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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just received this notice by email so thought I would pass it on.

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Gardening for Wildlife Group

Garden Plants and Pollinators
Sat  March 5th
Avalon Marshes centre Shapwick Road

At 10.00 am there will be a welcome and coffee
At 10.30 am there will be an introduction and overview of the pollination survey. Lead by Penny Richards and Members of the Gardening for wildlife group.
At 11.00 am Paul Keen will guide us on what to look out for with slides.   
At 11.30 am we will be working with feed back on the survey, in small groups to discuss the results.
At 12.00 a member of the Invertebrates Group will review key aspects of the invertebrate – friendly garden
We stop for a light LUNCH
Followed at 2.00 pm by a talk by Janet Keeble (Director of Community & Learning SWT)
There will then be an opportunity for a walk on Shapwick Heath for those that want it.


Very soon we will treated to fields and verges glowing golden with millions of dandelions.
If like me you tend to ignore them because they are so common then it is a surprise to find out that there are some many species.One of my guide books, Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland lists them as part of the Daisy Family, Asteraceae,  It tells me that the  Daisy family is the largest family of flowering plants and usually called composites because their flowers are packed into a compound head.
The Dandelion is a group of about 240-250 diverse short perennials, some very common, some rare, the great majority difficult for the non expert to distinguish! I feel better reading that because even looking at the yellow flowers in our lawn it is clear there are several varieties.
But the reason for this post is to include a You Tube video of a dandelion flowering in slow motion. Not something most people would sit and watch. Its impressive to see the way it moves through the stages of growth to finally disperse its seeds. Its dispersal technique is another story. I found this on the Wildlife Trusts national web site as part of its Watch Club page. Here is the video.