speckled wood


Monday 25th September 2000, West Yorkshire
lane, Overtondogwood DOGWOOD leaves have turned red in a laneside hedgerow in the valley below Caphouse Colliery, home of the National Coal Mining Museum.

Dog in a plant name usually means that it was considered inferior, which in this case might refer to the hard black berries, but it might get the name because its hard white wood was used for making the 'dogs' or skewers which were used by butchers to hold joints of meat together.

It is an uncommon shrub locally; its usual habitat is on chalky soils. Perhaps it was deliberately planted here because of its uses, which also included making goads (sticks for driving oxen as they pull a plough), mill-cogs, bobbins and spokes.

hawthorn leafhawthorn berries Hawthorn berries have now turned crimson. Purple Elderberries hang on in clusters on purple-red stems. Down by the stream a couple are blackberrying.
hazelI don't notice any cob-nuts on the Hazels in the hedge.

black bryony Black Bryony, which has glossy heart-shaped leaves twines through part of the hedge.

At the edge of a small sunny clearing on Emroyd Common a Speckled Wood butterfly flies up from the undergrowth.
speckled woodmarble gall Most of the Marble Galls on the hedgerow Oaks are still green, but one has turned page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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