Wednesday, June 12, 2019
A trip to the Brick Pit
Bright sunshine punctuated by heavy rain squalls today. I walked to the Killingan Wood brick pit and found some galls of the mite Eriophyes laevis on the leaves of some of the alder trees.
On the way I noted the first flowers out on field rose (Rosa arvensis) a species that can be distinguished by its creamy white flowers, sea green leaves and purple tinged stems. One such stem can be seen to the right of the flower in the photo below.
The storms have blown hundreds of yellow and brown leaves from the wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) that grows in the lane outside our house. The problem is fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora and this particular tree suffers every so often. All the yellow leaves blow off quite quickly and about 75% remain green and healthy while the tree as a whole appears to suffer little permanent damage.
On the way home I inspected the great mullein (Verbascum thapsus) plant by the hedge that is home to a substantial colony of mullein moth (Cucullia verbasci) caterpillars. I hope they don't completely devour the plant before they are fully grown. Great mullein is not a common plant in our area and it is remarkable that the females are able to find it to lay their eggs.