Friday, 29 May 2009

Damsels and Dragons

Not a story of mythical, medieval England. No brave knights in shining armour and no fire-breathing reptilian monsters. Sorry! Just a walk through Shipley Park this morning and a look around our garden. Who would have thought such mundane pastimes would yield such things?
Firstly the Damsel. In this instance it was a Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum). Fluttering through the grasses around the lakes, they shone vivid, electric blue.

Getting back home and pottering around the garden, I noticed that the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) which self-seeded in the garden last year was beginning to bloom again. Taking up the camera and getting in close, I ventured into the jaws of this particular dragon...

Called 'Snap'-dragon because when squeezed laterally, the flower opens and closes like the mouth of a dragon. Snapdragons used to belong to the Scrophulariaceae family, but recent research has delved into their DNA and as a result, they have been ousted from that family and added to the Plantaginaceae family. This makes them relatives of the common weeds, Plantains. So that's cleared things up then!
Further to yesterday's blog entry, I have now identified the diminutive moths on the Oxe-eye daisys. They are in fact called Cocks Foot Moths (Glyphipterix simpliciella). They are called this because the larval foodplant is mainly the grass Cock's Foot (Dactylis glomerata).
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