Butterbur flowers before it produces its leaves, the flower is quite impressive, almost like a deconstructed cone and it varies in colour from a light pink, through to a quite dark purple..
One of the inevitable consequences of trying to produce a blog/book about woodland wildflowers is that you need to have some photos of each of the flowers. Now I have a large number of photos of all sots of wildlife, but they are not that well filed. I also have a very good memory for what photos I have taken and usually a recollection of some of the circustance pertaining to the photo. For example I knew I had taken a photo of Butterbur whilst on a trip to Poland some years ago and I remember that it was taken in a region we visited for about three days with a local guide called Bartek.
The region had several Beaver colonies and there were tracks of various exciting animals everywhere. Bison, Red deer, Wolf, Bear, Lynx, Wild Boar, and others. However we only saw Red Deer, Wild Boar and a splash which was probably a Beaver. On our last day in that area and we drove along, parked and then walked and I photographed what ever presented it self. So I took photos of Oxlip, Kingcups and Butterbur, also a pink flower which I was not familiar with. I also took photos of a common toad and numerous little frogs which lived in the semi permanent puddles along our route. We saw more tacks including some quite fresh Bear tracks but we did not see any large mammals in fact no mammals at all that afternoon. After a short search I found the photo. Sometimes the searching can take quite a long time, and sometimes I do not find what I am looking for.
There are also wild flowers which I know I either have never seen or which I can not recall ever having photographed. When this is the case a search to find and photograph the plant ensues. This can become quite obsessive and time consuming, as was the case with the Stinking Hellebore. Now I am after some more Butterbur photos as the one from Poland is the only one I have. Next in line is Yellow star of Bethlehem and so it will go on. Some will be easy like Cleavers, which because it is so common and so unspectacular I have never bothered to photo in the past, but this year I will, there is always some in my garden.
Well I finally found some Butterbur, but it was the end of April and so I was a bit too late for the flowers, but as you can see the leaves were doing well. Then I went back at the beginning of March the following year and as you can see the flowers were emerging and at this time no leaves are present. These photos were taken near Bigsweir Bridge on the Wye valley so not far from where I live.