Friday, 7 July 2017

Meadows

We are particularly lucky to have lots of really beautiful wildflower meadows close to where we live. Among the best are those around Pewit Carr. Earlier in the summer, the meadows were filled with Orchids, but now, the orchids have all but finished, the Meadowsweet has taken over.
A member of the rose family, Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is covered with frothy, creamy-white flowers and has the most wonderful scent.
Not only popular with us, it is also very popular with insects - particularly bees.
Vast stands of Meadowsweet adorn the edges of almost all the lakes of Pewit Carr and Straw's Bridge. These were growing in abundance nearby, at the side of the Manor Floods.
Much larger flowered, is the Great Bindweed (Calystegia sepium). These large trumpets grace the hedgerows round these parts every summer and they're just coming into their own.
The meadows of Shipley Park are beginning to turn golden brown as the grasses ripen in the sunshine.
Among all of this, the Creeping Thistles and Hogweed are thrusting their heads above the surrounding sea of grasses and on many of these flower heads, bright orange-red beetles can be seen feeding on the pollen and nectar. They are of course, Soldier Beetles
There was a new tick for my invertebrate life list yesterday. A green-eyed fly was sitting on a Creeping Thistle flower around Straw's Bridge as we passed. It turned out to be a Twin-lobed Deerfly (Chrysops relictus.) The females suck mammalian blood and can give a painful bite while the males feed on flower pollen. So I'm hoping this was a male!
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