This yellow member of the daisy family grows on wet ground and is flowering now. Its common name suggests it would get rid of fleas, but its specific name Pulicaria dysenterica suggests a cure for dysentery(and fleas are in a superfamily called Pulicoidea). A web search found “The bruised leaves have a soap-like smell. They are astringent and can be used in the treatment of dysentery.” However, “Flora Britannica” says “its insect-deterrent powers may not be entirely fanciful. It is a comparatively close relative of the species which supplies the insecticide ‘pyrethrum’.”
Archive for July 26th, 2008
This unimproved meadow, near Three Oaks, has been mown for the last two years, but this time will be grazed by cattle.
It is full of different vetches and grasses, with dense patches of Meadowsweet and Yellow Rattle, a few Greater Knapweed and a white horizon of Hogweed.
Highlights this morning included, 34 Dunlin, 2 Knot and at least 1000 Sandwich Terns (some below) on Flat Beach Quarry. 7 Common Sandpipers and 4 Green Sandpipers were spread between Ternery Pool and the pools on Harbour Farm. Two Arctic Skuas were chasing Common Terns close inshore at the River Mouth.
An hour checking the Small Red-eyed Damselfly colony in one of the drainage ditches on Castle Farm provided some excellent wildlife encounters yesterday afternoon. First was a confiding Large Marsh Horse-fly (Tabanus autumnalis) pictured, then Emperor and Brown Hawker gave good views ovipositing, the later in dead wood which was set into the bank several inches above the water line. A Great Silver Beetle (Hydrophilus piceus) was a nice find amongst the floating aquatic plants, and then finally a Water Vole gave fantastic prolonged views swimming amongst the ditch vegetation before disappearing into the bank.