The thing I really like about this 30 Day Challenge is that it makes me get out of the house when I would normally stay indoors. Monday evening I got off the train from London and instead of flopping in front of the TV or computer I said to my daughter we were going out.
Now this was not taken well as there was the little matter of the iPad in the middle of this. Eventually after much grumbling (from both of us I admit) we were in the car heading up to the Roman amphitheatre in Silchester.
I remembered that there were many wild flowers growing there such as the dog rose flower you can see below. Needless to say Catherine was off climbing as soon as we got there.
I took these two shots of Catherine as she entered the amphitheatre and as you can see all traces of grumpiness had gone – all it took was to actually get out there.
Looking around the amphitheatre there were a lot of wild flowers and insects still out and about. Coming through lovely were the foxgloves and lots of buttercups.
I spotted a lone mullein growing and got Catherine to feel how soft it was in comparison to other plants. Needless to say the conversation got onto what type of plant leaf would be good for toilet paper and mullein came tops.
We climbed up onto the top of the amphitheatre to look at the view and spotted this lovely little thatched cottage at the back. A dream house as far as Catherine was concerned.
Carrying on around the rim of the amphitheatre we came across a holly tree covered in the larvae burrows of the holly leaf miner (Phytomyza illis). This larvae makes its home in a holly leaf and will burrow about as it eats leaving a space it can develop into an adult fly.
Other animals and insects will predate the miner including the blue tit (triangular scar in the top right picture below) or a parasitic wasp (bottom right). The picture at the bottom left I think shows a slightly larger round hole signifying a successful emergence.
As we left we spotted some more dog roses and some little ducklings in the local pond.
This spot is great to visit due to its historical nature, its quietness much of the time and its wide variety of flora and fauna. Hits all the nature tick points as far as I am concerned.