Wood Ants produce formic acid, which can be sprayed at prey, predators and humans too, long trousers, cycle clips and a hat are needed to get up close. Birds can encourage Wood Ants to spray the acid on their feathers to help control parasites.
Wordless Wednesday – Carpets of Bluebells with my Faithful Friend
Wordless Wednesday – Sweetly Scented First Bluebells
Wordless Wednesday – Dances with the Daffodils
Wordless Wednesday – Spring Blackthorn Blossom
No pollinators = No Sloes for Sloe Gin.
109 species of insect are associated with Blackthorn , including the rare Black Hair Streak Butterfly. As an early native flowering hedgerow plant, Blackthorn provides valuable nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. The foliage which appears after the flowers is food for many moth caterpillars. Birds, including Nightingales and Blackbirds nest within the thorny dense thickets and as part of the food web, eat the caterpillars and other insects on the leaves. Birds also feast on the sloe berries in the Autumn.
Wordless Wednesday – Chaenomeles in Early Spring
Chaenomeles are an early nectar and pollen source. Fruits may be eaten by birds in the Autumn and left to become a shrubby tangle could make a decent protective nesting site.
Wordless Wednesday – Edgeworthia chrysantha
Wordless Wednesday – Late Winter Flower Power – Berberis darwinii
Berberis darwinii can provide a good protective nesting site, within its dense thorny branches for birds. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for pollinators. Autumn berries provide food for birds.
Wordless Wednesday – Winter’s Headily Fragrant Sarcoccoca
Packing a powerful fragrance, three forms of Sarcoccoca in the Anglesea Abbey Winter Garden providing pollen and nectar for awakening Queen Bumbles and other Pollinators.
Wordless Wednesday – Plant for Wildlife – Mahonia aquifolium
Nectar and Pollen maybe taken by Blackcaps, Bluetits and House Sparrow. Berries eaten by Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes. Early flowering nectar source for Bees and Bumblebees. Bright Line Brown Eye, Cabbage and Peppered Moth Caterpillar Food Plant. Non-native introduced to UK in 1823.