Tuesday, June 05, 2018

7 am, motorway services

Milium effusum (Wood Millet). Leigh Delamere, 5th June 2018

Last night it was inconvenient to go home so I parked up at Leigh Delamere motorway services on the M4 and slept in the van, but not as well as usual. It was a warm night, too warm for the 4-seasons sleeping bag, and as sometimes happens there was a nearby vehicle that incomprehensibly ran its motor for several hours. It never moved an inch, though, and eventually it was taken away on a recovery lorry.  Anyway I went for several disturbed wees in the fringe of wood nearby --  there's something about weeing in nature that I really love --- and the final time, when I was getting up around 7 am, I noticed this grass. It had broad flat hairless leaves and long ligules. The flowerhead looked vaguely like a Poa, and I wrongly supposed it must be Poa nemoralis (Wood Meadow-grass), but when I looked it up I learnt that P. nemoralis has narrow leaves and very short ligules, so that was out. A consultation with the Facebook British Grasses group revealed my grass to be Milium effusum (Wood Millet), much sparser in spikelets than I'd expected from the field guides.

The helpful folks on the FB group had to make do with a pretty wretched photo. Work has efficiently replaced my lost smartphone, but the replacement is a comparatively budget model, it does a job but  the camera really isn't up to much. To be fair,  M. effusum in early morning shade would be a fairly challenging assignment for any smartphone camera.

Anyway, I was excited about finding a new grass (though it's not at all rare), and I set off for work in a very happy state of mind depite the lack of sleep and the always unwelcome discovery (in the mirror while cleaning my teeth) that my cold sore was back.

Thanks for sticking with me, reader, though the past week!  Apart from the usual excuses about busyness in other spheres, it's taken me much longer than I expected to write the Harold the Dauntless post. I hope a more normal flow of posting will now ensue.



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