Sunday, November 19, 2006

Earwig fungus

I saw what looked like a woolly caterpillar under a leaf of hogweed in Mice & Red today, but it turned out to be a dead earwig firmly stuck to the leaf blade by a fungus that had burst out of its body.

I have often seen fungus-infected hoverflies glued to grass blades, but this is the first time I have come across an earwig in this condition.

I have made some enquiries and hopefully will be able to identify it to species level in due course.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November cat's-ear

The cold weather has arrived with a near frost last night and a proper one very likely tonight. I took my first of the month pictures of Emthree and noticed that a cat's-ear, Hypochaeris radicata, has struggled into flower, one of the rather few blooms we have had from this plant this year.

Most of the cat's-ears have been eaten by night visitors, but this has survived. If it sets seed it will be a triumph of hope over reality and I believe this species is on its way to extinction in the Green Sanctuary.