Saturday, 11 September 2010


While walking around 'Swan Lake' at Straw's Bridge the other day, there was a plant, growing in the drying mud at the margins of the lake, which was unfamiliar to me. As always with me, this couldn't go by, so I took some photo's and tried to identify it. It has taken a bit of detective work and now I know why. The plant is called Niger (Guizotia abyssinica) and is a native to East Africa.
This alien species is a fast-spreading one which has been introduced to Britain by those of us who feed the birds. Niger seed is quite common in wild bird seed and that's where these plants come from. Very handsome and welcome addition to the British flora (until it starts to take over and dominate all our native species!).
Far more common and another sign of the approaching autumn, is this attractive (?) insect which was on our patio doors yesterday. Daddy Long Legs' are everywhere at this time of year as the leatherjackets which have been living in the ground all year, eating our plants' roots, emerge as adults and head for our homes. Correctly known as Crane Flies, this (I think) is one of our Common Crane Fly species (Tipula paludosa)
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