Proso Millet or White Millet

Proso Millet or [Panicum miliaceum] family Poaceae. Also known as Common Millet, White Millet or Hog Millet.

I have let a lot of crops grow this year, that I normally wouldn't, mainly so that I can experience them; and currently have a crop of White Millet, self-seeded by way of the birds, that is growing only in builders sand.

Millet is an annual grass, with stems of around 4 feet tall. It has large flat leaves, with hairy sheaths and two flowered spikelets. The seedheads grow in bunches and produce a small starchy grain, which due to its lack of gluten, is sold as an alternative to people who are wheat intolerant. Most often it is used in birdseed and sometimes cultivated for fodder.

Mammatus Clouds

I've been meaning to take some more photography of different clouds for a while now, so I took this photo as Storm Bertha arrived on the 10th August.

Mammatus Clouds (or mammatocumulus) meaning mammary or breast cloud, which is derived from the Latin mamma, have a series of bulges or pouches that emerge through the base of the cloud. These opaque or translucent bulges may be smooth, ragged or lumpy, and are sometimes formed when large cumulonimbus clouds are forming thunderstorms. The mammatus forms due to turbulence inside the cumulonimbus, and is usually composed of ice, or a mixture of ice or liquid water.

Great Willowherb - Seeds

Great Willowherb or [Epilobium hirsutum] family Onagraceae. View my other posting about the Great Willowherb.

The 'fruit' of the Great Willowherb is a narrow cylindrical seed pod, which when mature, splits open to display tiny seeds attached to silky hairs.

European Black Nightshade

European Black Nightshade or [solanum nigrum complex] family Solanaceae.

It would appear that I have some black nightshade growing in the garden around one of the bird feeding stations this year.

Black nightshade is a perennial shrub, growing to a height of between 30cm to 120cm, and is characterized by its lack of prickles and stellate hairs. The white flowers and green or black fruits are arranged in an umbelliform fashion, and its leaves are ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy edges.

The Double Rainbow

I see a lot of double rainbows where I live, and yet until a month ago I had not noticed something about them. You either already know this, or if not then you are probably about to think something along the lines of 'Wow! Oh! Hah! How come I'd never noticed that before!'

The second rainbow, sometimes called a rainbow hat, forms outside of the brighter first rainbow, and its colour sequence is reversed. This is due to the light having been reflected for a second time within the raindrop.


Common Toad or [Bufo bufo] family Bufonidae.

I was busy sorting out one of the vegetable plots at the bottom of the garden, in preparation for winter, when look who I found nestling in one of my compost bags. Luckily the toad had decided to vacate the bag by the following day, so I could use the saved up compost in my root vegetable plot.

Opium Poppy

The Opium Poppy or [Papaver somniferum] family Papaveraceae.

Last month as I casually walked through the countryside, I came face to face with fields upon fields of these alien headed pods. Trust me, you don't want to bump into too many of them as they really can throw a heavy punch! When the green pod is cut a milky like substance will ooze from it; and once this is dried out is where opium comes from, however inside each pod are hundreds of poppy seeds, which are not only edible, but can also help you grow your own little crop. So, hopefully I will have more on my first home grown poppy patch over the next year.