Wednesday, April 21st 2021
The Honey Bees in the observation hive are fed with a special sugar syrup (called Ambrosia) during the winter months but this morning they were observed fetching back large pollen sacks which is a good sign and means that they can now make their own food from natural sources. Primroses are in full bloom along the banks to Risedale Beck, they were especially bright today in the spring sunshine and no doubt a perfect place for the bees to forage.
The first Bluebells have begun to flower too. So far there are a few individuals dotted about but in a few weeks there will be large swathes of them around the reserve.
Wood Anemones are also a vital source of early nectar for invertebrates such as bees and hoverflies at this time of year. They are named after the Greek god Anemos, who sent the flowers ahead of him in spring. They are slow growing and spread via rhizomes (horizontal underground stems).
On the wetland, Great reedmace (Bulrush) seed heads appeared to be dancing in the breeze!
Whilst checking the water levels in this area, a cluster of Horse leeches was discovered close to one of the outflow pipes. These fascinating creatures are not the same as the blood sucking medicinal ones. Instead they feed on smaller animals such as midge larvae and snails but sometimes move onto land in search of earthworms. They are usually brown or black but can be green like the one in the centre of the photograph.
Finally, volunteers working in the woodland were curious when they found this False Morel fungus. Twenty of these were discovered in a group (possibly for the first time at the reserve) alongside the path on the green route.
You never know what you might discover when you explore at Foxglove; every day is a learning day!
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