Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015 - to All

Here are Settle Voices singing a favourite carol (on 13 Dec 2014)  to wish you well on your journey onwards.
.. both  up the line, and onwards through life.
(Do set both videos off- even if you don't watch them right through)







New Year's Resolution for the week:
https://blog.bufferapp.com/improve-posture-good-posture-science-happiness
(to remind myself)


Remember, If you live near Settle -  there is still space on Christmas Day at Settle Community Christmas Meal..


Happy 2015!







Monday, 24 November 2014

Sannet Hall Klebsormidium

This shows the way I had come
I was returning from Malham Tarn on Tuesday morning the scenic way - along Henside, to Sannet Hall, when the sun came out. (Next I would descend to Stainforth.)  This picture is looking back from Sannet Hall towards Henside

The grass was vivid lime green - making for dramatic picutres 

and so was the Klebsormidium (filamentous alga) splurging all over the wall. 


You can see it can't you? On the right, and on the wooden post.

Klebsormidium grows on acid rocks and wood.
The stones in the wall just here are mostly made of Greywacke  a 450 million year old Silurian rock (that I would call slate if I hadn't been told better) - that lies below the 350 Million year old carboniferous limestone.
(Digressing: (Greywacke is a grey sandstone (hence the name grey)  with particles of sand of various sizes and also of clay in it. It is generally characterized by its hardness, dark color, and poorly sorted angular grains of quartzfeldspar, and small rock fragments or lithic fragmentsset in a compact, clay-fine matrix.  The sea where it formed may have had turbidity currents and been moving to have such a mixture of particle sizes.  I like this description here even if it was 1833)
Anyway,  it is acid, and with the high rainfall we get round here, and it being a north facing side of the wall, the alga is doing really well. I suspect the mild October and November has allowed it to continue growing.
This alga has spread relatively recently in Britain - but I have never seen quite so much as on this wall.

It is increasing because of the background nitrogen oxides (and maybe ammonia) in the air, from intensive farming, cow muck, car exhaust etc.

The adjacent  farm may have had a slight effect - but the alga extended a third of a mile or so to the south towards Stainforth (as far as the greywacke stones extended) so I think it is mainly here due to the exposed position of the wall.  (Or it could also be as far as the much spreader was able to drive...) I just don't know.




The pollarded trees look dramatic too.





This was a bright yellow green lichen - but I don't think it was Rhizocarpon geographicum - more like a white lichen turned yellow green by an alga .. I must try and find out about this.

Here is a link to a website about a prototype algal farm on a flyover over a motorway in Switzerland 
-See other pages on this blog about Klebsormidium alga

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Leaflet part 6: how to write a biodiversity leaflet - A better template - more space

Back to Part 1  (Intro).
Back to Part 2 : - A leaflet that people will pick up
Back to Part 3: - A leaflet that people will READ
Back to Part 4: A leaflet so that people will ACT
Back to Part 5: It's now divided into TWO leaflets

Two leaflets, in print size big enough to read. I felt quite proud.

At the end of last week I said I would:

1) Ask "How could the leaflet be used?"
-~ask a few local religious leaders/
and people in charge of notice boards

2) Find out how much it would cost to get it printed locally..

3) Consider, what would the 14 year olds make of these leaflets?
Or the 13 year olds I taught in Sierra Leone? -

 perhaps I really do need a picture of a bee and some bee statistics...  Or can I supplement my leaflet on the display board with biodiversity pictures made by other organisations?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) Ask "How could the leaflet be used?"

Our local C of E priest was quite supportive.
He suggested putting about three pairs of leaflets in each of the local churches.
And with an extra 20 I might use at a house group, that would soon come to 100 copies..

2) Find out how much it would cost to get it printed locally..

I obtained quotes for printing from the local print shop. (250, 500 and 1000 ).. I could see that it was definitely much cheaper to have larger quantities made.
One quote was:
Costs for printing on 100gsm recycled 4/4
6pp Rollfold to DL

250 - £109.21
500 - £121.03
750 - £125.21
1000 - £130.74

12pp Parallel fold & Rollfold to DL  (assuming I made an A3 leaflet folded into 6)

250 - £178.52
500 - £194.11
750 - £215.21
1000 - £221.74

prices subject to sight of the artwork.

Now I would need to persuade the national organisation Green Christian / CEL that they would like to pay to have them printed - (rather than me just running off a few copies on my expensive printer, and putting the file online to make it available for other people to print themselves.)

I emailed the CEL Secretary.

"Bring some copies to the next planning meeting" said the secretary

"But they must be in the CEL House style - At the moment that is A4 folded rather than tryptych.
And a tryptych would still need to conform to margins, spacing, headings, fonts and size of print etc.. "

HOUSE style?

I then remembered that when CEL got its new logo 6 years ago we were sent templates for leaflets.
Ahh - I should have used those all along -

But maybe not.

