Non-descript brown fruit easily overlooked, not so easily picked off clothing.

Burdock is another plant whose fruit are conspicuous at this time of the year, although not necessarily for the right reasons. They attach themselves with their natural Velcro to anything and everything that passes.

Unlike teasel, burdoch has attracted a host of imaginative English names besides burdock (bur a knot of wool, and dock a plant).  Along with Herrif, Airup or Aireve, derived from Anglo Saxon and mean hedge robber, other names include: personata, happy major, clot bur, fox's clote, beggars buttons, cockle bur, Robin Hood's rhubarb, and love's leaves. These last two referring to the shape of its leaves.

Burdoch first featured in this blog in September and at that time, I mentioned that it was the inspiration for Velcro, and its use for dandelion burdock cordial. But there is more to burdock in folklore than a zip and a drink.

Firstly, there is burryman: a man completely covered in burdock burrs who parades the streets of South Queensferry, Lothian, on the second Friday in August every year. The origin and reasons for this ritual, which is credited with being at least seven hundred years old and may be well be thousands of years old, have been forgotten, and we are left with theories ranging from warding off evil spirits to bringing luck for the forthcoming herring fishing season.

Secondly, burdock has been used medicinally for a wide range of conditions including skin problems, rheumatism, and cancer. It is also a liver tonic and a diuretic.

Finally, and a little whimsically, knights in the middle ages rode into battle wearing a sprig of burdock for protection!

Gelder Rose and a Hint of Autumn


Clusters of gelder rose berries amongst tangled twigs and branches
Gelder Rose Berries - 20 December 2016
The bright red berries are almost lost among the surrounding branches

At this time of year, the trees are bare, and most of the berries have fallen or been eaten by the birds, the remaining berries give the bushes a hint of autumn, an ephemeral blush of red, a barely discernible shimmy of colour. In strong sunlight, at a distance, the bush looks quite red, but close up the fruit are few and far between and overwhelmed by the bare brown branches.

So it was with these gelder rose berries, visible at a distance as a faint reddening of the hedge, closer up there were just enough, and were bright enough, to catch the eye. 

Last Apples

 


Apples still attached to bare branches high up in tree
Last Apples - 11 December 2016
A few apples still hanging on high in the branches of this tree

I was really surprised to find any apples at all still on the tree, but, as this image shows, high up in one tree there was still quite a crop. A fact that speaks volumes for the mild and benign autumn that we have had.


First Shoots


Semi circle of young comfrey plants around base of tree
Comfrey - 28 December 2016
Comfrey plants have already grown enough to be clearly visible
above the leaf litter.

On a grey December day, walking on a carpet of fallen leaves, among trees with bare branches, and no colour anywhere, it is easy to believe that nature has shut down, gone to bed, for the winter. Yet, already, there are plenty of signs of spring in the park. Plants like this patch of comfrey are easily visible above the layers of dead leaves. Also much in evidence are young cow parsley seedlings, each a couple of inches high. They will remain almost dormant, growing only very slowly throughout the winter, until April or May, when they seem to grow four feet in a matter of days, and cover the countryside with white frothy flowers.



Small seedling pushing through dead leaves
Spring in Autumn - 28 December 2016


Look more closely at the leaf litter and it is not hard to spot much smaller seedlings, with just two or four leaves, pushing their way up. It is difficult to believe that these plants, so small and tender, will survive the frost and snow of winter and blossom next spring.



Saturday, 24 December 2016

More Autumn

The water reflects golden brown reeds and trees with bare branches
The End of Autumn - 14 December 2016
The colours are autumnal, the bare trees wintry.

There are at least three common definitions of autumn. The first, and the one I grew up with, is the astronomical definition of autumn as lasting from the autumn equinox (September 21) to the winter solstice (December 21). The second, meteorological definition, defines autumn as lasting from September 1 to November 30. The third simply asserts that autumn is the period between summer and winter.

