Until this week we have had a very cool summer indeed which has meant that there have been very few insects about. The common garden pests, greenfly and blackfly for example, seem to cope with chilly weather but the insects that eat them don’t! Some of the flowers are continuing to flower a little late but a few are flowering at about their usual time which has made for unusual combinations.
Meadow Buttercups (Ranunculus acris) on All Saints’ Common
We have a number of ‘commons’ here in East Anglia. A common is an area of land either owned by a group of people or one person but it can be used by the general public in certain ways such as walking your dog or playing sport. Some commons and village greens have ‘rights of common’ where it is possible to graze livestock on the land. If you want to use the common for anything other than walking on it or having a picnic, (for instance, if you wanted to camp there), you’d have to ask permission of the land owner.
This is another view of the common showing one of the unusual flower combinations. This didn’t come out as well as I’d have liked.
The Common Sorrel is flowering at the same time as the buttercups and for a while it looked as though the field was alight with red flames above the yellow.
Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) is also in flower on the common.
As is Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus)
The Elder (Sambucus nigra) is in flower.
The Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) is in flower too.
Many people dislike the scent of the Elderflower; they describe it as smelling of ‘cats’. It isn’t a pleasant smell but it is preferable to the smell of Dogwood flowers!
Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara), also known as Woody Nightshade, is flowering in the hedgerows.
The Pyracantha in our garden is covered in blossom. This is another plant with a strange scent but the bees love it!
I discovered a new plant at the edge of our big pond the other day – a Cyperus Sedge (Carex pseudocyperus), also known as Hop Sedge.
The plant is quite large and must, I suppose, have been there last year without me seeing it. Its leaves are strap-like, similar to Iris leaves, so I might have thought it was an Iris. The flowers are unmistakable though.
The flowers are pendulous, like catkins.
Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
Another new plant to our garden is this Common Marsh-bedstraw (Galium palustre) growing by our corner pond.
One of my favourite flowers is this little one – Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans). Its petals are heart-shaped and such a pretty shade of yellow. The creeping refers to its trailing stems that root at the nodes as it grows.
I love Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) too.
A White Water-lily (Nymphaea alba) on our big pond.
Elinor saw the Kingfisher at the pond a couple of days ago and since yesterday we have all heard the purring of a Turtle-dove in the trees round the pond. The temperature has risen to 25 degrees Centigrade and I think it has been too cold up til now for the Turtle-dove.
Female Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Male Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Male Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
I believe this is a male Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Greenbottle (Lucilia caesar) on Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
A brightly-patterned Hoverfly (Helophilus pendulus)
Male Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
I hope to see some more insects now the weather has warmed up.
Thank-you for visiting!