Saturday, 16 January 2021

Settle Wildflowers 102: Langcliffe Churchyard Lichens and Wildflowers on Christmas Eve

 24th December was a sunny day.

I enjoyed a walk round the churchyard just after lunchtime, looking closely at the lichens in the sun.

Lichen: Aspicilia contorta

 Black jelly lichen either Collema auriforme or Collema fuscovirens

Some species of Spurge (Euphorbia) 

Silky Wall Feather-moss - Homalothecium sericeum

Striking shadow. Come back in two months and see the foreground filled with snowdrops.

Ivy and Hydrangea


Melanohalea exasperatula on branch in tree in field to east of churchyard

Feverfew -   Tanacetum parthenium

Feverfew -   Tanacetum parthenium

Heuchera species

Heuchera species

Welsh Poppies


Lichen: Lecanora albescens

err- need to name this.In tree outside but next to the churchyard wall on the north side.

Lichen on trunk: Phaeophyscia-orbicularis


Late blooming Rose - remember it's 24 December!

Intermediate  Screw-moss. Syntrichia montana (intermedia)

I'd really like to know the name of this

Settle Wildflowers - 101: New Year Day Plant Hunt 1 Jan 2021 - 42 species!

Wall Lettuce - on Castleberg-with splendid view of Settle

The BSBI (Botanical Society of the British Isles) organised their New Year Plant Hunt to be taken as a 3 hour walk on any of the first four days of January  this year. You can see the results here

On 1st January  I started the plant hunt at 1.45 pm - rather late!! - but it looked the sunniest of the four available days, parking on Church Street. The last 3/4 hour of my walk was by streetlight and torchlight!- But I knew where I was going for some of the plants at the end of the walk.

I recorded 42 plants 

Last year-Jan 2020 I recorded 34. I also did a walk with Doris at Ingleton last year.

In Jan 2019 we found 29

In 2018 we found 22

In 2017 we found 24

In 2015  we found 19

The increase in species is not due to global warming.
It is rather that for the first four years or so I stuck to the same path.
Then competition fever struck. I ticked off the regular haunts and species quickly and then explored new places.

This last year having carried out my Settle Wildflower Lockdown Walks I had visited many extra places, especially in the few weeks preceding Christmas 

But does my longer score make me happier? 


I just start thinking "Why did I miss Procumbent Pearlwort (perhaps because it was dark..)"

"What a shame the beautiful blue Borage I had seen ten days earlier is now a black mass of goo aftter the three frosty days we had,  and no longer countable!" 

"Pity that the Red Valerian and Sticky Groundsel and Common Mouse-ear that I regularly score are no longer to be seen this year."

(Other plants I have counted in previous years include Ladies Mantle, French Crane's-bill, Soft Brome.)..

 So had these all survived in the right places that score could come to 50!
But they didn't.

A viewing of the NYPH results show that virtually all the hunts with the longest  lists in the top 25 come from the south of England or the midlands/Wales and further south. the one laudable exception being the Silverlink list from Tynemouth - 63 -

For comparison I went on a walk in the countryside at Windskill Stones Nature Reserve and found no plants in flower (As did a friend who leves near Selside)

Back to Settle Wildflowers 

Here are some pictures of some of my finds.

Several of my new plants came from a visit to the flagpole on Castleberg

(You can compare them with pictures I took in June 2018)

Leafy Hawkweed: - Hieracium sp

Wall Lettuce - on Castleberg-with splendid view of Settle

 Yellow Oat-grass  Trisetum flavescens
 on Castleberg

Wood Aven - on Castleberg

Wall-flower - besisde grade 6 and 7 climbing routes on Castleberg

Nipplewort - somewhere near Settle Coal Yard

Goat Willow - in Ashfield Car Park

Dame's Violet - Cammock Lane-Station Road Allotments

This was the Borage- but I did not count it.

Daisy - we are next to ARLA now on the Industrial Estate

A brief foray over Queens Rock Bridge into Giggleswick to tick of Hazel

Rat's-tail Fescue - Vulpia myuros

Pineapple-weed Matricaria discoidea

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Chapel le Dale - Peltigera horizontalis and Peltigera praetextata

 Not all Dog Lichens are the same.

A delightful pre New Year walk with Doris Cairns along a road / track through a mossy wood / limestone pavement, near Chapel le Dale, with moss covered walls and pavement reveals two new ones on 30 December

My natural reaction to a big Dog Lichen is "It must be Peltigera membranacea" - especially as the two we find today both have a thallus that was not flat, but slightly  buckled / rugose / or using the the technical term,  bullate.

Both are growing straggling over moss growing over limestone rocks and a limestone wall - and in an area that must be sheltered and moist by the amount of moss growing on the trees and rocks. 

Both look magical with frost crystals twinkling round the margin of the thallus.

They are Peltigera horizontalis and Peltigera praetextata

1. Peltigera horizontalis

Inspection of the under surface that evening shows
The rhizines are brushlike (Dobson says rope like)
The rhizines are dark brown
The rhizines are arranged in concentric rings
The undersurface is pale at the margin and pale between the dark veins

The trunk of an oak tree near a cattle grid has some Pertusaria pertusa growing on it

2. Peltigera praetextata

"P praetextata has grey  brown,  often dense, scale like isidia along the margins and on any cracks on the thallus"

The rhizines in Peltigera praetextata are relatively simply. They are not branched and not like brushes.

Homeward bound