Sunday, July 31, 2022

In July


Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) on Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (Lathyrus latifolius). Frome, 30 July 2022.

A couple of butterflies on their favourite plants in Laura's garden. 

There were three or four Brimstones in the small garden yesterday. We see them a lot, which I always find rather surprising as neither of the plants on which the caterpillars feed are especially frequent around here; it makes me wonder if there is some local colony of Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn that I have never discovered. 

Brimstone butterflies are big strong flyers that sometimes settle down long enough to be photographed and are apparently untroubled by a smartphone only inches away. The plant they are most addicted to is the Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea, though they wander around the other plants too, notably the scabious and knapweed. 

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) on Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare). Frome, 11 July 2022.

Here's another butterfly that is in the garden every warm day. Gatekeepers (formerly known as Hedge Browns) are small butterflies that I usually notice hanging round the tub of Wild Marjoram. But they also take an interest in other plants, e.g. the tall Verbena bonariensis

Wild Marjoram is a slightly confusing vernacular name, because this is actually the species labelled "Oregano" in your kitchen cupboard. Whereas the jar labelled "Marjoram" is the more tender species Origanum majorana, native to the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. 

Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) in a farm lane. Frome, 29 July 2022.

I was trying to capture the silvery shimmer of the hairy fruits in sunshine, but with mediocre success.

Canadian Fleabane (Conyza canadensis) outside a post office. Frome, 28 July 2022.

Now one of our most common street plants. Despite the name it is native to most of North and Central America. This and similar species are often called horseweed, but I don't know why. 

Fruits of Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum). Frome, 28 July 2022.

Seedling of Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia) in a lawn. Frome, 24 July 2022.

Another American plant, a native tree in quite small areas of the Appalachians but widely grown elsewhere, including throughout the British Isles, though Cobbett failed in his speculative attempt to establish it here as a major timber tree. It is a member of the pea family and is also called Locust Tree, Black Locust, and False Acacia. 

Below are the parent trees, in the garden of Fromefield House, where I'm currently living. 

In various parts of the world the species is grown to produce honey. These particular trees didn't produce many flowers this year, so the bees would have had to look elsewhere. 

The bark and leaves are toxic, but the flowers, young pods, and shelled seeds are apparently edible (Wikipedia). 

Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia). Frome, 24 July 2022.

Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia). Frome, 24 July 2022.

Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) on Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea (Lathyrus latifolius). Frome, 30 July 2022.

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