Thursday, 21 July 2011

Spear & Shield

This morning's walk was not so long as yesterday's, but still very worth while.  Not least because we were greeted by the sight of a host of Spear Thistles (Cirsium vulgare) growing along the Nutbrook Canal.
The vivid pinkish-red of the flowers heads stands out against the rich green of the canal-side foliage.  It also stands out against the other pink flower in the above picture, that of the Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum).  They are truly beautiful flowers, like small, pink shaving brushes, although he size and ferocity of the spines on stem, leaf and flower bud would lead to a particularly uncomfortable shave.
Back home and a mystery has been cleared up.  A few weeks ago, I noticed a small group of eggs had been laid on the underside of one of our tomato plant leaves.  Rather beautiful in themselves, small and pale green in colour, I was intrigued as to what they might be.
Well, this morning, they seem to have hatched and all has been revealed.  They turn out to be a couple of dozen Shield Bug nymphs - although the precise species is yet to be ascertained.  Delightful little creatures...  As long as they don't eat the tomatoes!
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