I like this third definition, because it is fuzzy, and natural systems have fuzzy boundaries. I think of autumn as the time when trees lose their leaves; plants die back; and fruit and seeds ripen and are harvested. It is the period between the lush greens of summer decorated with colourful flowers and the drab browns of bare earth and branches of winter. A period of transition without any limiting dates.


Single green leaf on top of carpet of dark brown / black rotting leaves
Late Fall - 22 December 2016
A single green leaf recently fallen from a hazel bush
contrasts the the dark browns and blacks of the rotting leaves around.

December, when most of the photographs in this post were taken, is clearly at the end of autumn, if not actually in winter, by any of these definitions. It also contains one of the turning points of the year: the winter solstice, after which, the days will grow longer, and eventually start to warm up. 

In the countryside, while there is still much evidence of autumn, the scenery is increasingly taking on the drab and bare appearance of winter; not withstanding the occasional glimpse of spring.


Yellow hazel catkins yellow in the sun, with alder trees with catkins behind.
A Touch of Spring - 11 December 2016
Bright hazel catkins, with alder catkins behind, bring a feeling of spring to the park.

Certainly, in December 2016, there still much of the feel of autumn in Milton Country Park, but at the same time winter is beginning to appear. The reeds around the pits in are an autumnal golden brown, and there are still a few leaves left on the trees, whose mainly bare branches speak of winter. The thick carpet of dead leaves on the ground have turned from yellow to a deep rich brown darkening into black as decomposition gathers pace. In contrast, emerging hazel catkins bring a real spring-like feel to the park, especially when they sparkle in the early morning sun.

Goose Summer


Fallen leaves floating on still water which is blue from reflecting the sky
Goose Summer - 1 December 2016
Fallen leaves floating on still blue water on a clear bright 'Goose Summer' day 



'Goose summer ' is an old term for spells of fine weather during autumn; the name referencing the custom of eating geese during the autumn after they had been fattened in the previous months. It was during one such spell, that I came across this mass of leaves floating on calm water. A scene that, for me, sums up such weather and that 'Goose Summer' seems the perfect title. 

'Goose summer' later was contracted to 'gossamer', and eventually lost its connection to the weather, and, instead, used to refer to dew covered spider's webs which are visible on clear, cold, autumn days.  But, the loss of goose summer, like its opposite 'sprat weather' (dark, damp, miserable, late autumn days when it barely gets light), leaves the English language the poorer.


Fallen leaves, mostly yellow and light brown, between roots and rubble on the floor of the lake
Drowned Leaves - 22 December 2016
Fallen leaves decorate the roots and concrete rubble at the bottom of the lake


As the season progresses, the floating leaves become saturated and fall to the bottom of the water where they can still be seen decorating the rubble and roots.


Brambles


Colourful Brambles - 18 November 2016
Not necessarily noted for their contribution to autumn colours
this bank of brambles presents a colourful sight



One plant that does not immediately spring to mind when autumn colours are mentioned is the humble bramble. Yet, although, not all bushes change colour, those that do can be quite spectacular, with individual leaves turning a brilliant red that is as bright as anything that more renowned trees, such as maple, can offer.


Close up of a few bramble leaves which are bright red
Bramble Leaves - 11 December 2016
Some bramble leaves turn a vibrant and intense red in autumn


Happy Christmas



This is my last post of 2016, so thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and hope you will continue to do so in 2017.  Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 

Next: Last Fruit, First Shoots  



Saturday, 10 December 2016

Autumn Leaves 2016

Yellow and red poplar leaves covering the ground
Poplar Leaves - 2 November 2016
When on the tree, the yellow and red leaves would have been admired;
on the ground, the range of colours is actually increased.

We all admire the brilliantly coloured leaves of autumn while they are still on the tree. But when they fall off the tree, onto the ground, our attitude changes; their beauty is forgotten and we see them only as a nuisance. They make our streets and gardens untidy; they block the drains; and, they form a slippery layer on the railway lines, stopping the trains running to time. All that is left is to collect them up, and either burn them or put them in the rubbish; except for gardeners, who use the dead leaves for compost.

Light maple leaf lying on contrasting rich brown oak leaves
Contrasting Leaves - 8 November 2016
The maple leaf contrasts strongly with the surrounding oak leaves
in colour, shape and texture.

