Wednesday 22nd March 2023 - Sealed and Alexander
Did Peter seal our letterbox, prior to the delivery of the seagull models on Sunday? Yes, he did which was just as well, as we had the same delivery driver who once again didn’t wait the ten seconds it took to get to the front door. At least he was unable to ram the package into our letter box; he left it on door step. This time the sea gulls arrived intact and are now on the conservatory wall. The other issue we had with this delivery driver was, the order was marked up as ‘handed to resident’, which in both cases was a blatant lie.
After the departure of the skylarks, when part of the field off Madams Lane was ploughed, we have heard them once again with their song coming from the uncultivated area. Not just the skylarks, there has been plenty of birdsong to be heard and we have observed duelling blackbirds too. I have normally spotted a butterfly or two by now, out from hibernation on a sunny day (often as early as January) but not so this year. Yesterday I was lamenting at not having seen one, when out from the field edge up flew a butterfly into the overhead tree canopy. Too quick to be identified but judging from its size and underwing colouring, most likely a peacock. The field edges are quickly becoming thick with the foliage of the alexander plants and their blooms are starting to attract insects. I took a photo of one of the plants (see below) and if you look carefully, you will see a solitary brown insect on the centre bottom flower. We were told these plants were brought into the country by Alexander the Great but Wikipedia dispels this story. The only reference, I have found, to him visiting Britain is on the British Library’s website, covering the French medieval romance, Perceforest, so it seems highly unlikely, he landed on our shores. Reading the Seedaholics website the plant is purported to have been introduced by the Romans. Given the plant flourishes in Mediterranean climates, I guess it could have originated from anywhere in this region. One thing for sure is, it loves growing in Overstrand! Like so many wild plants, alexander is edible, and referring again to Wikipedia, there is information as to how the plant can and has been used. We tried it, in the past. Peter thought it tasted okay both cooked and raw but it was not something I would want to consume on a regular basis. I must add here, that if you choose to eat wild plants or use them in some other way, then you MUST be sure of your plant identification – mistakes can prove fatal!