Monday, 15 September 2014

Autumn

Back to more 'homespun' topics, we are once more facing the imminent prospect of Autumn. You can feel it creeping up on you from all directions and Malcolm is not happy about it. I, on the other hand, love the idea. Out and about around Shipley Park, the signs are there. In various places, the local wildlife trust have planted wild bird-seed meadows and they are currently flowering and setting those seeds ready to feed the dicky-birds through the winter.
More bird food is being provided by the myriad hawthorn tress which are to be found almost everywhere. Their bright red berries are abundant and looking luscious.
Every hedgerow is filled with them. Some would have you believe this is a portent of a hard winter to come. I would be more inclined to believe it has more to do with a good summer just passed.
Among the late-flying insects, one spectacular individual can be seen patrolling the waterways in these parts. The Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) is a Dragonfly which can be found on the wing later in the year than any other. Indeed at the southern extreme of its European range, it flies all year round. The female is a fairly plain-looking insect (sorry to be rude about the female of the species), but the male makes up for it, with a display of blood-red to rival any of its insect cousins.
So there's no getting away from it.  Despite the unusually mild weather we are currently enjoying, autumn is on its way.
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