Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sitting

Another beautiful morning for a walk today. It seemed really quiet as we walked around the 'Bogwash' and Straw's Bridge lakes. We were looking for the first ducklings, but still have not seen any. This time last year, the ducklings had been swimming around for about a fortnight, but they are quite a bit behind this year.
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) which we saw defending it's nest a few days ago, is still sitting on it's eggs which take about 35 - 41 days to hatch.
Close to the sitting Swan, were a few plants of Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). A member of the Caryophyllaceae family which include the Campions, Pinks, Mouse-ears and Sandworts. The petals are unusual as they are deeply cut down about half their length.
I have mentioned before, the Cherry trees in flower at the moment, among these are the Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) which are now at their best. The flowers appear after the leaves have opened, unlike many other Cherry trees whose flowers open before their leaves.
The flowers are pollinated by flies and bees and the leaves form a big part of the diet of some butterfly species' caterpillars, especially the 'butter-coloured' Brimstone butterfly (where the name butterfly may originate).
The Apple trees are also in full bloom now. The beautiful, pink-flushed flowers are truly magnificent with the sun shining on them and hold the promise of the fruit to come.
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