2017 and counting…

2017 wordle

This year’s word cloud looks remarkably similar to last year’s, I must say, with ‘see’ and ‘plants’ stealing the limelight, yet again!  More of you have viewed my blog this year, nearly 3500, and from a wider range of countries than ever –  people from a total of 109 countries have viewed at least one post.  Parasitic plants, willow trees and Himalayan rhubarb remain popular subject matter.

We didn’t get to India in the end this year but Uzbekistan, the Orkney Islands and Bulgaria provided plenty of opportunities for exotic botanising.

Primula scotica, Orkney (left) and Tulipa bifloriformis, Uzbekistan (right)

Following my oak tree and the flora of our local Magnesian limestone nature reserves kept me rooted locally (excuse the bad pun!)  It’s interesting to see how little of the year a deciduous tree such as oak is actually in full leaf.

The oak tree I ‘followed’ this year (2017)

John and I busied ourselves preparing a new UK-based field trip in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife which we’ll run, alongside our regular trip to Alnwick, next summer.


We also plan to take a group to the Valley of Flowers in July 2018.  Why not come and join us?

PicMonkey Collage

In a year dominated by Britain’s exit from the EU and the antics of President Donald Trump, it’s good to be reminded of the richness of our natural world and the manifold health benefits of spending time outside enjoying it. I’ll be participating in the Wildlife Trusts’ #30 Days Wild campaign again this  summer and would encourage you to do the same, if you live in the UK.  Tomorrow I’ll be participating in the BSBI’s New Year plant hunt and, so the cycle starts again…


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