Nature in Ryde Cemetery – September 2008
We were rather late doing the Nature walk this month due to the bad weather. Maisie, Kate and Diana took advantage of the beautiful day last Saturday to finally get it done.
The theme this month is definitely fruits with many of the bushes and shrubs heavy with berries – Holly, Hawthorn, Ivy, Elder, Privet, Yew and Bay. The brambles are covered with blackberries, (so tempting!) and the roses are adorned with shiny, red hips. Many of the bushes are a big attraction to all sorts of insects and bees but unfortunately they buzzed around too speedily for us to get photos of them.
There were lots of spiders and their webs. We thought at first we had found a pair fighting but then wondered if it was a courtship. We watched for several minutes trying to decide as they pranced around each other. One of the pair was much larger than the other (this was likely to have been the female) and appeared to be on the attack. The smaller one was trying to get close but then made a rapid retreat. In most species of spider the male has to escape quickly after mating or the predatory female will eat him! We had only walked a short distance when we came across another pair performing an equally dashing dance.
Diana was positive that she could hear crickets but try as she would she could not find any to photograph.
There were several little butterflies flying around, blue ones and speckled brown but they did not settle long enough either to be photographed.
The oak trees although showing signs of mildew have lots of acorns, the conkers on the chestnut trees are also ripening and everything is showing signs of Autumn. The Beeches are now a lovely colour and their leaves are turning a beautiful copper.
There were also cones developing on many of the fir trees. Particularly attractive are the numerous tiny cedar cones on the large Deodar Cedar tree near the North Chapel.
There are still a few wildflowers in bloom, Hawksweed, Clover, Plantain, Self Heal and Bugle. The most surprising is the small Bloody Cranesbill that has been flowering all the summer and still makes a lovely splash of colour as you go into the Catholic part of the cemetery. Autumn Crocus was a new flower we did find.
Maisie Kitching & Kate MacDonell
16 September 2008
More nature photographs:
The list of plants and insects we find in the cemetery is ever increasing and if, when you visit the cemetery, you should notice anything that would be of interest, please let us know by making contact through the Contact Us page of the website.
Photographs contributed by Diana Wood and Janette Gregson