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Mike's Blog - Day 44

In the greenhouse we have a small glass cabinet which contains some items we have on loan from the BioSci department. It’s mainly viewed by school children as its tucked away but we have plans to build something a bit better and put it on view. In fact many years ago, way before the park and ride was built there were plans to build a natural history museum. Biosci have quite a collection I believe, including a huge prehistoric Irish Elk skeleton which is in their main entrance. (Google for pics of these creatures, amazing).

This delicate structure in the cabinet is a nest made by a weaver bird. Weaver birds vary a lot and are mainly in the Africa but also some parts of tropical Asia. It looks to be made entirely from dry grasses. How a bird can weave grass like this into such a perfectly formed shape is amazing, and to think they are not copying but doing this is by instinct.

Keeping with the African theme, in flower in the cactus house at the moment we have quite an unusual plant from Tanzania, Monadenium spectabile.

Here is a close-up.

Lots of plants start to flower in the cactus house at this time of year as the day length becomes more similar to what they are used to in their natural habitats.