Tag Archives: Silver Y

Shepherd’s Warning

It wasn’t a good day to be a shepherd. It wasn’t a good day to be anything really.

It started off very nicely.

SunriseThen the sky turned black and the rain started. It was a very short day anyway and now it is night and gales are buffeting the farm and the rain is pounding against my windows.

I am all cosy indoors but all of my little animals are living out there and it is just another winter’s night.

I wrote about Bird’s-foot Trefoil today and I will show you that in a bit, first I thought we could look at some moths. I would have liked to put more into my flower post but that was supposed to be about flowers.

Day flying moths, some of them are just as pretty as the butterflies.

This is a Speckled Yellow moth (Pseudopanthera macularia). It’s caterpillars feed on Wood Sage and it is common in open woodland.

Speckled YellowThis next beauty is a Green Silver-lines (Pseudoips prasinana). Another woodland moth, this one favours Oak and Birch trees.

Green Silver-lines

Green Silver-linesThis next one isn’t a moth at all, yet but it will be. It looks a bit like an old Birch catkin.

Scalloped Hook-tipThis is the caterpillar of a Scalloped Hook-tip Moth ( Falcaria lacertinaria) and it feeds on Birch, naturally.

Scalloped Hook-tipThis next one is called a Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma) , try and guess Y.

This is a summer visitor arriving in the UK from May onwards it comes from Southern Europe. It  is not a fussy eater, Bedstraws, Nettles, Clovers, it also likes Peas and Cabbage.

Silver Y

Silver YIf we have another day like today then I will post more moths tomorrow. Here are my flowers.

Lotus corniculatus, The Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus) Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)This is a flower of grassland. It grows in meadows and on heaths in forest rides and if you are very lucky, in your garden.

Bird’s-foot Trefoil is very variable in size. Amongst short grass the small flowers may be just inches off the ground.

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)In long grass it can grow to about twenty inches. It seems to be able to flower at whatever height the surrounding plants are rising to.

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)In many parts of the world Bird’s-foot Trefoil is grown as an animal fodder and I read that it can yield up to four tons of hay per acre. That is difficult to comprehend when you see the tiny flowers growing in short cropped grass.

The name Bird’s-foot comes from the seed pods which are claw like and resemble a Bird’s foot. Another popular name for this plant is Granny’s Toenails.

Bird's-foot Trefoil seed pods (lotus corniculatus) Bird's-foot Trefoil seed pods (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil seed pods (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil seed pods (lotus corniculatus)The Trefoil part of the name is a reference to the leaves. Each leaf is actually made up of five leaflets but two of these are at the base of the mid rib and the remaining three form the trefoil at the end of the leaf.

Bird's-foot Trefoil leaves (lotus corniculatus)New buds continually form and grow from the centre of existing leaves, which makes it difficult to study the form and shape of the plant.

Bird's-foot Trefoil leaves (lotus corniculatus)It has a squarish stem.

Bird's-foot Trefoil leaves and stem (lotus corniculatus)It also has a very deep tap root (up to three feet deep) that allows it to thrive on poorer soils.

Bird’s-foot Trefoil is a very important wildlife plant and as such a wonderful addition to any garden. It is especially valuable as a larval food plant for many of our most beautiful Moths and Butterflies including the Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Silver Studded Blue and these Common Blues.

Common Blue on Bird's-foot Trefoil Common Blue on Bird's-foot Trefoil   Common Blue on Bird's-foot Trefoil   Common Blue on Bird's-foot TrefoilAmongst the Moths it is a larval food plant for the Six-spot Burnet and for this next one the Burnet Companion.

Burnet Companion on Bird's-foot Trefoil

Burnet Companion on Bird's-foot TrefoilThe Bird’s-foot Trefoil is a member of the Pea family, known as the Fabaceae and sometimes by the older name of the Leguminosae.

It is native to the UK, Eurasia and North Africa.

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus) Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)   Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)

Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Genus: Lotus

Species: Lotus corniculatus

Bird's-foot Trefoil flowers (lotus corniculatus)Wildflowers in winter.

Our Day Clouded Over

Yesterday Fizz and I set out with a good plan that would fetch us a lovely bowl of fruit, so what  went wrong? There was lots of fruit in the hedgerow.

Elderberries

SloesHazelnuts are the fruit that I really want, I shall be collecting these by the sack load. The trees around the farm are loaded with them  and the animals don’t seem to be touching them.

They are not quite ready yet but they are getting close.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts

HazelnutsMost of my hazelnut bounty will probably end up as bait for my cameras. There are many more than I will want and animals love hazelnuts but they are very expensive to buy.

We had gone out looking for Blackberries and things started off quite well.

Blackberries

BlackberriesThen I saw the first Clouded Yellow Butterfly. I have been after these for a couple of weeks now and didn’t expect to see them up here.

Clouded YellowWith a shout to Fizz I was off and running through the field. The Clouded Yellow is quite a big butterfly and in flight it’s wings are golden yellow almost orange so they are easy to follow.

It was good exercise. There are four fields behind the farm each of them about fifteen acres and the butterflies were enjoying the open space. Fizz didn’t have a clue what was going on but she enjoyed this new pass time much more than standing in front of bushes  and she chased after me, at my heels.

FizzThe blackberries that were in a punnet in my shoulder bag all jumped out of the punnet and juiced themselves in the bottom of my bag and we didn’t really get the pictures that I wanted either. Every time that I stopped and fell to my knees in front of my prize Fizz came bowling up and sent the butterfly flying. Not her fault she didn’t understand the rules of the game.

Clouded Yellow

Clouded YellowI did capture that beautiful little Small Tortoiseshell that I showed you yesterday.

P1820897Something else that I found flying in that field was this little day flying moth the Silver Y.

Silver Y

Silver YI know that it doesn’t look much in those shots so I will just show you a couple of older pictures. I would quite like to have another crack at it.

Silver Y

Silver YToday Fizz and I are sitting indoors hoping for a bit of clear sky so that we can get back up to that field and chase some more butterflies.

Fizz

Fizz Well I am going to chase butterflies.

Clouded Yellow