Proboscis - sticking your nose in

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This summer's garden entertainment of choice has been to observe the happenings on the verbena bonariensis canopy. Last year it was a dwindling couple of plants but thanks to a complete overhaul in that bed which included a monstrous conifer being removed it has undergone a complete transformation. Where flowers once struggled they now thrive. The seeds cast last year grew with vigour and have given life to a dream which had all but snuffed out. The butterflies have approved and visit the garden in an almost non-stop gentle flurry; at any given time in the sunny hours I can see at least one and often more that four. Sometimes I step outside with my camera to capture the moments which has resulted in hundreds of shots. The more I look at butterflies the more they make me feel strange, for their method of feeding is quite weird to observe. 
Butterflies have a proboscis which they use to reach their food. Is it a tongue or a nose? Well, after looking it up, it's more like a straw which uses suction from the head but acts more like a paper towel. It's certainly effective on the verbena flowers. The bending and moving of the proboscis slightly disturbs me, I'm alarmed on their behalves that it might get damaged or broken. I suppose they know what they're doing, as they have to wield it around day in, day out.

'They' do advise a whole variety of flowers for wildlife as there feeding methods mean that one size does not fit all and to provide something for everyone then a mix is best.









Take care,
Sophie

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