Thursday, 21 April 2011

Trees flowers and dragonflys

As well as the two books I recommended a few weeks ago in a previous blog posting on bird recognition.  I would also recommend a few more additional field guides for the boaters bookshelf. This time the guides are on Trees and Wild Flowers and Dragonfly's. The canals are as you know, a very good place to find many different trees and flowers. Especially those tree and flower species that thrive well in wet habitat conditions.

Alder and Willow are the two most common and easily recognised trees that you will find on the banks of our canal and river systems. Due to the quiet nature of the river and canal localities some interesting and unusual varieties such as the Wayfaring-tree (its a shrub) can also be found.
A good pocket guide is the "Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Britain" by the Readers Digest. About £6 for a paperback copy on Amazon.

Flowering wild plants are numerous and can sometimes be difficult to identify. But you can soon build up a knowledge of what is a natural wild plant, an introduced species or one of the invasive and reportable species. You will also be able to recognise the ones that are toxic to the touch such as Giant Hogweed which is more common than you might imagine.
A good pocket field guide is the "Wild flowers of Britain and Ireland" by Blamey  Fitter and Fitter ISBN 0 1736 5944 0

One of my favourite pass times on hot summer days is to go Dragonfly and Damselfly spotting.  You can even report your sightings to the British Dragonfly Society on line. As boaters, being out and about in some of the more remote or unusual locations where dragonfly's are to be found, can provide useful and important research information.
A good field guide to Dragonflies is "Britain’s Dragonflies" by Smallshire and Swash ISBN 978-1-903657-29-4
There are some 56 indigenous Dragonfly's and Damselflies plus several other vagrant species the arrive from abroad from time to time, depending on weather and wind conditions.

Later ....

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