Tuesday 26 February 2013

Mosses of Ingleton Churchyard - 1

Ingleton church tower looks down on many mosses: - the tower can't get bored!

Here are  some of the mosses it sees .. and a few shots of the well-attended Beginners Workshop on 23 Feb

There will be a repeat workshop during the Ingleton OvergroundUnderground Festival on 29 May when it WILL be much warmer
(I made a moss booklet for the workshop. One day I will put a copy in the church. It had descriptions of 16 of the 32 bryophytes that I had found when I visited three weeks ago. .. At the workshop and in the exploration afterwards I discovered another 6)
(Click here for other posts on this blog about Mosses and Liverworts)

This is the view as you climb the steps to approach the church.
Bottom left, marked by the blue pen is some Syntrichia - I think - ruralis (Great Hairy Screw Moss)  but I still have to check that it is not Syntrichia intermedia (Intermediate Screw Moss)
I hope it is the former as I like that name best.

The Syntrichia above  after spraying it with water.
The leaves are about 4mm long, are tongue shaped and have hair points.

On the wall on the right of the gateway is a patch of The Smaller Lattice-moss
 Cinclidotus fontinaloides - the shoots trail down
This should be growing beside the river.
What is it doing up here? (Rhetorical question - I don't know the answer - except to say the other places we found it on the walls, apart from this one,  were in north facing low-down shady places on the walls, so would be very moist). Below is a diagram.
There is a border round the edge of the Cinclidotus leaves because the margin is several cells thick. The top diagram shows a section through the edge of a leaf.

The picture below is the view towards the church from ground level at the top of the steps.
This is ground level as you enter the churchyard at the metal gates
- and looks like absolute grot.
It is one of the last mosses I looked at, as it is so tiny.
Compared to this,the other mosses in the churchyard are big and bold and beautiful.

Yet this moss always does look this dark olive green colour - and many of the
leaf tips ARE ALWAYS broken off: - it is a method if dispersal.
It is called Didymodon sinuosus - Wavy Beard-moss.
The Didymodons are all small cushion mosses,
with leaves mostly about 1-2 mm long.

Below is a picture of  
Didymodon sinuosus that I took whilst attending the BBS Acrocarps course at Preston Montford three weeks ago.
Didymodon sinuosus  Wavy beard-moss.  (tarmac track Preston Montford) the leaves are about 2 mm long. see the tips of the leaves are often missing.

As you walk 10metres up the path toward the church there is a flower bed on the left immediately next to the path. This has clumps of another little cusion moss- this time a  bright pale green moss. It is not shiny. - this moss can often occur in flower beds.. It was in the Giggleswick church flower bed, and in John Bearpark's garden at Settle.. 

It is Barbula unguiculata   the leaves are suddenly blunt at the tip but then have a point sticking out. the leaves have a mat surface. Under a microscope you would see that the cells have time little lumps called papillae on them that reflect the light in different directions - this is why it is mat no shiny)

Just below the Barbual in the picture above is another tinier moss that has smaller wider leaves - I am  going to check out what that is.

Barbula unguiculata  a  (Bird's-claw beard-moss)   an even closer view
- My camera won't get any closer. These leaves are about 3mm long.

Here is a group of us on the lawn in front of the tower.
Do you see the flat grave on the right and behind the group. Well the picture below shows the same (or maybe a grave nearby..)

In the front is Green Mountain Fringe-moss Racomitrium fasciculare

This is Racomitrium fasciculare (Fascicle means a little branch) It is a yellow green moss when wet though can look dark green when dry.  It is half way between being a carpet moss (Pleurocarp) and an cushion moss (Acrocarp). This Racomitrium does not have a hair point. Racomitriums grow on exposed acid rocks. This is a slate gravestone. 

Next we went round the back of the church and found some more Racomitrium on another gravestone

Here we are at the back of the churchyard. The base of this gravestone (sandstone) again has a piece of Racomitirium fasciculare

Actually here we are looking at the algae on the same gravestone - Lots of Clebsormidium crenulatum (This filamentous green alga that is growing well due to nitrogen oxide pollution - even in westerly rural villages such as Ingleton, with supposedly relatively pure air). and lower down on the gravestone some Trentepohlia (orange)

Here we are at the beginning of the workshop - in the warmth of the church room at the back of the church. Mike is holding a thallose liverwort he brought in to show us, as so far, we haven't found any thallose liverwort in the churchyard.

Welcome coffee and cake break

Examining specimens. See the book   - front left- the British Bryological Society  Field Guide

Just behind people on the left.. is the west wall of the tower -see below
Look at the zonation of mosses on the ground to the left of the tower.

To the far left, and in the soil below the trees is Oxyrrhynchium hians (Swartz's feather-moss) (I may study that later - it is a more non-descript-than-usual pleurocarp  growing amongst the vegetation under the trees.

The bright green in the middle is  (Still to be checked) Clustered-Feather-moss Rhynchostegium confertum
I met the caretaker who told me he removed moss from this path in summer. Perhaps Rhyncostegium is one that comes back when others have been removed.

The dark green right next to the wall and green door is Lophoclea bidentata - Bifid Crestwort - our only liverwort  (..so far) 

Bifid  Crestwort at ground level.. and below closer:.

Bifid Crestwort close-up. It is a leafy liverwort. See the leaves have no vein and two points. Liverworts do not have veins; and mosses never have two points.
..On the left is a model of Bifid Crestwort (Lophocolea bidentata) I made (100 times as big as the real thing) , and a quick sketch on the right.  From above (top) you can see their are two rows of leaves, inserted obliquely. the leaves are about 1.5mm long. The lower view of the model is from below - you can see it has underleaves.                                                                   


To get a sense of scale, whilst standing on the liverwort, turn round and look south, and refocus on the distance - .. to see..

the Ingleton viaduct..  and above and beyond the viaduct to...
the Forest of Bowland with a covering of snow..
 Thank you - aren't modern cameras marvellous!

But back to the liverworts at our feet....

And a bit of revision for those who came on the workshop - do you remember the pleurocarp(carpet moss) with branches arranged like hands or fans placed downwards near the base of the trunk of the ash tree?

Yes it is.

Mouse-tail Moss: Isothecium myosuroides

 I hope you'll join me again later this spring when I run another workshop at Ingleton Churchyard this time on:-
"Let's practise using the BBS Field Guide Key" .. .. We'll visit a few of the mosses we met last time and a few new ones. It will be one evening between 5.30pm and 8pm. date yet to be fixed.


(Click here for other posts on this blog about Mosses and Liverworts)

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