Thursday, September 13, 2007

Long-legged fly (Tipula paludosa)

Today I found this female cranefly, Tipula paludosa, resting quietly in a cage of rushes. The Juncus in the windobox has grown large enough to serve this sort of purpose.

The insect dangled unmoving within the shelter of the plant and it reminded me, as craneflies always do of Yeats's poem:

That civilisation may not sink,
Its great battle lost,
Quiet the dog, tether the pony
To a distant post;
Our master Caesar is in the tent
Where the maps are spread,
His eyes fixed upon nothing,
A hand under his head.
Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence.

Monday, September 03, 2007

First lichen (Lecanora campestris)

Since it was installed in the window box nearly two years ago the small sandstone rock in the top right corner has been developing a good skin of vegetation.

There are several mosses, as the picture shows, and the greenish white lichen with purple 'jam tarts' (Lecanora campestris) in the centre of the frame continues to expand. There is also a black encrustation on the rock - I will find out what that is one day. Maybe someone knows?