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June 2015

posted 6 Jul 2015, 02:58 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 6 Jul 2015, 03:04 ]
marsh thistle

The wetter side of the Green is now developing a purple haze, due to the marsh thistle coming into flower. This under appreciated plant is a non-invasive thistle, (unlike the very invasive creeping thistle, which we go to great lengths to control) and as its name suggests, grows in wetter and boggier ground. It supports a wide range of invertebrates and you can often see bees, hoverflies and butterflies busy feeding on its nectar. Goldfinch also love the seeds and I have seen on most days, a large flock of these colourful and noisy birds feeding on the thistle heads.

peacock caterpillar

Anyone who watched Countryfile on Sunday, may have seen the feature on the caterpillars of the peacock butterfly feeding on stinging nettles. Well, I have been monitoring our own peacock butterfly caterpillars over the last 10 days. Initially there were about 100 or so small black caterpillars feeding on a patch of nettles, near the stream. They grew very quickly and by the weekend, only one, rather large caterpillar was left. Presumably the others had emerged as peacock butterflies (or been eaten by something else!).

cattle relaxing

I have tried getting some more footage with my trail camera, but the cattle seem quite adept at finding the camera, giving it a good lick and then on one occasion dragging it on the ground! Fortunately the camera was not damaged, although it was quite a close call, judging from the footage of legs and hooves! The cattle have settled in well and can be seen enjoying the shade of the trees, away from the afternoon sun.