Wednesday, March 30, 2022

False Spring.

 After a week of false spring, normal Northumberland spring has arrived. Its 4 degrees with a northerly wind and hail. This should be around until June give or take an odd glitch away. 

Still during the better weather although bird migrants remained elusive on the patch, a few moths, bees and plants sparked some interest.

Not being a plantsman, even common species can be lifers, so I was pleased with this Hairy Violet in the dunes south of Amble last week. It is very like Sweet Violet so I had to go back on Sunday for some confirmation pics after I knew what to look for.

Hairy Violet Viola hirsuta 

Those green things holding the flower are sepals. They are rounded making it either Sweet or Hairy. ( How many hits will that get me!) At the top of those are the sepal appendages (flaps, another hit counter gem). They are folded up to the stem not pointing away making this a Hairy Violet. It also had very hairy leaf stems. 

Another lifer, this time a likely first for Northumberland, was even more bizarre. On Sunday, I was photographing some small Moschatel plants on the alluvial deposits on the banks of the River Aln near Greenrigg when I noticed that one or two leaves had a distinctly mangy look to them. They were covered in spore like brown specks. I took photos of this feature and wondered if it was a smut or a rust of some kind, a small fungi related organism. Sure enough it is the parasitic host specific Moschatel Rust Puccinia adoxae. Probably no wonder it hasn't been recorded here before....who would!

Moschatel showing Moschatel Rust Puccinia adoxae on the leaves. 

Meanwhile, the moth traps have been reasonable. The Robinson in the garden has been out performed by the little bucket LED battery trap in the woods. Woods are best at this time of year while my garden is a bit exposed.

A bucket trap in the wood.

The catch.

Early Tooth Striped

Emmelina monodactyla

Shoulder Stripe 

On the plus side, the Bempton Black browed Albatross is back today. After last years dip, I hope it settles into a routine...

1 comment:

oldcrow61 said...

What a gorgeous color on those violets. Lucky you to see them at this time of year. I do like that emmelina monodactyla. Such an interesting shape.