Another member of the Bryophyte group often found by streams and damp flushes are the liverworts and these very simple plants have stems and leaves but no real roots. You can find them clinging to  damp streamside banks by means of modified stems (rhizoids) and form a dense mat of broad fleshy leaves, resembling the lobes of the liver, hence their name. Fossils of these plants have been found dating back 470 million years and provide the earliest evidence of plants colonising land.

Their life cycles resemble that of mosses, producing spores although they can reproduce vegetatively too. Here’s a closeup of Lunilaria cruciata.
Continuing with the damp and shady places, ferns are common although part of a different group.
This one is Herd Fern (Blechnum spicant) and is very common in woods with their fish backbone appearance.
To add a bit of colour, I spotted this in a man made pool the other day which is called Round-leaved Crowfoot (Ranunculus omiophyllus) and spread over the surface of the water. Just coming into flower with pretty little white flowers with yellow bases to the petals – like a watery buttercup.
Finally I was pleased to come across this fresh looking Peacock butterfly (Aglais io) which was resting on the path in front of me and enjoying the warm spring sunshine. A strong flyer and common throughout Britain, it certainly adds a bit of colour to a walk.
Happy Easter everyone and stay safe.

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