Summer and Autumn and News from the North

Saturday, August 23rd 2014

At this time of year not only do we see signs of summer but of autumn too.

The late flowering Knapweed, Devil's Bit Scabious and Saw-wort are vital sources of food for many insects and butterflies.  In return these insects pollinate the flowers, so they can set seed.

On close inspection of this Saw-wort, white pollen grains can be seen on the stigmas.

Pollen grains on the stigmas of Saw-wort

Peacock butterflies search for open flowers so that they can feed on the nectar.

Peacock butterfly feeding

Whilst many plants are still in full bloom, some have produced their seeds and fruits.  Last year a Roe Deer doe, enjoyed feeding on the ripe Blackberries.  We were wondering if she has her eye on them again.

Blackberries

The Spindle tree also has fruits.  They are green initially, but turn red as they ripen.  When the capsule bursts they have orange seeds.

Spindle fruit

Warm damp conditons are ideal for the growth of fungi, the classic sign of autumn.  This new Turkey Tail is showing all its beautiful colours.

Turkey Tail fungus

A text from the North said that there had been a break in the squally showers and wind, so nets had gone up and Meadow Pipits and Linnets had been caught.  Gannets had been seen flying about over the sea.  The team were preparing for a night of ringing Storm Petrels - Stormies.


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