Sunday, 11 November 2018

"And into the forest I go.......

"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
― John Muir

Sunshine has been missing most days so far in November, this morning gave me the chance to make most of the light.
One thing I have learned from riding my bike is to explore any path, you never know where it might take you and what you might find. I have come to Swinsty reservoir

 The road takes you between Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs. (LINK). On arriving the car park was full, there was a "Tough up North" running race on round the two lakes so I decided to take the path through the woods where I have never walked before. The rain over the past few days had plumped the mosses up and they were a very rich green.  I saw no one as I walked through the woods, the wood was very still just the odd chirp out of a Robin and in the distance I could hear a Woodpecker. Every so often as the wind blew the leaves from the trees and water droplets would spray the forest floor.

Moss was growing up everything.

I love discovering new things but often get a bit frustrated when I can't find out what they are called. The internet is a great place, but the down side is many a photo named wrong. Searching through many mosses I thought this might be

Common haircap(Polytrichum commune)

but on reading this and having another look I am not sure.

Common Haircap Moss - Polytrichum commune. Well grown, large, hummocks or turfs of this species are unmistakable. Similar Species. Found in a wide range of damp, acidic habitats, tolerating shade and moderate amounts of pollution and nutrient enrichment. All year round. Widespread and frequent in most of Britain

Some more mosses I found
(still getting to grips with the macro setting on the camera)

I came across this old barn in the wood.

Way out on the waters edge I managed to spot some birds moving, they were very hard to see. Turned out to be Meadow Pipits.

Had to really crop photo  to see the bird, there is a bird in the bottom photo, can you see it?

A pile of stones built by someone and a piece of drift  wood.

I sat and watched the birds on the water before heading in to the wood on the opposite side of the lake.
Black-headed Gull

This wood had Beech trees rather than Pine, giving more fungi chance to grow.

Now is it just me who gets excited about finding Dead man's fingers with what turned out to be a wingless green fly crawling over it?

(Xylaria polymorpha)

The fungus is aptly named as they do look like fingers coming out of the ground, at first I though the little insect was a "Springtail" but after posting it on Facebook I was told it was a

Sycamore aphid oviparae.
Oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive method of most fish, amphibians, reptiles, all birds, and the monotremes. In traditional usage, most insects, molluscs, and arachnids are also described as oviparous.

Here is a great link if you are interested .

Honey fungus (Armillaria mellea)

Jelly Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae)

Harlequin ladybird

The harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis is non-native it became established in the UK in 2004.
We have had a lot of these this year.

Looking down Swinsty , along the road you can see over the wall at Fewston.
Cormorants were sunning on the waters edge.

I had had a lovely morning, not realising I had been out four hours. As I got back to the car the rain drops started and the sunshine disappeared.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Testing out a new camera


Last week I was treated to a new camera , for Christmas. But it would have been rude of me not to try it out and make sure it was working properly!

Seems a shame to put it back in the box, will wrap the box instead.


It's all singing and dancing bridge camera,

Panasonic fz 1000


It has many ways to take a photo, but I got it for the fast focus speed. As much as I loved my old camera with it's long zoom lens, most things had disappeared by the time it focused .

So the weather has been pity bad for photography this past week, dull and grey.
Not the best for taking photos.

So having checked the weather it looked like today was my best chance to give it a go.

Golden Acer Park was my best option,  you are guaranteed to see wild life here. Friendly Squirrels as long as you have food, the nature reserve at the far end of the park  (Adel Dam) where they feed the birds. Today the hide was full of people making the most of the weather, but what was funny.............  rather than watching the birds they were all talking, trying to out do each other on what they had seen recently.

The gardens near the coffee house gave me the opportunity to try some macro shots, a few more days out I will get use to all the different settings, as it's been a easy camera to use.

So coming up there are quite a few photos from my three hours at the park!
They will be good to look back on.


This Grey Squirrel has a ripped ear.

Pumpkin eating a Squirrel !

Blue Tit

Young Swan

Swan family
BH-Gull and Mallards 


Noon fly  and Chrysanthemums



Viburnum Spp
The smell coming from this tree was amazing

Viburnum Spp