Tag Archives: summer

Wild about Transylvania

One of the first things I noticed on our ‘walks’ in and around the village was the abundance of wild chicory:

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Wild chicory: Cichorium intybus

We’d seen this in Worcester before we left, but it had been planted specially, as part of a wildflower mix. Here, it is simply part of the landscape, as can be seen in the following pictures:

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These conical haystacks are also to be found everywhere – in both fields and gardens. And the white flowers are mostly wild carrot, which also grows in abundance:

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Fields in Cluj County, Romania

You can tell it by the purplish coloured flower at the centre of the white umbrel:

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Wild Carrot: Daucus Carota

And because it curls up into these wonderful bird nest shapes when it is going to seed:

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Wild Carrot: Daucus Carota

I also spotted some knapweed up on the hill amongst the wild carrot. I think this is the brown variety:

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Brown Knapweed: Centaurea Jacea

Of course, the abundance of wildflowers attracts bees and other insects, with the bees being particularly fond of the knapweed and chicory:

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I saw a number of butterflies as well as other wildflowers on my excursion this morning, but the former had clearly taken lessons in avoided the paparazzi and flitted away before I could get close enough to identify them!

However, I was able to catch a good enough view of the red-backed shrike to recognise him before he disappeared. This was a ‘first’ for me, as these are now a very rare sight in the UK, having only bred there a couple of times since the 1960s. However, I understand they are a common sight here, so I’ve borrowed a photograph in order to show him off:

 

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Male Red-backed Shrike: Lanius Collurio: Photo by Antonis Tsaknakis (released under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)