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.
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.
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.
Lotus corniculatus, The Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
Bird’s-foot Trefoil is very variable in size. Amongst short grass the small flowers may be just inches off the ground.
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.
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 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.
It is native to the UK, Eurasia and North Africa.
Species: Lotus corniculatus