Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees

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>> 2012 Apr 29
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                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2012 April 8 to 26


 

 

 


 

 

The weather in April has been capricious, with beautiful cloudy skies and quite some rain, but probably still not enough to compensate for the extremely dry winter, whose effects can be noticed in the vegetation and the fruit trees. Nevertheless, spring is in full swing, with toads croaking, crickets chirping and birds (Nightingales!) singing.


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April storms.
12 Apr 19:39 and
21 Apr 19:19
Pruned Prunus dulcis between the barley and Iris germanica.
8 Apr 15:29
 

 

We didn't visit the holy mountain in Japan but this is as close as it can get.
Turbon 2492m.
8 Apr 15:26

 

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Poa bulbosa is a tiny grass species which can withstand drought very well and grows on the driest and barest parts in the zone. In summer the plant mostly disappears giving the area an impression of desert sand. Its success has much to do with its bulbs and the occurrence of pseudo-viviparous flowers.

 

 

 

Its cousin, Poa pratensis (Kentucy blue grass), has a brigher green colour, grows in moister areas and forms a nice kind of lawn.

 

Phleum phleoides ( Purple-stem        Catstail ) flowers much later but is still conspicious with its dry fruits from last year (in unmown areas).

 

 

 

 

 


A similar nice backlighting  effect offer the remainders of Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard). The new generation has started its towering growth; impressive for such a tiny plant.

 
Poa bulbosa on the higher terrace, forming almost a mono-culture.
25 Apr 13:27
 
A tussock of Poa bulbosa on the bare soil of the car track.
25 Apr 12:18
 

 

A scan of Poa bulbosa. The bulbs can be clearly seen as well as the mini-plants in the flowerheads.
26 Apr 9:33

Fresh green colour of a Poa pratensis plot. In sunnier places it is already flowering.
25 Apr 16:39
 

 

 

Phleum phleoides mixing with Thymus vulgaris.
25 Apr 17:50

Arabis glabra forms ground rosettes of only 5 cm diameter, but its stalks reach 80 cm.
New green stalks can be seen in the lower left corner.
25 Apr 17:48 
 
 

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Anticipation is often more intriguing than the final outcome and this certainly holds true for the budding of certain flowers in spring.

 

Orchis purpurea at the point of flowering.
The orchid is expanding every year.
25 Apr 13:37

 

Clematis montana var. 'Rubens' hanging from the greenhouse roof.
25 Apr 13:42

 

 

 

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I encountered one plant of  what seemed like another species of Helianthemum (Sunrose). This one was much less hairy, with narrower leaves and redder sepals than the one common in the zone, H.violaceum. On closer study of the literature, I discovered that this new species was probably H. violaceum, and the other, more common one, H.apenninum. But it is also stressed that hybridization is frequent and perhaps we have to deal with sub-species instead of species.

 

The area occupied by the, now abundantly flowering, dandelions (Taraxacum sp.) is also distinctly restricted but in this case clearly caused by human influence (mowing and tramping).

 
 

 

Helianthemum sp. adhering to the zone below the Thymus belt.
26 Apr 11:43

Scan of Helianthemum violaceum and H.apenninum.
26 Apr 9:31

 

 

 

 

 

Taraxacum sp. around the house
25 Apr 13:03

 

 

 

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An inspection tour round the three different ponds in the zone:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The filter pond harbours several hundreds of larvae of Helophilus pendulus, which cause the typical small circles on the water surface.
26 Apr 11:34 
Clouds and stones mingle nicely in the lower pond.
No soil in here, so no vegetation, which renders interesting mirrors all year round.
23 Apr 9:45
Sparganium erectum ready for another assault on absolute hegemony in the upper pond.
The stone at the back is meant to abort the  project of the wild boar.
25 Apr 13:31. 
Stone, tree, sky. Lower pond.
23 Apr 9:47

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
map
>> 2012 Apr 29
<< 2012 Mar 17

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  13/11/2013