Thursday, June 01, 2006

The shining sweep

There are now many seedlings scattered right across Wbx and they appear to be of many different species. They are mostly very slow to grow, unlike the Trifolium and the groundsel that came up in January and early February. The groundsel has already flowered and set seed and the trefoil (white clover, I think) is starting to spread by runners.

There is also the little Japanese maple tree which, with nourishment from its seed, produced two cotyledons and two true leaves but though the cotyledons are fading now there is no sign of any further development.

Some of the patches of green scum that appeared in late winter have now turned into very small tufts of moss and in the cool, damp weather so far this summer are developing quite quickly.

Insects continue to turn up from time to time and the latest was a larva of the shining sweep moth, Psyche casta, in its caddis-like case of dead plant stems and other bits and pieces (see picture above). These often remain in exactly the same place for months when the weather is cold, but this one which started at the southern edge of the eastern Wbx rim, had moved yesterday, about half a metre northwards, then disappeared. The males hatch out into proper little moths, but the wingless females remain in their cases.

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