please wait...

Rob Rowe

Forager Teacher Ecologist


Occasional Articles

  • Mustard and Cress

    9th April 2018

    Mustard and Cress

    Liverwort fruiting body

    Mustard and Cress

    Early Whitlow grass

    This may look like the mustard and cress you grow on your window sill, but is in fact the fruiting bodies of a liverwort, a bryophyte like mosses. The little Early Whitlow grass is in fact a tiny member of the Mustard family, not a grass.

  • Mementos of last summer.

    1st March 2018

    Mementos of last summer.


    Mementos of last summer.

    Horn of Plenty

    The years flotsam and jetsam clutter my desk and window sill. Memories washed up  high on the tide line...... not to be so easily lost.

    A lizards discarded or sloughed skin. So perfect. One of the front legs is still attached intact. A translucent, beautifully patterned short sleeved wetsuit. Images of a new dapper, bright skinned young male going off courting. Dropped gently from hand to hand, it is feather light and barely noticeable.

    Kneeling in the garden a small ribbed stone catches my eye. One of the best fossils I have found in Shropshire is sitting, rain-washed and gleaming in front of me. It is the back two thirds of a trilobite, my favourite!

    Half a whetstone. A cigar shape. Not your modern composite carborundum but hand worked sandstone. Warm, honey coloured, fine grained. Tiny flat flakes of mica glisten and flecks of another dark mineral stand out. Was it used as half a stone or thrown away in disgust when it broke? It had certainly done some work as the wear on one side would testify. How many years has it lain there, covered then uncovered?

    Jam jars full of dried out plants. Brought home for identification and now bound for the compost heap.

    Sedges have edges and rushes are round

    Grasses are hollow right down to the ground!

    That’s the sort of botany I like, courtesy of girls from Preston Montford Field Study Centre.