 I have had chance to learn and be creative, and I have used the correct font already, and the red stripes at the top and bottom of the page.

I have now made leaflets
1. Using the CEL housestyle (but now in colour) - A5 (A4 folded)
2. Triptych leaflets - similar to what I have already done - but with similar layout to the CEL Housestyle - tthe only main difference trying font size 10 and font size 11 instead of the house style font  size 8.5
I still want the leaflets to be accessible to visually challenged people and to older children used to large print.


 So the front of the 2 triptych leaflets still look something like this, and the A5 leaflets are similar but a bit wider.

    



You will be able to download all the versions here:
Meanwhile here is a link to
Leaflet 1 - A5 word doc
Leaflet 1 - A5  pdf

Leaflet 1 triptych font size 10   word doc
Leaflet 1 triptych font size 11   word doc


The extra white space and extra spacing does make them look a lot better - as does the the much more restricted number of font sizes.
                                                     ---------------------------------------

Meanwhile - I read a blog post and was reminded about the  problems caused by cattle- Nitrogen oxides , green house gases, and deforestation to grow soya to feed our cattle -
I added "Go more vegan" to point 10 on Leaflet 1's list of of ten top practical steps.)
10: Buy food that is "Wildlife friendly" and go more vegan.
 
SINCE Wednesday I stopped being an omnivore and started being "partly more vegan." (Though not totally)

I still need to
1) consider further how the leaflet can be used
2) try it out on some 14 year olds
3) Take it to the Green Christian Planning meeting



Come back next week to see what I do next

Friday, 7 November 2014

Leaflet part 5: how to write a biodiversity leaflet - It's now divided into TWO leaflets

Back to Part 1  (Intro).
Back to Part 2 : - A leaflet that people will pick up
Back to Part 3: - A leaflet that people will READ
Back to Part 4: A leaflet so that people will ACT

  Leaflet part 5: - It gets divided into TWO leaflets


In Part 4 I decided to make the print bigger so that people can easily read it. 
A very successful decision.
I'm so glad I made that decision - I mean, how can I go about with our "Disability and Needs Awareness project at church".. and then produce leaflets with writing that is too small for people to read?

But it meant that the bible quotes and quotes by religious leaders had been squeezed off the main leaflet and would have to go inside on a separate double sided single column insert.

However like Topsy, the leaflet continued growing.
as a result of:
  1. making the quotes in bigger text,
  2.  including an extra column specifically promoting the Rainforest Fund, 
  3. and half a column explaining the benefits of CEL
I soon found I had a whole triptych insert,  (or the option of putting both triptychs together and making an A3 sheet). It looked rather boring,

Having spent parts 1 to 4 learning how to make the first leaflet look so nice 

(.. by make people aware they love it- wildife -  so they then want to act, and then showing them how to act), I decided to rearranged the second leaflet so it would look similar.

"Put a red squirrel on it" said Althea.

And since I had a nice photo through the window at Kindrogan Field Centre of a red squirrel on the bird feeder, on the red squirrel went.

Here is the front of the two leaflets:

 Whoops.. we seem to have slunk back to the word "Biodiversity" again. perhaps I should retitle leaflet 2 "Why does saving nature  matter to Christians"..
(The word Biodiversity was only coined in 1986 by E.O. Wilson)

--------------------
Inside leaflet 1 I made my own doughnut chart (using Excel) showing the different causes of wildlife population losses (from the Living Planet Report).


Well that was an achievement in itself .. quite proud of myself.

-----------------------------

Leaflet 2 will probably only appeal to Christians.. but that is fine. No need to print as many.

All the quotes on the leaflet were from men, all except except one by Ruth. This especially applied to religious leaders..  What to do about that?

In the absence of any modern "high up" women religious leaders, I found a page of quotes by Kenyan activist and conservationist Wangari Maathai, and put in a quote by her - It may not have been the best, but it was one of the shortest.  And found a nice photo of her on Wiki-Commons.

---------------------------
I went Scottish Dancing in the Church Hall this evening and stuck up the two leaflets. One co-dancer looked at them and said "That's sad" - meaning the wildlife loss was sad .

But I didn't want him to go away feeling sad. Not unless it brings results.

The next stage?

1) Ask a few local religious leaders/people in charge of notice boards how they feel they could use the leaflet

2) Find out how much it would cost to get it printed locally..

3) Go over the leaflets again and consider, what would the 14 year old children I used to teach in Bradford make of these leaflets? Or the 13 year olds I taught in Sierra Leone? - perhaps I really do need a picture of a bee and some bee statistics...  Or can I supplement my leaflet on the display board with biodiversity pictures made by other organisations?

Here is the back of leaflet 2.




