|See!...not going to miss this little chap, tucked away|
|Many of the flowers had multiple eggs laid within them, here 2 are visible|
|The scale of the ruler is mm, suggesting the egg is approx 0.5mm diameter|
|This egg had already hatched - all that was left was the outer rim/shell (like a tyre), the centre was hollow/empty|
For anyone curious about the context of this A41 Small Blue colony, I've put together a few images below. The main photograph was taken from the A4251, looking down onto the eastbound embankment: this is south facing and rich in Kidney Vetch (all the clumps of yellow). Top right, is the view along the top of the embankment and, bottom right, is the view from the side of the A41, up the embankment.
Nature does have a habit of thriving in these most ugly and dangerous of places. Today, surrounded by reinforced concrete, bad graffiti and the roar of traffic, 2 Bee Orchids bloomed (the first I’ve seen this season). With them, numerous Pyramidal and Common Spotted Orchids. Salad Burnet & Ox-eye Daisies galore; Grass Vetchling, Red & White Clover, Yellow Rattle, Scabious sp, Meadow Buttercups, Poppies, Common Mouse-ear, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Wild Marjoram and numerous grasses including the irresistible Quaking-grass. The list, of course, goes on…and exceeds my mental and botanical capabilities.
Over on the westbound slip road, the big, bold and simple beauty of the Ox-eye Daisies mingled with the delicate and elaborate artistry that is Quaking-grass. I wish I’d had the energy today to really capture the scene, either in words or pictures but, for now, it’s just a couple of close-ups…daisies dancing with grasses.
Oh, nearly forgot, Small Blue butterfly count today: 27 eastbound embankment; 7 westbound slip road. Total = 34