More August

Thursday the fifth

Nursery web spider: so called because the female builds a web nest in which they deposit their eggs and guard their young.
Bee orchids leave seed pods up the stem.

Looking like small pea pods or beans, tufted vetch seeds hang from their stalks.
A young robin sitting on the fence rail.
Even the least of plants can have pretty flowers – here’s a willow herb.

The great crested grebe family are still on the pond,

I have a bit of a thing about clouds. Probably ’cause there’s almost always some overhead in our Worksop sky.

There are lots of spiky things about.
Teasels* flower from their equator with the florescence (is word?) moving north and south leaving individual pollinated florets behind.
There are the spikes of thistles of course. Here’s a white tailed bee rootling around.

*tease (v.)
formerly also teaze, Old English tæsan “pluck, pull, tear; pull apart, comb” (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *taisijan (source also of Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen “to draw, pull, scratch,” Old High German zeisan “to tease, pick wool”).
The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The heads of teasels were used in this way; hence the name.

Spiky burdock* flowers attract insects, many of which carry their own spikes.

*Dandelion and burdock is a beverage consumed in the British Isles since the Middle Ages. It was originally a type of light mead, but over the years has evolved into the carbonated soft drink commercially available today. Traditionally it was made from fermented dandelion and burdock roots. Wiki

Few insects can be photographed in flight, at least by me, but hoverflies do, as their name suggests, hover in one place for long enough. Don’t you like the rainbow in the wings?

Beautiful though they are himalayan balsam flowers are a notifiable weed that spreads along rivers an canals. Introduced in 1839 it is now endemic.

Probably the commonest bird of prey in the area is the kestrel.
Unfortunately they hover at considerable height – meaning the pics require a long lens. Longer and steadier than mine.

Occasionally kestrels will dive down on some small creature they’ve spotted below. This one’s caught a dragonfly …

… it eats it on the wing …

… and then swoops off for pastures new.

Speckled wood butterflies are increasing their presence.

There’s a plum tree on the towpath next to the cricket ground’s fence.
Sparrows nest, socialise and feed in the ivy hanging over the canal.

The swan family on one of their regular trips to the canal.

Friday the sixth

Swans, rowan or mountain ash berries, sparrows in a sparrow bush, unidentified moth, grebe family in the distance and a wee bug.

Vertical panorama across the pond, goldfinch atop an apple tree, horizontal pano of Deep Lock, a wasp, another (or the same?) goldfinch atop a tree and lichen on a fence post.

A family of moorhens, swan landing – surely the least graceful act of an otherwise epitome of grace, blue butterfly (which blue?) on ragwort, green veined white on knapweed (or is it on a thistle?) and woody nightshade flowers.

I put this video on Twitter and titled it : ‘The wind that shakes the barley’ before I knew that song’s history. (video taken from ///mimic.vast.stump)

An Irish ballad written by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1836–1883), a Limerick-born poet and professor of English literature. The song is written from the perspective of a doomed young Wexford rebel who is about to sacrifice his relationship with his loved one and plunge into the cauldron of violence associated with the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. The references to barley in the song derive from the fact that the rebels often carried barley or oats in their pockets as provisions for when on the march. This gave rise to the post-rebellion phenomenon of barley growing and marking the “croppy-holes,” mass unmarked graves into which slain rebels were thrown, symbolizing the regenerative nature of Irish resistance to British rule. As the barley will grow every year in the spring this is said to symbolize Irish resistance to British oppression and that Ireland will never yield and will always oppose British rule on the island.

Sunday the eighth

In case I haven’t already mentioned it : there’s this feral moggie that I’ve half adopted. It is officially known as: Notmycat.

Dad dives for food for the two remaining grebe chicks while mum escorts them in the middle of the pond. I don’t know what happened to the other two chicks but there are plenty of predators about: mink, pike, heron, even crows will have a go.

More soon

Published by Roger

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