Come back next week to see what I do next -  Onwards to Part 6: The CEL template and more white space

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Wonderful Waxcaps at Anley Hall - CCG Foray 2014

Jane Rushworth led us to Anley Hall, near Settle for our CCG 2014 Fungus Foray and with thirty people it was one of our best attended field events of the year.. The lawns of our local Nursing home, it turned out, are home for at least eleven species of Waxcaps- meaning they are of important conservation value.


On the front lawn was a fairy ring of Entelomas, and here you see us standing round the outside of this ring:





Crimson Waxcap - Hygrocybe punicea

We went back to St John's Church Hall and met after lunch and spread out our specimens



Jane got us to sort out the fungi in to groups


One member even found time for a quick water colour painting


Waxcaps. Only the Balckening Waxcap (Hygrocybe conica) is poisonous/non edible


A big thank you to:
Jane for leading the event
Archie MacAdam who was scheduled to co lead it, but was unavailable due to illness - but he checked several of our specimens
To several of the people in Archie's U3A class at Skipton who came and supported the event
To the Flowers of the Dales Booklet which publicised the event and brought in several extra people
To Anley Hall for allowing us to use their grounds.

Elusive Liverworts in Ingleton Glens

It was a privilege to join a group from the Yorkshire Naturalists Union Bryophytes Section to part of Ingleton Glens on 1 Nov to make a third attempt in searching for a rare liverwort (very rare in the UK) not seen since 1966/67. - Great to be with people who know their mosses and liverworts!

Tom Blockeel reminded me that the "Atlas of British and Irish Byophytes" will be published later on this month.. and that there are only a few days left in which to buy it at the £20 reduced pre-publication price.

Ingleton Glens is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is two deeply cut wooded valleys, the upper part through slate, the lower part through limestone.  The surrounding land use is pasture and quarry.  

Come and see some of the bryophytes (and lichens) we found.

Amphidium mougeotii - Mougeot's Yoke-moss forms soft round mounds
where there is base enrichment in the water draining over a rock.

Homalia trichomanoides Blunt Feather -moss

Sheets of Homalia and a few mounds of Amphidium

Scapania nemorea

Normandina pulchella
Whoops- that's a lichen not a moss!
This is one that is easily recognnisable, like its name, is beautiful, and is on that needs clean air. .. 
But may be spreading since the SO2 pollution is now less than 30 years ago.
Actually we did fins some in Ingleton churchyard (a mile away) earlier this year


Not sure what this lichen is.   Where this lichen grows the moss does not grow.
It has a black margin round the prothallus.
Are the black dots cephalodia,  parasitic lichens or reproductive bodies?

(cephalodia are parts of a lichen that have blue-green algae in them instead of normal green aglae. Blue-greens can fix atmospheric nitrogen to make their own "fertilizer"
I've put this here in the hope that a lichen friend will be able to help me.




The Normandina is on the moss bottom left.

This mound of Scapania does not have the brown gemmae so is not S nemorea. 
It is S gracile

S gracile

A liverwort, quite a rare on I.. will write up its name once I have checked it under the microscope...
I think it should be a darker green than this.

Same

Autumn colours



Group photo

On a rock face just in a field just outside the wood was this beautiful big Dog Lichen. There are at least 12 species of Dog Lichens in UK. This one is Peltigera leucophlebia. Bright green when wet, frilled at edges;
dark wart like cephalodia which cannot easily be reomoved.

Add caption

Peltigera leucophlebia in foreground on left.

The light starts to dwindle at 3.30pm .. need to head for base soon.
But what a warm mild day it has been for 1 November.

Campylopus atrovirens - looks dark, can look black. More of a mountain species

We did not find our liverwort. But we had a good day.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ripon Cathedral - nature on a warm day -and harlequin ladybirds

Midday on 30th October was very warm as the sun tried to burn off the moist cloud and mist. After looking at a display of calligraphy paintings in the Cathedral I walked outside.

This post tells about the many Harlequin ladybirds I found crawling up a tree and flying around outside.

The following day (31 Oct) I visited a groundfloor flat near the Spa Hotel. She said she had had a few in the house, and yes we found some crawling on the window pane. Perhaps they were looking for somewhere to hibernate.

Harlequins were first recorded in 2004 in the UK, having come from the continent, and have been spreading (see maps) ever since. They grow faster than native ladybirds, and may even eat them.


I stopped to look at what I thought was Lepista saeva - Field Blewit



Crawling over one was a Harlequin Ladybird. 

Yes a Harlequin. Harmonia axyridis. It arrived in UK in 2004. Research has previously shown that seven out of eight UK ladybird species studied had declined over five years following the arrival of the harlequin in 2004. I am not sure if I have seen one yet at Settle.

Larva

There were tens, maybe a hundred on the tree in different larval stages and adults.

I tried to work out what this lichen is. there was also lots of Physcia tenella and Physcia adscendens.

More Harlequins

More Harlequins close up


In the children's park below it looked autumnal

More of this lichen there


Oh look they have pulled down the library - old site of