Thursday, 28 August 2014


We are all familiar with the line: 

                                     By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop

In case you've forgotten, it comes from Henry V1, pt 3. "Daintry" is, of course, Daventry and, in this context, puissant means "powerful". Why do I mention this? Heaven knows, but, with generosity of spirit, I wanted to share this snippet of information.

Moving on ...

Our garden is small, but there is much to be done. A pampas grass stands in the front garden, taking up more room than it merits. I will remove it, but stout gloves are a must.

Pampas grass, showing the saw-edged leaves.
8 Trinity Close, Daventry, SP566615   27 August, 2014

The leaves are saw-edged, with the "teeth" consisting of silica spines. These can give a nasty cut and in fact the name of this genus, Cortaderia, is derived from the Spanish word 'cortar' - to cut. The species is almost certainly Cortaderia selloana.

A couple of unhappy-looking roses are present in the front garden. They too will go, although one of the flowers was, earlier today, providing shelter for a Green Shield Bug.
Palomena prasina.

Palomena prasina on a rose flower. Trinity Close,
Daventry, 27 August, 2014

I will say little about this insect as I have mentioned it in previous blogs. It is one of our larger shieldbugs and, although it is obvious against this crimson background is is well camouflaged when on foliage. It will change colour during autumn to a dull brown and, overwintering among dead leaves, will again be inconspicuous.

Elasmostethus interstinctus on apple foliage.
Daventry. 27 August, 2014
Late summer is a good time to be seeking out bugs. A short distance down the road a Birch Shieldbug,  Elasmostethus interstinctus,  sat on the foliage of an apple tree. The food of the larvae consists of the green catkins of birch trees. There were plenty in the vicinity so this specimen was only a little off track.

Sharing the apple tree was a ladybird. It was one of the many variants of the Harlequin Ladybird, Harmonium axyridis, so common nowadays that it barely merits a mention - but I've mentioned it anyway, I don't want any hurt feelings.

So, back to work clearing more "Leylandii". As Lady Bracknell said, every man should have a hobby.

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