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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

16 March, 2012

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)

It may be just me and the way I use my camera but I always feel that it never does anything coloured purple justice! This Early Dog-violet looks decidedly blue and not its true deep violet colouring.

The Early Dog-violet certainly comes out early in the year being in flower in March and is a few weeks ahead of its close cousin, the Common Dog-violet which is more prevelent in April and May and it really that timing that I base my observations on as I find them exceedingly difficult to tell apart., The 'early' has a narrower flower than the 'common' and the 'early' has a darker centre with 'common' being yellowish in the centre. Both species grow in open woodland, on hedge banks and verges; the 'early' preferring shade whereas the 'common' can be found in more open areas and can occur on pasture and grassland too.

Tricky chaps, dog-violets, I hope have got this one right!

Find out more about the nature of Dorset at www.natureofdorset.co.uk