Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flora and Fauna in Regency England - September

by Michele Ann Young

Holy smoke. I have been trying to get to this post for nearly a week. Deadlines are looming, which I love, but they tend to take all my focus. The other thing I did was to sign up for some classes. Well, you know I was worried I might become one dimensional and have nothing to talk about except the Regency and really become "Lost in Austen".

I signed up for some sewing classes and for a web design class. I am going to see if I can use dreamweaver. Who knows, but I have met some very nice people, so that is good.


Tis is a saffron milk-cap. It is an edible mushroom and while not terribly well-known, it is a great delicacy, I'm told.

It grows under pines, and is picked in early autumn. I am taking that to include September.

One would expect to find it in the north of the British Isles, most common in Scotland, though it is found in England.




The wild cherry shown here is native to England and has been identified in Bronze-age diggings. In September, the fruits begin to turn yellow, if the birds have left any on the trees, that is.






Our final September offering relates to an insect and the carnivore who eats them.



You may recognize this insect. I always called it a daddy long legs as a child, but I think that was a misnomer. It is a crane fly. These creatures hatch out in August and September and lay their eggs beneath lawns. The eggs quickly turn into larvae.

The lavae look like fat, short brown worms. Not worth a picture, but you can look them up if you feel so inclined.

And guess who likes the larvae. Well if you have ever had crane fly eggs in your lawn, you probably had a visit from the gentleman below. He loves cranefly lavae. And his rooting around looking for them will mean the end of your beautifully green lawns.



Sad to say, during the Regency, badger baiting and badger drawing were considered sports.

Dogs were pitted against badgers as can be seen in this picture from 1824. The sport had been going on since the middle ages and was another form of gambling, like dog fights and cockfights.

I'm glad it was outlawed in 1835.

Until next time, Happy Rambles