Sunday, 16 June 2013

Yellow Flag

Our walk this morning - trying to avoid the weekend cyclists - took us around the nearby farmland and along part of the derelict Nutbrook Canal.  Along the old canal, the wet ground provides the perfect growing conditions for the delightful Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus).
The name 'Pseudacorus' refers to its resemblance to the Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus), but the Sweet Flag has no such bright flowers - although both grow in the same water margins and wet ground.
Yellow Flags have been used as water treating agents as they are able to take up heavy metals and other pollutants through its root system.
In stark contrast to the beauty of the Yellow Flag, nearby, we found a particularly nasty-looking creature crossing our path.  Now, I can't stand spiders, but even I was fascinated by this large and scary specimen.  Having trawled the web (no pun intended) and various books, I find it's a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) and a new 'tick' for my invertebrates list.  Still makes me shudder!
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