Friday, April 12, 2013

The season gets going

Today was a mixed April showers sort of day, but it continues to get warm after a long winter.  In the trees and bushes round about Emthree the birds were celebrating with a cheerful ensemble of piping and seeping.

In the Square Metre itself the bugle leaves are growing quite quickly and look like small lettuces with red-veined leaves, while over towards Medlar Wood the rather sinister sinuous coils of black bryony, Tamus communis, are emerging from the soil.

IMG_1353Underneath the new Gingerbread Refuge I found a fine centipede, Lithobius variegatus.  If you look along its its right hand side (from our perspective) you will see a small woodlouse (the common pygmy woodlouse, Trichoniscus pusillus I think) against the 5th body segment.

20130412 Lithobius variegatusQuite a hazardous resting place as Lithobius are fierce predators.  Still, this woodlouse is said to be the commonest terrestrial isopod in Britain, so they must be pretty good survivors.

Where the sun has warmed the now discarded plastic seat, Egle flies have been gathering in the last few days when it is sunny.  Dipterist friends agree that this is due to the seat being warmer and, according to Alan Stubbs, acting as a distinctive marker indicating a good place for the flies to congregate.  Egle (there are several species) appear at the same time as the sallow blossom in which, after they have fallen, the larvae develop.

20130408 Egle on seat 1