Images of Autumn
Sunday, October 11th 2015
Each season, the moth identifiers, the flower walkers and the rooters discuss which season is their favourite. For some it is spring with all the new growth and flowers after the winter. Others enjoy the snow of winter. Usually we decide that the season we are in, is our favourite!
Autumn is the season where plants and animals get ready for winter. Preparation takes many forms, Hazel trees have small catkins and the Alder branches have buds. Blackthorn is covered in blue berries which will probably still be on the trees next spring as they are not enjoyed by many birds.
Hawthorn berries are covering the trees and soon the Blackbirds will begin feasting on them. A little later hopefully they will be joined by Fieldfares and Redwings.
Meadowsweet flowers late in the summer and its white frothy heads can still be seen through the Scrapes. Many have set seed. If you look closely, the seeds are almost twisted around each other and if gently touched they easily break and each little 'twist' is a seed, which you can just see hanging down towards the bottom of the photograph.
Conditions during autumn usually favour the growth of fungi. Fly Agaric has shown its red top in several places around the reserve. This one was growing on the wetland, amazingly it has not been trampled by the cattle but has been nibbled by slugs.
The number of moths in the moth trap is reducing, but as long as the weather is not very cold we will continue to put the trap out. On Wednesday this spectacular moth, the Herald, escaped from the trap but because of the heavy rain immediately landed on the side of the building where it was caught. Unfortunately as soon as it was released on to the leaves to have its photograph taken it flew off, so the only one we had was taken in its container. On Saturday it was found again, not sure if it is the same moth or another, but this time it co-operated.
With autumn comes mist, lower temperatures, less daylight and so lengthening shadows.
NEWS - The first sightings of Redwings and Fieldfares at Foxglove have been recorded today.
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