26th August 2014

One more set of photos from a nearby Nature Reserve before having a short break from blogging from tomorrow. The Soapwort plant, which we also have growing well in the shady part of the garden, was flowering prolifically along the riverbank. As it’s name suggests, boiling all parts of the plant, but especially the roots, in water releases saponaria which was used  commercially to wash wool, by cottagers to wash their clothes and is still used to wash delicate, specialist fabrics like tapestries. It has naturalised and grows wild now in many places. Several of the Hawk Moth species, including the amazing Elephant Hawk Moth, use it as a food source and it is well worth it’s place in the shade, where it sprawls rather but attracts other insects like hoverflies. We were also lucky enough to watch a Kingfisher hovering, feeding and resting on a post. The photos are actually from the same spot last year, when the female sat and fished from a closer post! As can be seen, 

Soapwort, a naturalised plant, still used to clean delicate fabrics.

Soapwort, a naturalised plant, still used to clean delicate fabrics.

Female Kingfisher after fishing .

Female Kingfisher after fishing .

Male Kingfisher waiting to fish.

Male Kingfisher waiting to fish.

the female Kingfisher has an orange marking on the underside of its long, strong beak. Conditions: Sun broke through cloud by late afternoon- a warmer-feeling day, (yesterday was warmer at night than at any point in the day!) though yesterdays rain has really helped the garden revive. Temperature: Max 17- Min 11 C

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s