30 Days Wild – Day 23

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_23Day 23 of 30 Days Wild and it’s starting to feel like we’re on the home run – only a week to go! Once again the car is in the garage, so I was restricted this afternoon to the home turf – quite literally. I decided to get down and see what we’d got in the grass! Not being ones for a pristine lawn, our “grassy areas” are far from a uniform monoculture of one species. We do mow them occasionally, so I’ve at least got somewhere to sit with a glass of wine, but generally they are left to do their own thing.

So first the grass itself – when I got down on my hands and knees and started looking at it properly, it is really rather beautiful. Because we’ve let it grow quite long, much of it is currently in flower – delicate and dainty grass flowers blowing in the wind. I’ve no idea whether the 3 photos below are different species, or the same species at different stages.

Grass 1

Grass 2

Grass 3

The grass is of course by no means the only green thing in our lawn – in fact I doubt it’s even the dominant plant. Clover covers pretty much the whole area. I know some gardeners do their best to rid themselves of it but why bother? It’s green, you can sit on it and the bees like it – that’s all I really require of a lawn, so if the clover fulfils this rather than the grass, it’s not the end of my world!

Clover 1

Clover 2

The clover itself is merely another layer, beneath which lies the moss – a lot of moss. The lawn almost feels like a mini forest with the grass providing the upper layer or tree canopy equivalent, the clover providing the intermediate bushes and the moss the low growing ground cover. Moss is not easy to photograph though as I discovered today, it grows at all angles so the camera struggles to focus (honest it’s the moss’s fault not mine for the poor photo!)

Moss

As well as the “green stuff”, there are of course flowers mixed in too. For some reason we don’t seem to have any daisies in our lawn – no idea why, I’d be quite happy to see them? But we do get Self Heal – a low growing plant with the reputation for healing wounds. It’s actually prettier than this photo indicates, but I couldn’t find any flowers that were properly in bloom yet.

Self Heal

Slightly more obvious are the large flat florets of the Catsear leaves, with their bright yellow dandelion like flowers sticking up.

Catsear

I was surprised to find a patch of small mushrooms. Only small and presumably not edible – I certainly won’t be risking it. No idea whether they were “magic mushrooms” but they did look vaguely magical – sort of ethereal against the grass – the stuff of fairy tales perhaps!

Mushroom

The mini jungle that is the lawn has its fair share of fauna too. As I grovelled about trying to take photos – tiny grasshoppers were pinging left, right and centre.

Grasshopper

The other animals leaping about were froghoppers – tiny little insects that can jump (or hop I suppose) a long way compared to their body size. It took several attempts chasing one round the grass to get this one even roughly in focus. They can be very brightly coloured, although this one is a more muted species.

Leaf hopper

Ants nests are a common feature of our lawn, but like the moss I found the ants virtually impossible to take photos of. Never realised how fast they moved, until I tried to focus in on one!

Ant

So that was my mini grass safari. Really interesting to get down to that level and see what you can find. It wasn’t all lovely though – I did come face to face with a mummified frog and quite a lot of hedgehog poo, but even that I suppose shows we’ve got frogs and hedgehogs in the garden, so I should be pleased!

 

Fox and Cubs 30 WEEDSAnd finally today’s weed for 30 Lazy Garden Weeds – the intriguingly named – Fox and Cubs. It is apparently called this because the unopened flowers (the cubs) hide behind the fully opened ones (presumably the fox). It’s a type of Hawkweed and related to the dandelion. We only seem to get it in our front garden for some reason, growing up through cracks in the paving. It’s a cheery looking little flower though and one of the few orange ones we get, so I’m happy for it to stay.

 

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