The Natural Kalendar

Mr. Robert Garner’s “The Natural Kalendar” gives a Natural Calendar for North Staffordshire, based on observations made over many years from 1838 to 1864, and for the birds “much longer”. This is from the North Staffordshire Naturalists’ Field Club and Archaeological Society, Annual Report, 1881.

Natural Kalendar. Latitude 53, altitude 370.

Flowers expand, Week

1. Christmas Rose.
2. Winter Aconite.
3. Catkins of the Hazel; the Alder later.
4. White Potentilla.

The bat sometimes on the wing; the robin and the wren, Sic, sing. Amongst insects the tiputae are out.

1. Red dead Nettle.
2. Mezereon.
3. Coltsfoot.
4. Cornus mascula.

Helophorus out (13). The hedge sparrow sings.

1. Pilewort.
2. Wood Anemone.
3. Wild Snowdrop.
4. Wild Daffodil.

Frogs croak and rooks now busy. The Yellow-hammer sings.

1. Dog’s Violet.
2. Stitchwort.
3. Butter-burr.
4. Wild Hyacinth.

The chiff-chaff comes about the 7th; the sand martin about the 14th; the swallow arrives on an average in the 4th week, also the willow wren; the cuckoo generally in the third week, and the tree-pipit.

1. Sweet Cicely.
2. Hawthorn. (The May-bug, the Magpie-moth.)
3. Butterfly Orchis.
4. Bird Cherry.

The garden warbler, corncrake, the swift in the 2nd week.

1. Ragged Robin.
2. Bitter-sweet.
3 The Elder Flowers.
4. Potentilla anserina. (The Ghost-moth.)

1. Stone crop.
2. Giant Throat-wort.
3. Meadow Geranium.
4. Foxglove.

Most birds are now become mute.

1. Toad-flax.
2. Wood hawkweed.
3. Narrow-leaved ditto.
4. Green Habenaria.

The swift leaves early in the month.

1. Field Gentian.
2. Grass of Parnassus.
3. Michaelmas Daisy.

Flowers now become scarce; the redwing appears, and the wheatear also en passant.

1. Crocus Nudiflorus.

The bilberry bears a second crop, and a few late flowers are still found. Now fungi abound. The tree-foliage is now most varied in its tints. Swallows and martins are last seen about the middle of the month.


The common pansy is often still very pretty in the fields. The ivy flowers, and the mole is often at work in open weather.


The Christmas rose often flowers about the middle of the month, also a few other floral remnants as periwinkle, ivy-leaved toadflax, but generally speaking we may say:

“No mark of vegetable life is seen,
No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call,
Save the dark leaves of some rude evergreen,
Save the lone redbreast on the moss-grown wall.”


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