Thursday, 5 July 2012

Home

Turning our attention away from our break in Cornwall, we return to more local things.  Our walk this morning took us around Shipley Lake.  Warm, partly sunny and very humid, it made a nice change to be able to get out and about without getting soaked.  The walk was rewarded with some beautiful flowers, not least of which were the few Bee Orchids which are still blooming around the parkland.
On the old 'overspill' car-parks where the bulk of the Bee Orchids were, we saw large patches of English Stonecrop (Sedum anglicum).
This succulent plant is more usually found growing in coastal areas - particularly in the west, but the dry, gravel surface of these old car-parks does just as well.
Close by, a small Dog Rose bush had been attacked by an even smaller gall wasp known as Diplolepis rosae producing a red-tinged and rather attractive gall on the rose's stem, known as a Robin's Pincushion.  The gall will probably house more than one of these wasp larvae, feeding on the stems of the young Rose which continually produces and replaces the 'nutritive' cells by a process still not fully understood.
Lastly, Malcolm spotted a Moth feeding on the flowers of a Lucerne or Alfalfa plant (Medicago sativa).  It turned out to be a 5-Spot Burnet Moth (Zygaena trifolii).  The larvae of these moths feed on Birds-foot Trefoil plants - another member of the Pea family, while the adults get most of their sustenance from all of the Pea family's flowers, including Clovers, Melilots and these Lucerne.
Post a Comment