KEYWORTH BURIAL GROUND MEADOW
Before the forecast rain set in around 11am, I made a plant inventory of our sown wildflower meadow. I wish I’d done this annually since it was created as its ups and downs are so pronounced that I am losing track of them via the casual basis of my recording. You can read more about it on the Keyworth Meadow website but basically it started badly in 2012, was outstanding in 2013, slowly deteriorated (despite ideal management – thanks to Norman Davill, our neighbouring farmer) and in 2018 looked to be a dead loss.
However over the past winter, Norman’s sheep have done a grand job and they were allowed to stay until mid May. Now it seems, the False Oat-grass, so dominant last year, had been magicked away and most of the desirable herbs are still there. A few more years of late summer haymaking and winter grazing should see it improving still further – fingers crossed.
In the early years, the Bird’s-foot Trefoil flowers were all yellow and I thought we had been sold some continental seed but now its all ‘eggs and bacon’ just as it should be.
This little lass is rather striking isn’t she? (Not a patch on Tannavi though!) It’s Urophora stylata, a picture-winged fly of the family Tephritidae.
The black extension of the abdomen is an ovipositor which they use to lay their eggs in plant tissue often resulting in gall formation. I believe this one likes thistles though it was resting on a willow-herb.
I like it when a photo comes out as I had hoped. This shows the female flowers at the top and the largely spent male flowers at the bottom on an inflorescence of Salad Burnet Poterium sanguisorba. The ones in between are bisexual.