But there is still plenty of visual interest in the leaves as they rot away on the ground.  While the vibrant colours remain for a few days at least after the leaves have fallen, the range of colours is increased, not only by browns, dark purples, and blacks of the decomposing leaves, but also by different coloured leaves from adjacent trees.  Similarly, there are strong contrasts in shape and texture when a leaf from one tree falls on the leaves from a different type of tree.


Why Leaves Turn Red and Yellow


Dead leaves, mostly oak, coloured from orange to dark brown amongst grass and low growing plants
Fallen Leaves - 8 November 2016
Most of the colour of dead leaves derives from the breakdown of chlorophyll
unmasking yellow and orange pigments already present.

The process by which a living green leaf, producing sugar and oxygen from sunlight and air, turns bright red or yellow, and eventually falls to earth and rots away, starts when the length of the night exceeds a certain value. The tree then builds a barrier between the leaf and the rest of the tree, cutting the leaf off from nutrients absorbed through the roots, and tree from the sugar created in the leaf. As a result the green chlorophyll pigment decays, and exposes the yellow and orange colours of the xanthophylls and carotenoids normally present in the leaf. 
 

Red maple leaf with yellow and brown leaves
Maple Leaves - 8 November 2016
Red pigmentation develops after the leaf is already dying.
What is the advantage to the tree?

Interestingly, the red colours come from a third group of pigments, the anthocyanins, which are only synthesised when the leaf is dying. It is not entirely clear what the advantage to the tree is to have red leaves in autumn. Theories include: to warn off aphids which might want to use the tree as an overwinter host; to undermine the camouflage of herbivores; or, to attract birds to the tree to eat berries which may otherwise be overlooked. The anthocyanins in maple leaves have been shown to stunt the growth of any nearby saplings.

The Weather For It


The best display of autumn colour is produced when a moist growing season is followed by a dry autumn with sunny days and cool, but not frosty nights. Heavy rain, gales and frost are all likely to bring a premature end to the display.



Folklore, Legend and Medicine



Blanket of oak leaves in various shades of brown
Oak Leaves - 8 November 2016
With a mass of leaves like this, it is easy to see why the Lakota believed
they had been dropped as a protective blanket.

Fallen leaves, though such a prominent feature of the countryside in their season, do not feature greatly in folklore. They have been associated with fairies, with a swirl of leaves believed to be evidence of fairies dancing. Catching a falling leaf, particularly at the beginning of autumn, is said to protect the catcher from illness, or, more specifically, colds, throughout the winter.

But, perhaps, the most charming legend is that of the Lakota American Indians. The god who looks after living creatures saw the suffering of the plants and flowers as they shivered in the increasing cold of Autumn. Feeling sorry for them, the deity ordained that the trees should shed their leaves over the earth as a blanket to keep the plants warm. In return, the trees were allowed one great last blaze of glory.

I could find no reference to any medicinal use of fallen leaves.  However,  a Finnish company is developing the technology to extract natural pigments from the leaves for use in the clothing and cosmetic industries. The residual biomass is high in nutrients with possible uses as a fertiliser.

Next: More Autumn 





Saturday, 26 November 2016

Autumn 2016

Oak and maple trees turning yellow
The Golden Season - 8 November 2016
Autumn in golden in Milton Country Park
Here the trees in Remembrance Meadow are all turning yellow

Autumn is nature's siren, using its beauty to lure us into the misery of winter.  It is living proof that you can say anything with a smile on your face: this attractive season of reds and yellows presages nothing but wind, rain, snow, ice and darkness.  Yet we love it!  It is a beautiful woman with a dagger behind her back.

A stand of poplar trees shine yellow backlit by the morning sun
Poplar Trees Catch the Morning Sun - 2 November 2016
Poplars are one of the first trees to change colour
Here a group shine gold in the morning sun.

