Monday, 27 July 2009

Insects (etc) On Patch 2

Seven Spot Ladybird
Seven Spot Ladybird

Soldier Beetle

Seven Spot Ladybird Larvae

Tutsan (after)

Tutsan (before)

25th July. Having crossed over the road from the grassland where once a special school had stood before a fire, I reached the area where another building, once a school had been recently demolished following a fire. Now, they did train gardeners here and the plants that remain are interesting, but many are likely to have been planted out by the trainees I think. I intended to look for the Tutsan Hypericum androsaemum as I wanted to see how it had changed since my previous visit, but more of that anon. Before I reached it I came across the umbellifer Garden Parsley Petroselinum crispum.

Tthe Garden Parsley stems were covered in Greenfly so perhaps not too surprisingly I found a Ladybird (seven spot) on the flower. It was accompanied by some very small black beetles. I forgot about photographing the plant and focused first of all on the Ladybird. Then I found two or three Soldier Beetles on the same plant and also several red and black, what I now know to be Seven Spot Ladybird Larvae. It would seem Garden Parsley is good for attracting insects! Bumblebees were busy on the nearby Spear Thistle.

Now, the Tutsan was still looking good. Its berries now turned red and little sign of any flower. This plant is a member of the St John’s Wort family and does grow wild in small parts of the UK and the seed is also carried from gardens by birds. I have read that its leaves when dried take on the smell of the likeness of cigars and that they were once often used as book marks especially in bibles. I’ll try and find my other recent photograph which will show the change in the plant and fruits when a comparison is made. The berries will eventually turn black.
As I walked across the playing fields and then the scrub area on my return I came across more Meadow Brown Butterflies and Small Skipper. It was now that the Sparrowhawk flew high over head. Small White Butterfly continued to be numerous and I found one Red Admiral in the small parkland area. I think my presence made it nervous of landing on the clay area, but it settled there eventually. I’ve found these clay areas to be very popular with Red Admirals in particular.

My Collins fieldguide to Butterflies of Britain and Europe isn't much cop and I feel I need to find myself a book which covers the butterflies of Britain only, but covers them in detail.

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