Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday 3rd July 1999

wood sage ON THE SUNNY BANK of a sunken lane, Wood Sage now has spikes of greenish flowers. Although the leaves don't have the fragrance of the herb they have a similar granulated texture.

lady's bedstrawscabious Lady's Bedstraw, was once used to stuff mattresses. Its sweet fragrance was said to deter fleas. A sprawling patch of it grows along the top of an old, drystone walled, bank, alongside a single flower of Scabious. These wildflowers, now confined to this narrow strip, are probably a sample of what could be found in the adjoining meadows, before they were ploughed and seeded.

There's a moderate breeze so as the Kestrel hovers over Millbank it has to make a lot of flight adjustments - flapping and tail fanning - to keep its eyes locked on any potential target as it faces head on into the updraft.

A Kingfisher flies parallel to the canal bank, low over the water, within a few feet of us.

roach A silver-scaled, red-finned Roach, about a long as my hand, is struggling close to the surface. This is one of our most widespread of freshwater fish. Anglers are back on the towpath, bringing with them a delicatessen of roach-tempting treats; sliced white bread, special formula baits and colour coordinated maggots.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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