A walk along the River Almond in September
There were berries on elder, bramble and hawthorn. All provide an excellent food source for many bird species. Personally I rather like collecting elderberries to make a jelly which has a most unusual and delicious flavour.
Ivy flowers are the main autumn source of pollen and nectar for flower-visiting insects and usually the most abundant are honey bees, social wasps, hover flies and flies. On ivy near the Falls Café there was a wide variety of insects visiting the flowers. A study recently carried out at Sussex University has shown that in September and October 89% of the pollen pellets brought by worker bees to hives were from ivy whilst 80% of honey bees were collecting nectar rather than pollen.
It was now the time for fungi and several species were noted including a clump of honey fungus near Dowie’s Mill Cottages. It was very sticky and clearly something had been munching it! Lawyer’s Wig was growing in a damp area near Cramond and was undergoing autodigestion. Both these fungi are edible but I would not advise eating them without expert advice.
Walking by the riverside over the last 9 months it has been wonderful to watch how the intricate web of nature unfolds throughout the seasons. We must strive to maintain and encourage its diversity!