Sunday, 28 November 2010

CoolEarth Coffee at Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve

 Wednesday 25 November:  A visit to Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve at Caterick Garrison near Richmond. I arrvied at 12.30 but there were so many paths to explore I didn't get back till almost dark - and then shared a drink of Cool Earth Coffee with one of the volunteers there, and left them a jar to enjoy.

I'd had a good day. At the far end of this pool is the tower hide (above) and a rounder brand new hide below.

Inside it was delightful - brand new wood, not yet made dirty by birdwatchers feet. The building was so symmetrical and peaceful.

There were new paths and new benches.
and new pools and scrapes:-

 I found the Open air classroom being built ..

Here is a flush area (they called it raised fen ) - with Quaking grass and Grass of Parnassus.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

CoolEarth Coffee at St John's Coffee Mornings

We had some of the Cool Earth Coffee at the regular Tuesday Morning Coffee Morning at St John's Methodist Church this week -23 November. There is a choice and this week we could also have FairTrade Percol cafetiere coffee.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

CoolEarth Coffee at Skipton - Craven Speakers Club

On 15th November at Craven Speakers Club (at Skipton, North Yorkshire) we chose to drink Cool Earth Coffee, to support CoolEarth  and their coffee morning that day

CoolEarth coffee has been launched recently. The sale of each jar of CoolEarth coffee protects a tree at risk of being logged in the Amazon rainforest.

You can read about Craven speakers club at

 Here you can see I am  (as usual!) promoting the beautiful cards I make to sell in aid of the Rainforest.

 This is the manual we use at Speakers club.

These are apples that Eileen brought as a gift for anyone to take. They are delicious
I had had to make a special trip to Tesco's to buy the coffee beforehand, as I understood that this is the only place you can buy the Cool Earth Coffee. I would rather support other shops as well as Tesco's.

I bought four jars £2.99 each. But I have made good use of the four jars
A friend at Speakers Club bought one jar from me.

I took the coffee to Craven Conservation Group's AGM on Tuesday Evening and told everyone we would be drinking it. Unfortunately the meeting went on so long that we abandoned coffee and the mince pies that I had brought too.  However one member was keen to buy a jar and did!

I took a jar to show Settle Spinner's group on Tuesday.  And gave a jar to St John's Church for their Tuesday Coffee Mornings.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Autumn 2010 Views + St John's Church Settle

Here is a picture of St John's on 30th October. In the background above the railway bridge you can see Castleberg rock with the flag flying

On 3 November I walked up through Castleberg Woods

..over the fallen leaves

 Castleberg Rock. From Here you can see St John's in the distance, bang in the centre and a little to the right

But from the top of the rock you get a better view of Settle - I should try and join these three pictures to make a panorama. The church is on the right side of the right picture.

 Here is the right picture enlarged

 You see the road in the centre above, and being crossed by the railway?

To the left of the road is St John's Methodist Church Hall

and to the right is the church (Remember you can click on the pictures to get large versions)

At road level,  the Settle Carlisle arch frames the church.

I enjoyed making the most of the autumn colours.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Nagoya Poster at Allhallowgate

Here is a Nagoya poster on the display board at Allhallowgate Methodist Church in Ripon on Thursday 4 November. This church had a float on the theme "Noah's Ark" for the St Wilfrid Festival in Ripon in summer and you can see some of the models of animal heads on the window sill.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Molina caerulea - Purple Moor-grass

Newby Moor Looking to Ingleborough
 Late Novemeber 2009

Purple Moor-grass leaves start to die in October.

By November hillsides dominated by Purple Morr-grass appear white in the distance.

I love to plunge my hands into the dead leaves and lift a pile high in the air, scattering the leaves in the wind. The blades are spiralled  like spiral wood savings, like curly ribbon prepared for a parcel.

"This is Britain's only deciduous grass" I say and watch as the leaves flutter away.

In autumn the nutrients go down from the leaves to the swollen shoot bases and shoot dies.

The nutrients are there  for use in future years. And the wide flat leaves which would otherwise loose water through transpiration, at a time when it is too cold for photosynthesis, are gone.

 You can see a swollen shoot base on the right.

Sit on the ground and pat the ground. The  Molina feels like a hedgehog - there are the remains of the shoots from previous years

I examined this "hedgehog".  Look also at the very thick whitish roots. I took the photo on the right two days ago (30 Oct) as I drove over from Settle towards Airton

View from Settle-Airton road
.  The grass in the foreground is mostly Mat-grass but the pinker patches are the Purple Moor-grass.

In the back ground (centre) you can see the far hillside is whitish and has similar vegetation. This is The Weets. To the left of the Weets is the road going up from Gordale to Lee Gate/Newhouses and to the left of that green grassland with limestone outcrops.

Grassland dominated by Purple Moor-grass with few other species is difficult to walk on because of the tussocky nature. In the National Vegetation Classification system this type is given the number M25 - Purple Moor-grass Tormentil grassland. - easy to remember this number as the M25 motorway round London is usually very slow progress too.

Wetter areas of M25 can reveal interesting Bog-mosses - this red one on the right (back at Newby Moor again) is Sphagnum capillifolium.

Purple Moor-grass can grow in basic flushes and then accompany plants such as Quaking Grass, Northern Marsh orchid and Bird's-eye Primrose.

Purple Moor-grass flowers late - July - August and has purple anthers.

In September through to November I look out for Ergot of purple Moor-grass - this is a fungus disease. Where the grain should be instead there is a large purple fruiting body (Sclerotium). these are poisonous and can cause madness and gangrene.

It will be another five months till the green leaves of next year's Purple  Moor-grass appear.  On the right you see a group of students looking at a tuft in late May at Headley Heath - In Surrey it is an uncommon plant. - Even here you can see last November's dead leaves scattered like wood shavings in the foreground.