|Bramble leaf mined by Stigmella splendidissimella.|
Byfield Pool, 12 September, 2013
So many creatures had been nibbling, mining or galling hawthorn leaves that it will require a dedicated visit to deal with them. We take hawthorns for granted but, in one way or another they support a huge range of creatures, from deer which browse the foliage down to tiny flies, micro-moths and ichneumons. Sometimes, however, they grab our attention.
|Hawthorn in fruit near Byfield Pool|
12 September, 2013
As I left the reserve I was struck by the beauty of hawthorn branches, made pendulous by the weight of their fruit. A close look showed that the specimen was not Common Hawthorn but the less common Midland Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata. Perhaps the fruit on this species ripen earlier than its familiar relative. The two species may be identified from the shape of their leaves, shown on my blog "Ne'er cast a clout" from 15 May.