Sunday, 23 October 2016

A quiet walk amongst the trees

Saturday saw a quiet walk round Esholt woods.
 Fungi was on the menu, trying to find specimens I have not seen before.
I have learned a few things about fungi over the past week, one is to have a little torch in your kit, as it can get quite dark amongst the trees and photos will come out a little dull. 
Photograph as many parts of the mushroom as you can . This will help later when you try to identify them.
 Another subject in nature which can be a hard subject to grasp. It can get a bit frustrating as they come with many English names, scientific names have been changed, but they still use both and on the internet many have the wrong name!

Please don't be put of as it's so much fun looking and coming across one you've not seen before, even if you don't know what it's called,  they are beautiful and strange.     

Coprinopsis atramentaria, commonly known as the common ink cap or inky cap

Tawny Grisette (Amanita fulva)

Acorns (never seen so many)

The wood is full of mainly Birch and Oak.

1.On this just one branch there was a..
 Oak Apple Gall.
The Oak Apple Gall is caused by a tiny gall wasp, Biorhiza pallida. It can be found between May and June on oak twigs where the female has laid her eggs in the leaf bud. Inside the gall there are a number of chambers, each housing a larva which eats its way out. Adults emerge in June and July.

2.Not sure if this patch was made from a.. 
Leaf miner

3.Knopper Gall

The Knopper Gall is caused by a tiny gall wasp, Andricus quercuscalicis. It produces ridged outgrowths on the acorns of our native Pedunculate Oak; forming in August they are sticky and red, later becoming woody and brown. A second generation then develops in the catkins of Turkey Oak.

Common hawkweed, Snail, harlequin
and the only Sheild bug I have seen all year.

This lovely fungi was hard to spot at first, Lilac Bonnet (Mycena pura), one I have not seen before. Growing close to the leaf litter, I spotted one then like a magic painting your eyes see the others popping out of the ground. They were all growing in "fairy rings"  

Fairy Rings
by Michael Kuo
"You have found a fairy Ring deep within the forest, a circle of mushrooms . . . Some people will speak to you of spore and fungus circle. They would say that each season of growth fungus sprouts outside the edge of the space it filled the previous season. Moving ever outward leaving depleted ground within the circle. Those who have opened their minds, hearts and souls to the realms of magic may speak to you of the fairies. Those who know the fairies will tell you that fairy rings are where the Fairies dance and perform many of the rituals of their own magic."

                                                   Cramp Balls,  King Alfred's Cakes-Daldinia concentrica
Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

While you were away.

            I HAVE

Moved departments on to plants and flowers, worked meany 11 hour shifts, training, getting up at 5 in the morning, or not getting home till 10. Had 7 birthdays and been to two weddings, and another holiday.


Went on a tree ID course, trapped moths (very poor this year), Last of the flower walks at Denso Nature reserve, me and Jackie were asked to help run it next year, taking part in a 6 month project for Guiesely Ecology group, recording the wildlife on Yeadon Banks.


Still working long hours, mothing, changed the garden, cut a large Weeping Willow back, working ! spotting caterpillars, Hedgehogs visiting the garden, and working some more.


Worked some more, loving working with the plants and flower, bringing far to many home ! stream survey, wrote up 3 months of notes for ecology group, had my hair cut Pixie style, went with the family to Center Parcs Sherwood for a week ( recommend going if you get the chance). Another course at Denso "What's in the Hedge"  .


Back to normalish hours, able to get outside with the camera, looking for fungi....

 Hopefully back blogging.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Are you ready Ted we're of to THE HOLY ISLAND of LINDISFARNE

But let's have lunch on the beach at Bamburgh Castle.

Once home to the kings of ancient Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is one of Northumberland's most iconic buildings.

The sand dunes were filled with wildlife and wild flowers including Pyramid Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) , Drinker Moth Caterpillar, Remains of a baby seal :( and sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.

We didn't have long here today as we were just waiting for the tide to go out on the estuary, so we could drive over to Holy Island.

Lindisfarne Castle
This is the second time I have visited Holy Island, the first time was many years ago when the boys were very little. It was March and snowing sideways ! It was so cold we walked up one street towards the Post office, not even seeing the castle or the Priory, bought a post card and went back to the car..

Today was a little warmer, and the place took my breath away, what with all the lovely houses and gardens in the village ( would be nice to see it with out so many cars). There is so much to discover and see, full of history as well as wildlife. I could spend a whole week here and be happy not to leave...

Viewing window onto the Lough


In the North East of England,  fishermen would use redundant herring boats as storage sheds for their nets and other equipment. As the fishing industry has changed and evolved over the years the places where these traditional huts survive has diminished but Holy Island is one of the few places where they remain in abundance. There are two main sites on the island where you can see the Lindisfarne boat sheds.

In the sheltered harbour where the traditionally the boats were pulled ashore onto the beach.
 The sheds are still used by the fishermen.(link)

Castle and Harbour

Bar-Tailed Godwit 


Red  Valerian (Centranthus ruber)

All round the coast there were beautiful flowers, one of them been Sedum's , they came in different colours and shapes, as yet I have not had the time to I.D them all, but I think this one is called  
White Stone Crop

The lime kilns at Castle Point on Holy Island are among the largest, most complex and best preserved lime kilns in Northumberland. These kilns produced quick lime for a variety of uses such agricultural fertilizer, mortar for buildings and whitewash (LINK)


At the sea edge there was a bank of stones, how it started no one knows, but for me it was a wonderful sight.
Hundreds of visitors to the Island had contributed over the years by adding more stones, the photos don't do it justice. It felt very spiritual adding your mark at the edge of the sea.

A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn (plural càirn).Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from pre-historic times up to the present.

Gertrude's garden

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created some 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America.

Gertrude's garden

The garden occupies the site of a vegetable patch which once provided the soldiers in the Castle with food. Gertrude’s combination of hardy annuals, colourful perennials and heritage vegetables provide a riot of colour in the summer and a leafy, sheltered oasis all year round.

Lindisfarne Priory

Founded by St Aidan in AD635, the site owes its fame to St Cuthbert, the greatest of Northumbrian holy men, who lived and died there.The original home to the Lindisfarne Gospels, was one of the most important centres of early Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England.

St Aidan

Statue of St Aidan designed and carved by an island resident Miss Kathleen Ophir Parbury, situated to the north side of the priory.

St Mary's Parish Church

Church of Saint Mary the Virgin' is reputed to stand on the site of the original monastery founded by Aidan in 635ad. Parts of the structure date back to the 7th century, several hundred years before the appearance of the Priory.
Whilst its main role is to serve the small Island community it is also a year-around focus for tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims - Christian and others.

Aidan Window

West Window in memory of Mr Edward & Miss Gladys de Stein (former owners of Lindisfarne Castle)

Cuthbert Window

West Window - the Haggerston Window

"The Journey"

The Journey sculpture in elmwood by Fenwick Lawson.It shows six monks taking St. Cuthbert's body from the Island on a journey across the North during Viking raids.

The Lindisfarne Gospel Gardens

As you can tell from this longer post than normal, 
I loved it here.

One thing to note we missed a lot of things as they had closed, depending on the tide times I would go in the morning, or stay a week !