Monday 9 August 2021

Tree Following - August Update

 I really can't believe it's time for the August update already! 

For Tree Following this year I'm following one of the several wonderful old silver birch trees in North Merchiston Cemetery in Edinburgh. Crafty Green Boyfriend and I started walking round this cemetery (and the nearby Dalry Cemetery) every day for our #DailyExercise during the first UK lockdown last year. And we're still doing the same walk regularly.  

By the end of July, the leaves on the tree were already starting to look a bit tired 

I found this beautiful ladybird larva on one of the leaves, click on the image for a closer view!

A little bit of research showed this to be the larva of an orange ladybird! I've been a little surprised not to see more ladybird larvae around the cemetery, as adults of many ladybird species are found here and some of the trees (though not this birch tree) are covered in aphids, which are the main food source for ladybirds. 

The hairy willowherb next to the tree was beautifully in bloom at the end of July


David said...

If the birch has female catkins look for shieldbug nymphs, especially Parent Bug and Birch s'bug.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great trees to follow and fun to find the ladybird-to-be! -- I am pretty sure the lockdown was a bit easier on people who know how to look and to see and to appreciate.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks David, I'm trying to keep a close eye on the tree for insects of all sorts, I'll put in a particular look for shieldbug nyphs now, thanks.

Thanks Sallie, Ithink you're right! Having this cemetery so close to home has been great during our lockdowns, we've found so much interesting nature here.

Hollis said...

I agree ... wonderful that the lockdowns prompted people (some anyway) to find pleasure in nature close to home.

Squirrelbasket said...

The ladybird larva is spectacular - so different from the adult.
And it's interesting you call it hairy willowherb as we call it by the alternative name of great willowherb.
Always good enough and big enough to be a proper garden flower, I feel...
All the best :)

Flighty said...

It's a shame that the leaves don't stay fresh looking through into the autumn. xx

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hollis - it was a good side effect of lockdown, that's to be sure

Squirrelbasket - yes, ladybird larvae are fascinating and quite tricky to find< I was very lucky with this one! Yes, it's funny that this willowherb has two names! It's a lovely plant.

Flighty - it certainly is!