Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Blossom and Beetles

Continuing yesterday's theme of spring blossom, here are just a few more pictures of the wonderful cherry trees around these parts at the moment. Firstly, a cherry tree I have photographed many times before over the last few years, but one which continues to delight every spring.
Thankfully, the fine weather has allowed the blossom to open and remain on the trees this year. Last year, we had some high winds about this time which knocked a lot of the petals off. But so far, we've had no storms to ruin the display.
Back to Shipley Hill and the fantastic display offered by the Pieris (Pieris floribunda) on the site of the old hall.
The stark, white, bell-shaped flowers show beautifully against a deep blue sky and contrast with the bright red of the new shoots. Looking at the flowers more closely, it is a little easier to see that this huge bush is a member of the Ericaceae and therefore a close relative of the more diminutive Heather.
On to the beetles mentioned in today's title. It seems we have been sharing our home with quite a few small, brown beasties known as Carpet Beetles (Anthrenus verbasci). A common little beetle, it is to be found almost all over Europe, Asia and North Africa. Their larvae, often known as 'Woolly Bears' are also frequently found in our homes and in large enough numbers, can cause some damage to natural fabrics such as wool clothing, furs and carpets. They can be a particular nuisance in museums as they can eat specimens of stuffed animals and antique garments, but with more and more of our homes being given over to man-made fibres, they tend to do very little if any damage in the domestic environment. And the beetles are rather cute - don't you think..?
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