Thursday, 26 August 2010

Reasons not to cut the lawn No.26

I hate cutting the lawn, in fact I dislike lawns full stop. However being a good resident I always cut it before I get wrong off my dear wife or the neighbours.  It was only 8 days ago since I last cut it, it wasn't bad but as soon as I started I knew I shouldn't. The thing was lifting with insects, and I ended up going so slow I think people were beginning to think I was sporting an injury. Its only a small lawn 10 x 4 metres which I normally take no more than 5 minutes to cut with the rotary. Today, with me stopping to get my camera and then taking the odd snapshot it was more like 40 minutes.  There were spiders, especially Harvestmen, running for cover  everywhere. Dozens of Grass-moths were flitting about, every one I managed to identify being Agriphila tristella which is a very common species. Normally said to be nocturnal, I find this moth easy to flush from tall vegetation and short vegetation in my lawn's case,   during the day in the summer months. 

Agriphila tristella

What was more surprising was the number of grasshoppers, with about 20 of them jumping out of the way, many leaping vertically and landing on the walls of the house.  They all turned out to be Field Grasshoppers (Chorthippus brunneus), in various states of maturity.

Field Grasshoppers clinging to the walls of the house
after leaping to safety from the lawn

Now grasshoppers are not the easiest to identify and the Field Grasshopper is quite similar to its relative the Meadow Grasshopper  but can be identified by the shape of the plate behind the back of head and the hairiness of the underparts. And the cruncher, Field grasshoppers prefer shorter grass than Meadow Grasshoppers - see I knew I didn't need to cut the lawn.

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