And why are we so keen to see the back of green leaves?  Admittedly, by October the green has become rather dull and tired, the flowers, except for a few stragglers, have gone, and the countryside is generally untidy.  But the green is the green of chlorophyll, and without chlorophyll there would be no oxygen, and with no oxygen, we could not live.  

Oak tree with a canopy of copper leaves
  • 'Copper' Oak - 18 November 2016
  • This oak catches the eye with its copper coloured leaves
  • In mid-November, the oaks are perhaps the most colourful trees in the park

Autumn is famously the season of 'mists and mellow fruitfulness'.  It may be climate change, but mists have been very few and far between in the eighteen of so months I have been writing this blog. Similarly, by mid-autumn most of the apples, plums and pears have disappeared from the trees and bushes.  Though, in a mild autumn like this one, there are still a lot of hawthorn berries on the bushes.  Presumably, the birds have been able to find plenty of food elsewhere.  


Branches of hawthorn bush covered in red berries
A Winter Larder - 18 November 2016
With a mild autumn, there are still plenty of berries of the bushes for the birds when they need them


The photographs for this post have all been taken in the first half of November.  At this time, while the poplars and the sycamores have turned yellow, there are still some trees and bushes that have barely changed colour at all: the willows and brambles are still quite green.  In contrast, one oak tree in Remembrance Meadow has lost all but a couple of its leaves; an early reminder of what is to come.


Oak tree with only one clump of leaves left on the branches
Goodbye to Summer - 8 November 2016
Last few leaves left hanging on this oak tree, yet still only early November 



In contrast, these willow trees on the banks of Todd's Pit were taken just two days earlier:

Willows along the bank of Todd's Pit with green leaves and red branches
  • Willow Bank - 6 November 2016
  • Still plenty of green leaves on these willow trees on the bank of Todd's Pit
Next: Autumn Leaves 2016


 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Reeds

Single reed plant framed by bushes
Deep Pool - 3 July 2016
Single reeds have a simple elegance.

This project to document Milton Country Park through the year is based on three assumptions. 

Firstly, I believe that any natural, or semi natural environment, not matter how ordinary, banal, or familiar it may seem, is worthy of attention.  

Secondly, any semi natural environment (there are very few truly natural environments left in England) is to be valued for what it offers, and not dismissed because of its lack of dramatic scenery, or noteworthy and endangered plants and animals.  For most people, more exotic and dramatic locations bring excitement for perhaps a fortnight a year; it is in the local neighbourhood that one can enjoy nature for the other 300 odd days a year.

Thirdly, that a photographer with sufficient skill and imagination, and given the right conditions, should be able to produce interesting, if not beautiful images of such places.  Edward Weston's pictures of Port Lobos and Eliot Porter's intimate landscapes of New England have been particularly inspirational to me.

A small group of flower heads of the common reed backlit by the morning sun
Wetlands - 11 September 2016
Flower heads of the common reed shine in the early morning sun


This brings me to the subject of this week's post: reeds (I use the word loosely for any plant that that has lanceolate leaves and grows by the water).  I admit that I find these plants neither interesting nor visually  appealing.  A search on the net did not unearth any particularly interesting facts: no witches, fairies, goblins, spells or miracle cures; just practical uses in thatching, water cleansing and floor covering for churches.  So, in many ways, to write a post on the subject of reeds illustrated with interesting photographs is a good test of the ideas I outlined above.


Dickerson's Pit at sunset with reeds in the foreground
Dickerson's Pit - 3 August 2016
Reeds are important to the appearance of the park


But reeds are important both to the ecology and to the appearance of the park. With over 2000 metres of water's edge to colonise, plus the majority of the wetland area, there are a lot of reeds in Milton Country Park. 


Close up of flower head of soft rush
Soft Rush - 26 June 2016

Visually, isolated plants have a certain elegance as shown in the image at the top of this post.  With back lighting, the flower heads of the common reed are a dramatic sight.  And in the fading evening light, I found the semi-circle of circle of rushes in shallow water just away from the bank made an attractive scene.  


