Saturday 29 October 2011

Brachypodium sylvaticum - Wood False-brome

Wood False-brome
Have you seen Brachypodium sylvaticum  in flower this late in the year?

We found Brachypodium sylvaticum - or to use its English name - Wood False Brome  - still in flower  - well fruit rather -  on our Fungus Foray earlier this October at Clapham Woods -

The Woods are on limestone so the soil is basic -you can see Dog's Mercury in the photo too - another plant which likes basic soil.

How can you recognise Brachypodium sylvaticum?

There are lots of features making Wood False-brome easily recognisable

  • It usually grows in woods (or in base-rich grassland close to woods)
  • The shoots grow in tufts
  • The shoots are very slender at the base
  • The blades are
    narrow at the base,
    very wide in the middle
    and then taper
  • The blades droop

  • The blades and sheaths are to some extent hairy
  • There are NO AURICLES (as in the similar Hairy Brome, which grows with it in  woodland habitats)
  • The tufts can look yellowish in spring

  • The inflorescence is a drooping spike or raceme - the spikelet stalks are about 1 mm long.
Closer up of the above

Tuesday 18 October 2011

"UK government, please keep your green promises"

Picadilly Gardens 1st October CEL Banner
Picadilly Gardens 1st October CEL Banner
Christians  converged on Manchester on 1st October to send a message to Mr Cameron that the Conservative Party should live up to their green promises. Workshops were organised in three places by Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD in the afternoon. At 5pm there would be a sevice at Manchester Cathedral. then a march and a vigil.
A group of CEL members met before the above meetings.. On the hottest October day for many years, we sat on a bench and shared ideas and discussed:-
  • Ecocell.. How to get more people to know about it – maybe to offer talks to local churches
  • 100 churches project – to encourage 100 churches to raise £100 for Rainforest and other habitat rescue projects
  • Activities in Leeds.
Then is was off to the workshops
Christian Aid
Christian Aid Introductory Meeting at Central Hall

Keep green pledges, say protesters-
The Methodist Recorder on 13th October reported the event thus:-

A RESPONSE to the Prime Minister is being formulated by leading development and environ-mental NGOs (non-governmental organisations) concerned about the content of Chancellor George Osborne’s speech to the Conservative party conference. NGOs have commended the Government’s ring-fencing of the aid budget, but are now urging them to fulfil their “green agenda” commitments.

The organisations, which include Christian Aid, are raising their concerns that the optimism generated by the Government’s promise to be the “greenest government ever” could be damaged by Mr Osborne’s conference address in which he said, “We are not going to save the planet by putting our companies out of business” and made reference to using a loophole to avoid the responsibilities of the Fourth Carbon Budget to tackle carbon emissions.

Inside Manchester Cathedral
CEL banner in front of Conservative Party Hotel
CEL banner in front of Conservative Party Hotel

Vigil on Albert Square
Candlelit Vigil on Albert Square

Saturday 15 October 2011

CCG Fungus Foray - Clapham Woods

Wonderful Warm Weather Welcomed Craven Conservation Group on our 2011 Fungus Foray - held today 15th October at Clapham Woods and the field above the track from the woods to the Cave.

Jane Blinkhorn led the group and I assisted. In the evening Jane and I took some of the specimens to Archie McAdam to help with some of the more unusual species.

Bet you wished you'd come now!

Here we are having lunch

But first, at the start - we are given a handout explaining
about gill shape and much more

Yes - We've found some Jelly babies. (about 3cm tall)
They are easily recognisable because the DON'T have gills

Just checking that they have no gills.

Waxcaps in the grassland

A great day for waxcaps - Hygrocybe chlorophana

Hypoxylon fragiforme - Beech Woodwart -
.. or is it the slime Mould "Wolf's Blood - Lycogala epidendrum?"
Growing on a well rotted fallen log are these ball shaped structures.
They are 1cm across and are soft inside.
They start off  pink (above)
and then turn dark grey (below)
and are soft in the middle

We examine Honey Fungus
Having found almost ten species of Waxcaps I said
 "Shouldn't we be finding some Clavarias?"..
 and low and  behold we found
Clavaria fumosa - Smoky Spindles

Start 'em  young.
The white fungus, (that I found in the leaf litter in the deciduous wood)
 in the bottom left of the tray turned out to be  Hygrophorus eburneus

This has thick decurrent waxcap gills, a slimy cap,
 a tapering "root" and a felty appearance at the top of the stipe.


Visit Craven Conservation Group's Website to find out about more events

Jane has just emailed with a list of 59 species !!!!!
Once Archie has checked we will send it to the Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Bearing Witness- Manchester 1 Oct 2011

Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD organised a march and vigil on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester on 1st October, to ask the Prime Minister to act on the green promises he had made.. During the afternoon each organisation held workshops. Then we met at 5 pm at the Cathedral. The march stated at 6pm.We organised a "Meet-up" of Christian Ecology Link Members at 11am before the workshop for an hour. It was so hot (due to the Jet stream) that we met outside.

Here are two video clips I took. You can see the CEL banner (white with CEL red written on it) at the centre of the picture below, and it comes in at the middle of the clip.

Here we are walking towards the hotel where the Conservatives are staying.
The marshal with the red tshirt and yellow waistcoat and rucksack walking past is Alex who is a Christian Aid worker in Leeds and Bradford (i.e. covers Our area in the Dales ),