Thursday, 15 November 2018

More ramblings around Daventry

Chris is involved in lots of activities and today was a case in point. She attended a meeting of the U3A (University of the Third Age) at the Community Centre in Ashby Road.  I accompanied her to the meeting but only to help with the putting out of chairs. The talk was on motor car racing, a subject of marginally less interest than 'The Influence of Coco Chanel in the shaping of post-revolutionary thought in Kazakhstan'. (Actually I'm lying; I did attend that meeting in Towcester and it was absolutely riveting.) Anyway, I gave today's talk a miss and set out for home.

The journey was via The Headlands and Drayton. The first area I know hardly at all but I can now attest that it holds little of tourist interest, however I was reminded of what a brilliant splash of colour is provided by a patch of Pot Marigolds.

Pot Marigold, Calendula officinalis, brightening up an otherwise dull
 fence-base. The Headlands, Daventry. 15 November, 2018

Why don't I grow them? They are easy-peasy and reasonably trouble-free, added to which they do attract pollinating insects.

Mid-November, and ivy is still in bloom. Wordsworth Road, Daventry.
15 November, 2018

Speaking of insects there were a few flowers still to be seen on ivy as it scrambled over fences. Insects were taking advantage of the copious nectar and this hoverfly species, a female Eristalis pertinax, was re-fuelling as I approached.

Eristalis pertinax. A female rests on a leaf, Spenser Crescent,
Daventry. 15 November, 2018
In Ivy Court the leaves on a privet, Ligustrum ovalifolium, shrub were being mined by an insect. This is the work of a tiny moth, Gracillaria syringella, known as the Lilac Leafminer (Lilac and privet are very closely related). It is common and attacks a number of other plants in the Olive family.
The caterpillars of the Lilac Leafminer have been at work on these
privet leaves. Ivy Court, Daventry. 15 November, 2018

A few metres away the larvae of a fly, Pegomyia flavifrons, had been tunnelling away in Chickweed, Stellaria media, leaves. This is probably quite a common insect but records seem to be rather few. Perhaps no-one bothers to examine such a humble plant.

Chickweed leaves attacked by Pegomyia flavifrons. Ivy Court, Daventry.
15 November, 2018
In both pictures the larva is in occupation, appearing as a black patch in the mine. I left them to feed undisturbed and completed the last half-mile home.

Another view: same species, slightly different shape of mine.

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