Branched bur reed in bed of other reeds
Branched Bur Weed - 7 July 2016


As mentioned above, I have used the term 'reed' very loosely.  I now recognise there are at least five different plants involved. The commonest of which are the common reed, Phragmites australis; the soft rush, Juncus effusus; and yellow irises, Iris pseudocaris.  The latter is definitely not a reed, but included here because of the shape of its leaves.


Close up of flower of greater spearwort
Greater Spearwort - 7 Jully 2016




In one small inlet off Dickerson's Pit, I found two other plants.  One was branched bur-reed, Spharganium erectum, which looks like a model of a chemical formula found in a schools science laboratory.  In the same short stretch, I was surprised by some large yellow flowers among the reeds, which on investigation proved to be greater spearwort, Ranunculus lingua.

I certainly have not unearthed any earth shattering facts or created world beating photographs, but what I have found and the images I have made do nothing to dissuade me that even the most unpromising material is worth close attention. 

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Clematis and Hawthorn

This is the second post about fruits and berries in Milton Country Park.

Clematis 

 

Bank of fruiting clematis
Clematis vitalba - 21 September 2016
Its similarity to an old man's beard is striking

Clematis vitalba has colonised a number of the trees and bushes in the north of the park.  In many cases, the climber has completely swamped its host, and, as in this picture, very little of the supporting tree or bush is visible, behind a bank of the invader.  The appropriateness of its common name, old man's beard, is very obvious when a mass of its seed heads like this are seen.


Tree covered in flowering clematis
Flowering clematis - 31 July 2016
Tree completely covered in clematis flowers.

This plant is also commonly known as traveller's joy. This name, that has been in use since at least the 16th Century, refers to the bright and cheerful display its seeds make during the sombre autumn months.  Although small greeny white flowers are quite showy, they do not have the impact of later fruit.  



Close up of clematis flowers
Clematis flowers - 24 July 2016
The flowers are unusual in that they have no petals.

The most unusual feature of the flowers is that they have no petals; the petal like structure that can be seen in this picture are sepals.  Maybe not that surprising in the wild plants, but, far more so in the cultivated plants with their huge multicoloured sepals.


Fruiting clematis and brambles
Clematis and brambles - 12 September 2016
Like scavengers fighting over a corpse, brambles and clematis vie for dominance

One of the things I have become increasingly interested in is plant communities and how plants compete for space and light.  In this picture, it is hard to know what is buried below the smothering mass of brambles and clematis.


Hawthorn

 

Clematis with fruit climbing around hawthorn full of red berries
Clematis and hawthorn - 11 September 2016
Contrasting seeds of hawthorn and clematis

Given the number of hawthorn bushes in the park, it is not surprising that some have been invaded by clematis.  I found the contrast of the small dense berries of the hawthorn and the fluffy white seeds of the clematis quite striking.


Hawthorn bush with masses of red berries
Hawthorn - 12 September 2016
Hawthorn bush with a good crop of berries


What a difference a year makes!  Last year, I worked hard to find any hawthorn bush with more than a few berries.  This year, every bush, like the one in this picture, was laden with them.

Rose Hips

 

Arching briar with rose hips
Rose Hips - 12 September 2016
Easily missed amongst the mass of hawthorn berries

Almost totally lost amongst all the millions of hawthorn berries in the park are few dog roses with their bright orange red hips. I spotted these on a bush at the north of the park.



I was surprised how little folk lore and herbal medicine is attached to this plant. Its medicinal use seems to be confined to use as a source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, when a syrup is made from the hips.



Perhaps, the most intriguing bit of folk lore I came across is the Indian belief that if fairies ate rose hips and turned three times counter clockwise, they became invisible. Eat the rose hips again, and turn three times clockwise, and, hey presto, the fairies become visible again.



The rose has also been a symbol of silence since the early Egyptians. Any matters discussed under a rose were in strict confidence. This led to the custom of carving roses on the ceiling of banquetting halls to remind guests that any conversations were not to be repeated outside of the hall.

Next: Reeds











Saturday, 8 October 2016

Apples and Plums

Photographing Milton Country Park for the second year running has given me the opportunity to either picture things I missed the first time around, or, hopefully, improve on my images from last year. As anyone who has photographed in the same place for any length of time will know, seasons vary tremendously from year to year.

