June’s Flora and Fauna

Saturday, July 2nd 2016

A new month means a new folder for photographs, but also a time for reflection of those photographs taken last month.  The weather is playing its part in helping or hindering flora and fauna.  Apparently the Jet Stream needs to be pushed a little further north so we get warmer weather instead of the westerly air steam that is bringing wind and rain.

As soon as the rain stops and the sun comes out - how many times has that been said recently on the blog!? - insects do what they do best, feed, pollinate flowers or hunt for prey.  These tiny insects were covering the Honeysuckle blossoms and the pollen grains transferred by them, from the stamens to the stigma, can clearly be seen.

Tiny insects on Honeysuckle

Large Red Damselflies are predators and this one was enjoying a feast.  I suspect that the legs would be left behind.

Large Red Damselfly feeding

Another predator is the Daddy Long-Legs Spider or Cellar Spider, Pholcus phalangioides.  It hangs around in its untidy web, often frequenting houses and particularly cellars, hence its name.  Although spiders do have eight legs this one appeared to have many more and it was impossible to get legs and body in focus!  This is a new species for the reserve.

Daddy Long-Legs Spider

Daddy Long-legs Spider

Zig Zag Clover  is the nicest of the clovers to photograph as it is slightly larger and a lovely bright reddish pink colour.  After taking two photos I realised that there was something else close by.  A skipper butterfly was resting on a leaf that was just the right size, no doubt waiting to warm up a little before setting off to feed.

A skipper butterfly and Zig Zag Clover

Multi-petalled buttercups can be found but it is unusual to find Greater Spearwort with more petals than it should have.

Multi-petalled Greater Spearwort

Slender St John's Wort is usually found growing along the quad bike track across the heath, so it was a surprise to find it on the far moor.  A close up shows the tiny black marks that edge the petals and buds.

Slender St John's Wort - close up


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