Wildflowers, plants & lichens

Today there was an article in the Guardian that said only 3% of the world’s natural ecosystems remain intact. That is quite a scary prospect. 

This leads me to some pictures I took recently of some wildflowers and plants. In recent years in the UK there has been a small movement to not spray grass verges with chemicals, or to have a small patch of land where it can be left fallow, or to grow ‘insect friendly’ or indeed wildflowers in your garden to encourage more biodiversity.

In lockdown, I noticed lots of little plants that I had not really taken much notice of before. Although still considered ‘weeds,’ they are quite beautiful if you stop and look at them closely. Here are some I took with a macro lens. 

Many wildflowers, plants and lichens have been used historically to treat various ailments and some hold the key to unlocking future medicines such as antibiotics. Which is why it is so important to hang on them!

NB Some of the plants are quite difficult to identify and I am still learning their names, so they may not be all correct!

Lesser Celandine
A Red deadnettle.
A Wood anemone
Clematis vitalba
Xanthoria parietina. Future uses may include antibiotics and sunscreen.
Cow parsley.
A Field speedwell.

Maldon, Essex

At last, we can escape the confines of our homes as we head down ‘the path out of lockdown’ (as Boris puts it). There is much making up to do for lost time, albeit still in a ‘socially distanced’ manner. I decided to photograph something different today, while out and about for a walk – although there is a starling to appease any wildlife followers among you, which I captured from afar perched on a boat.

Maldon is famous for salt, Viking invasions and being situated on the Blackwater estuary, it is also home to old Thames sailing barges.

Usually, this area of Maldon is teeming with visitors, many seeking sightseeing trips on these magnificent boats. The flat-bottomed barges suited the shallow waters of the Thames. Today, I took a series of pictures which focused on the detail of these vessels, as well as a nearby barge. I hope you enjoy them.