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October 2014

posted 8 Nov 2014, 03:18 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 8 Nov 2014, 03:32 ]

Walking onto the Green in early October, I was suprised to hear much buzzing of insects and a lovely sweet smell in the air. Closer inspection identified that a patch of ivy was flowering and was attracting a whole range of insects, including wasps and hoverflies. Whilst ivy may not look very special, it is a very important plant for wildlife. Not only does it provide nectar in late Autumn for insects, but also the berries are an important winter food source, especially for birds. Now there is a bee, that feeds exclusively on ivy nectar, aptly named the ivy bee. It only emerges this time of year, when the ivy is flowering. You may have seen a feature about this bee on Autumnwatch; it first appeared in the UK in Dorset in 2001 and is now starting to spread northwards and has now been recorded in Warwickshire and south Staffordshire. So definitely need to keep a look out for the ivy bee next year on the Green.


Another sign of Autumn is the appearance of toadstools and mushrooms. Pipe Green has had quite a good display of parasol mushrooms this year, but there are also a number of puffballs that are now appearing. I have never really paid this mushroom much attention, but a closer look reveals a very delicate and intricate network on the surface of the mushroom. Seemingly this surface alters as the mushroom gets older and so I thought it would be interesting to photograph some of these changes over the next few days. So imagine my annoyance, when I went back a day later to take some more photos, to find that somebody had decided to kick the puffball to smithereens!


The Green does looks lovely this time of year, especially in the early morning light, just as the sun rises and everything takes on a pinkish glow. If anybody is interested in getting more involved in helping out at work parties, or just getting regular updates about the Green, then a new volunteering webpage has recently been uploaded to the website. You can fill out the form and that will enable us to get in touch with you and let you know about any work parties or any up and coming walks or talks that we may organise. We greatly appreciate your support.