Waters above! Eternal springs!
The dew that silver's the dove's wings!
A lone bumble bee makes its way home. It isn't cold and the rain per se will not bother it, but the nectar in flowers will have been diluted to a point where it isn't worth collecting. Perhaps this is the reason why some flowers, such as bluebells, have nodding, campanulate flowers wherein the nectar is protected.
The following morning, the first day of 'flaming June', and the skies are still grey. In Byfield the ever-reliable White Dead-nettles, Lamium album, are in flower and receiving a few visits from bumble bees. These insects, snug in their furry jackets, are able to continue work in inclement conditions.
The flowers of these Dead-nettles are not bell-shaped but the upper lobe forms a hood, giving some measure of protection to the nectaries, so the nectar remains undiluted. The hood is also furnished with hairs which form a barrier against rain.
White Dead-nettle. Byfield, Northants.
1 June, 2016
The identical structure can be seen in the Yellow Archangel, Lamiastrum galeobdolon. Indeed, this species was once included, as Lamium galeobdolon, with the Dead-nettles. The word galeob means 'to cover with a helmet', presumably a reference to the characteristic hood, but there is doubt about the full meaning of the specific name.
|Yellow Archangel. Byfield, Northants.|
17 May, 2016