Saints’ days

Lots of bluebells at Andrew’s Wood nature reserve on St George’s day, some brimstone butterflies, and a bloody nosed beetle slowly walking across the path.

Daldinia concentrica helps decompose ash trees. This fungus is called King Alfred’s cakes after the king who was left minding the cakes baking in a cottage where he was hiding and fell asleep. They are also known as Cramp Balls. Apparently they are excellent tinder for fire-lighting but are also home to many insects that might not appreciate being cooked.

king alfreds cake

St. Mark’s fly is named for its tendency to appear first on 25th April, St Mark’s day. This male was resting by our front door on 28th April.

St Marks fly
St. Mark’s fly

I often see these small orange bumblebees in the garden but they are flighty so it is hard to get a good photo. I believe they are Bombus pascuorum, the common carder bee. ‘Carder’ here refers to the way they comb or card moss to cover their larvae in the nest, which is often made in old mouse runs or grassy tussocks.

bumble bee
Common carder bee

We have three wild patches of lawn. In the one where the grass is longest, there are wild strawberries, wood avens, herb robert, and creeping buttercups flowering.

primroses in the lawn

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