Sunday, 18 November 2012

Herb Robert

There was a sharp frost overnight, but brilliant  sunshine soon got to work to give a lovely morning. The Lime trees in the park were a fine sight.
The adjacent Lombardy Poplars have lost their leaves but their slender silhouette is still attractive. I have occasionally found Poplar Hawk-moth caterpillars on their foliage and last year I found the adult moth.

                                 Poplar Hawk-moth, Byfield

A few plants were in bloom including Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). Its leaves are covered in glands which produce an unpleasant odour when bruised. The seems to deter most creatures but at least one mite, Aceria geranii, will feed on its leaves. The Barred Carpet Moth may also feed on the flowers but little firm evidence for this exists.

A fence in the Pocket Park was home to a neat lichen. It is probably Physcia aipola but must wait for fruits to be produced before I can be certain; they will look like tiny blackcurrant tarts.

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