A Flower Walk with a Difference

Wednesday, January 3rd 2018

We set off on our flower walk, to look for flowers.  I had decided that the Red Campion along Risedale Beck did not pass the flower test, but I was persuaded, or should that be out-voted, that it did!

Examining Red Campion

In January we had to agree that flowers were scarce, so we found other things to look at and learn about.  This is a Dog Lichen, one of the Peltigera species.  Discussion amongst some experts is still going on as to which species it actually is.

A Dog Lichen

Walking up the quad bike track looking at the dead hedge is always of interest.  Although many leaves of Herb Robert, not a flower was seen.  A Frilly Lettuce, Platismatia glauca was noticed.  Looking up its correct name it can also be called Ragged Platismatia.  It was last recorded on 29th September 2015.

Frilly Lettuce Lichen

A fungi that we see quite often is Turkey Tail.

Turkey Tail Fungus

Another is Candlesnuff Fungus, with its white tips,

Candlesnuff fungus

which turn black once the white spores have been released.

Candlesnuff fungus

A small furry moss was photographed and unusually the spore cases were held quite close to the moss leaves and not well above them.  Again there are variations on its common name, Grey Hair Moss or Grey-cushioned Grimmia.  Looking this up in the Species List it was recorded on a boulder along the access track in May 2012.  It is still there!

Grey Hair Moss

Our wanderings took us through the Scrapes where the sun was catching the Phragmities.

Sun catching the Phragmities

Whilst looking at the ice still remaining on the Voley Pond some holes were observed in an old stem of Bulrush or Reedmace (Typha latifolia).  Moving further down the stem it became apparent that the inside of the stem had possibly been eaten.  Carefully moving an old piece of leaf, an empty pupa case was found.  Some investigation was required.  We do have Bulrush Wainscot Moth recorded in Sept 2008 and further searching revealed that this moth pupates in the stems of Bulrush.  So possibly an exciting find.  Another visit is required and some good photographs needed for possible confirmation.

Thank you to the volunteers who wandered around and were able to add many species to the January Observation Board.

Yesterday the bird ringers were at another site and in the duck trap were three Mallard and nine Moorhen, possibly a record.  A good start to the bird ringing year.

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