Sunday 16th September 2001, Austria
BLACK SQUIRREL, lighter in build than our introduced Grey, hops
across the road and starts to climb a birch.
Cyclamen (right) is in flower in shady woodlands.
In the marshy area at the far end of the lake near the naturists' beach
(no sign of any nudists on this cool rainy day) Grass of Parnassus
grows amongst the bellflower and tall scabious.
We stop for goulash soup at the Jausenstation Berger, a country pub at
the hamlet of Eggmülhe then follow the clear, fast-flowing
stream up past the watermill into Stille Tal, the 'silent valley'.
Herb Paris grows on a woodland edge bank. Each plant has a single
blue-violet fruit that looks a bit like a cape gooseberry, with it's folded
back sepals. Four oval leaves grow from a single stem.
are growing amongst a plant that looks, to me, like a smaller version
of our garden plant, Solomon's Seal, but it has blue-purple flowers growing
in twos along it's curving stem. My sketch is incorrect; the leaves had
parallel veins (see below).
Wrens are busy in the undergrowth. One sits on a pile of brashings;
wrens love a wood pile. A Jay lands on a patch of rough grass.
During the holiday we see more nutcrackers than jays.
Campion, of, tells me that 'the elegant plant with blue gentian-like
flowers looks to me like Schwalbenwurz Enzian, (Gentiana
asclepiadea) usually known as Swallow leaved Gentian in English,
though of course it is not native to this country.' She came across this
page in my diary 'whilst browsing for information on the Black Squirrel,
of which we have several in our garden here in Hitchin, Herts.'
The photograph of this species, also known as Willow Gentian,
is from PlantExplorers.com,
The Van Dusen Seed Collectors' Store.
This day last year