Wednesday, 3 June 2015

30 Days Wild | Day 3 - something blue...

As of today I am on annual leave from work, for some intensive revision time leading up to my exam! So for day 3 of 30 Days Wild, I was looking for something close to home. One of the suggestions in the 30 Days Wild booklet is to find and photograph something blue and it just so happens that I recently found some lovely blue things in our garden. We only moved to this house last July, and due to a combination of wanting to see what appears, and having no free time for gardening (well mainly the latter), the garden has pretty much been left to its own devices. So I had a nice surprise when I found these flowers there the other day:

I think they are Perennial Cornflower (Centaurea montana), which although not a native UK species is very attractive to insects as a nectar source, and to humans as an aesthetically pleasing bloom! They appear in quite a few gardens around my neighbourhood. I don't know if the ones in my garden were deliberately planted or self-seeded there. As the third photo shows, they fade to more of a purple colour as the flowers age. I took the photos with my field lens + smartphone camera combo.

But what is particularly special about blue things in nature anyway? If you think about it, there aren't actually that many blue flowers compared with flowers of other colours, nor blue animals. It turns out that plants and most animals cannot synthesise blue pigments, so the small number that are blue achieve it via various types of jiggery-pokery. Here's a short article about blue in plants, and one on blue in animals!

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