Hightown Dunes and Meadows in the month of July

As I walked along the coastal footpath at the start of July the air was full of the scent of roses. They were the Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) which is now well established in the Sefton Dunes.

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Other alien species or garden escapees that added colour were the Poppy, Lupin and Red Hot Poker.

Poppies

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Amongst the dunes I spotted the pink flowers of Seaside Centaury, or was it the Common Centaury?. Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) has stems that trifurcate at every junction with a pair of opposite leaves just below the junction. A single flower sits at the end of each pair of square stalks and the flowers close in the afternoon.

Seaside Centaury (Centaurium littorale) has leaves that are strap like with parallel sides. The two varieties easily hybridise to become Centaurium x intermedium which is found on the Sefton coast.

Centaury, Common or Seaside

A tea made from Common Centaury stimulates the gastric glands relieving bloating and indigestion.

Along the erosion were clumps of Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) easily recognised by its inflated calyx. In the past it was used for medicinal purposes as it contains soapy saponins.

Bladder Campion

I had now reached the mouth of the River Alt.

Mouth of the Alt

Amongst the sea worn bricks there were some Sea Spurge (Euphorbia paralias) whose sap is supposed to cure warts.

Sea Spurge

Turning inland I came across some Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

The flowers are red when in bud and then turn pink, only attaining their intense blue colour when fully open. The stems are covered in coarse hairs that form a protection against predators. The flowers are thought to resemble a snake’s head and in the 17th century the plant was used as an antidote to snake venom.

Vipers Bugloss

There were also masses of Everlasting Pea and Vetch.

Everlasting Pea and Vetch

I saw one patch of a blue flower that I think is Chicory.

Chicory

The sunny weather had brought out the butterflies. There were lots of Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly and the daytime flying Six Spot Burnet moth.

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I also saw the latticed Heath moth

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Returning through the dunes I spotted a large caterpillar. I wonder what that will turn into

957 Catterpillar

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Butterflies, Hightown Dunes and Meadows, Moths, Natural History, Photography, Sefton Coastline, Wild Flowers. Bookmark the permalink.

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