Wednesday 26 February 2014

Kilnsey Mosses (Superb Syntrichia part 2)

"IMAGINE you are sitting on a wind swept hillside in the Yorkshire Dales, with the grassy valley below and rocks covered with thyme leaves and special mosses stretching up the hillside far far above. In the distance the first oyster-catchers, lapwings and curlews are calling as they come to find roosting grounds.  
In one hand you hold a hand lens which enables you to see objects magnified 10 times - so you can  see the tiniest fleck of dirt in your fingernail, or the hairs on a butterflies antenna - and in another hand you have a specimen of "The Side-fruited Crisp-moss"
The Side-fruited Crisp-moss.
(Pause for admiration)
 (Pleurochaete squarrosa) - It looks a bit like a tiny yellow Chrysanthemum
More to come .....

Time goes faster than my ability to process photographs and all the moss packets I brought back from this trip with the Wharfedale Naturalists and The Upper Wharfedale Field Society. NOTE this blog-post is only half finished.

Location: The hillside above Kilnsey, adjacent to Kilnsey Crag in the Yorkshire Dales, with a postcode of BD23

Setting off

Tom Blockeel and Nick soon drop behind
Perhaps we are looking at Syntrichia intermedia

And then we find this wonderful cattlegrid -with many different Didymodon, including D ferrugineus, The Rusty beard-moss (Used to be Barbula reflexa) one with leaves that are reflexed back. I'll put a picture in later.

On the tarmac next to it is Syntrichia virescens  The Lesser Screw-moss. (that's a new Syntrichia for this blog and a new Syntrichia for me. The leaves are constricted at the middle, as in S intermedia, but it is much smaller than S intermedia, and the hair points are not very,very long. It has teeth on the hair point.

 Wall Screw-moss Tortula muralis does not have teeth on its hair point. 

Syntrichia viriscens  Lesser Screw-moss under the microscope.
The scale on the plastic rule is in tenths of a mm.

We set off diagonally up the hillside

moss to be named

Bryum pallens Pale thread-moss

and discover

and discover

Pleurochaete squarrosa - The Side-fruited Crisp-moss

Well Tom Blockeel discovers it.
It is a Mediterranean species
There is only one place more northerly than this where it grows in the UK and that is in/near the Lake District.  It was also once found at Oxenber Woods (near Settle) 

Pleurochaete squarrosa - The Side-fruited Crisip-moss

Pleurochaete squarrosa - The Side-fruited Crisip-moss

Top Left: Pleurochaete squarrosa    Right: Tortella tortuosa

Tom points out Entodon concinnus - Montagne's Cylinder-moss

Entodon concinnus - Montagne's Cylinder-moss
Hmm. Nick Mike and I wondered if we had missed it in the past thinking it was Psudosclerpodium purum (but that has leaf points) or Pleurozium schreberi - but that has a red stem
Entodon concinnus - Montagne's Cylinder-moss

Entodon concinnus - Montagne's Cylinder-moss - with a view down to Kilnsey Fish Ponds

Orthotrichum cupulatum has short setae (capsule stalks)

Orthotrichum cupulatum    Hooded Bristle-moss has short setae (capsule stalks),
The capsules are hardly cleer of the leaves.

Orthotrichum cupulatum has short setae (capsule stalks)

Didymodon rigidula forms tufts on rocks. 

We continued up and met the others at the stream (well dried up stream).
There is a gap here I may fill in later.

The beginners group leave in the early afternoon and miss the heavy rain. Gordon joins us and we revisit an Entodon patch.

Once back in the village I ask to be shown the Syntrichia ruaralis to make sure it is different to syntrichia intermedia.  Syntrichia ruralis leaves do not have a waist.

Syntrichia ruralis the Great  Hairy Screw -moss.

Instead of going home, Tom can't resist going across the stream and having a look at the trees.

Where we find Syntrichia  papillosa ..!!! (See previous blog post) 

Brachythecium populeum

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