Cherry Plums 



Tree laden with cluster of ripe cherry plums
Cherry Plums - 31 July 2016
A bumper crop this year

 

                                                                                
The mild spring and the warm and wet summer has meant a bumper crop of cherry plums. Last year, I took some pictures at an early stage when just a few plums were ripe. When I went back later, they had all disappeared. This year, to avoid the same mistake, I assiduously photographed the plums twice a week for three weeks. But I needn't have worried, as the trees were laden with fruit as the image above shows. This is far more than last year. Interestingly, the plum trees in the orchard had far fewer plums than in 2015.

Lords and Ladies

 

Spikes of ripe but uneaten lords and ladies among bramble and ivy
Lords and Ladies - 7 August 2016
A clump of ripe but uneaten fruit among the brambles and the ivy

Another fruit I struggled to capture last year, was the bright red berries of cuckoo pint (for some reason I think of the plant as cuckoo pint, and its fruit as lords and ladies). In 2015, all the spikes seem to be eaten as soon as they appeared. This time around, I had no problem in finding entire spikes, like the group shown here. Is this a reflection of an increase in number of berries, or that the birds, squirrels, and rabbits had plenty of other things to eat?

Apples

 

Bunches of ripening apples in closeup
Ripening Apples - 28 August 2016
They may not be the forbidden fruit but their temptation is obvious

It appears that it has been a bumper year for apples as well. This cluster of large, juicy fruit was typical of all the apple trees I saw in the park. Fruit such as this make it easy to understand why the apple has become associated with the forbidden fruit in the tale of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Eden. But the Bible does not the name the forbidden fruit, and its identity with the apple is more a product of the imagination of Renaissance painters. In fact, some would argue that the forbidden fruit could not have been an apple as it would not have been found in the Middle East at the time. However, this argument seems specious as the ecology of the surrounding countryside is generally irrelevant to the contents of a garden, particularly a paradise like Eden – just think of all the non-native plants found in modern day Eden Project in Cornwall.

Apple tree with apples shining in the early morning sunshine
In the Orchard - 28 August 2016
Apples gleam in the early morning sunshine

There is the old saying that you can't see the wood for the trees; but when it comes to photographing apples in the orchard, it seemed more a case that the camera couldn't see the fruit for the trees. I finally settled on this picture where the apples reflect the low sunlight more strongly than the surrounding leaves and stand out just that little bit.



Branches of apples laden with apples against the sky
Overhanging the path - 25 August 2016
Why is it that the best fruit is always out of reach?

In both these cases, the apples were green. On the higher boughs, where they got more sunlight, they were already turning a mouth watering red.

Apples are of course healthy. We have all heard the saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away', but the list of diseases the apple has been thought to cure is truly impressive, including: constipation, gout, fatigue, rheumatism, problems with the kidney or liver, anaemia and urine retention. It is said to lower cholesterol; and rubbing two halves of a sliced apple on a wart, then burying the remainder, eliminates the wart. No wonder the apple is associated with immortality.

Horse Chestnut


Small horse chestnut tree with conkers
Young Horse Chestnut - 28 August 2016
Conkers clearly visible on this tree which so far has escaped the ravages of the leaf miner

One of the newly planted horse chestnut trees in the south of the park produced a nice crop of 'conkers', which inevitably led to my wondering why they are called conkers. The most likely explanation is they are named after the game of conquerors, which was originally played with snail shells or hazel nuts. Wikipedia lists the wonderful obblyonkers as a regional alternative name.

Fruitless

 

Racemes of greeny white hop flowers
Male Hops - 21 August 2016
I have so far been unable to find any female plants with hops

I end this post with the fruit I didn't find. At the north end of the park by the Fen Road exit, I noticed a couple of trees covered with a large leafed climber with whitish-green flowers in panicles. As far as I can tell these climbers of male hop plants, and so far I have been unable to locate any female plants bearing the familiar hops anywhere in the park.

Next: Clematis and Hawthorn