Monday, 8 May 2017
Stackhouse and Langcliffe (VC64)
With the weather forecast suggesting the west would be best on Saturday I headed over to Settle on the train to see what I could find. I had originally planned to head up to Winskill Stones, but going up Giggleswick Scar first it quickly became apparent that spring was not as far on as it is on my home patch to the east of Leeds. So I'll save the Stones for another day and regardless my meanderings soon went off plan with serendipitous results, including the discovery of Castlebergh Crag in Settle. Great views and some nice plants, including Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri), Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum), and the pink-flowered form of Hybrid Bluebell (Hyacinthoides x massartiana). The latter very much a recurring theme of the day. But back to the subject of this post ...
The orange flowered form of Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica 'Aurantiaca') was lighting up verges in several locations.
In Stackhouse I found this fine stand of Pheasant's-eye Daffodil (Narcissus poeticus subsp. recurvus). This subspecies is the last of the daffodils to flower, no doubt a reflection of its origins in Switzerland. It must pay to delay your flowering up there.
In and around the churchyard in Langcliffe there was the pink-flowered Hybrid Bluebell, a striking naturalised Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor 'Aureomarginata'), Scarce London-pride (Saxifraga x geum) and Spring Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum subsp. aestivum).
Heading up onto the high ground above Langcliffe, the limestone turf was studded with Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea).
And then great views back towards Giggleswick Scar.
And finally, the surprise of the day and at a completely incongruous location, a mature tree of the rare Liljefor's Whitebeam (Sorbus x liljeforsii) in Old Plantation. No idea if it was planted or bird sown, but its been there a long time. The leaves of sterile side shoots had 6 free lobes, distinguishing it from the more usual (and in my experience more grey-green) Bastard Rowan (Sorbus x thuringiaca).