Friday 13 November 2015

Buying delicious local cheese at the Courtyard Dairy Settle - and biodynamic wine at Buon Vino

A mile south of Settle on the A65 lies the Courtyard. - with an art gallery, some beautiful carved furniture, a cafe, a cheese shop and a wine shop. Sometimes I give myself a treat by stopping off their on the way home.

The cheese shop board (bottom left)  says "Small producers. small herds, big flavours"

This time I bought 
some Wensleydale cheese from a small farmer -(not the main dairy at Hawes)
some biodynamic cheese from North Yorkshire and some cheese from Botton Village (Camp Hill Community) from the Botton Dairy

Then I went next door and bought some red biodynamic wine.  from Spain., in the Buon Vino shop I was relieved it cost less than £10 (I The manager Robert Bagot had given us a talk at the Settle Big Breakfast last month and said that many wines cost up to £25 (and there are specialty ones that cost a lot more than that).

And where did the cheese and wine end up?

I took the three packets of cheese to the Bring and Share "LOAF" meal at Bristol Held before the Green Christian Annual Members Meeting - where it was much appreciated.

It tasted delicious.

And the wine? 
I was chairman at Craven Speakers Club last week, and the chairman has to bring a raffle prize.  So I gave the wine for the raffle - We keep our standards high!.

That means I'll have to pay another visit to the Courtyard!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Squamarina cartilaginea

Learn Your Lichens 4
Distribution Map of Squamarina cartilaginea - do click through to see that it is special to this area.

This conveniently grows on the  west facing wall of Settle - Langcliffe High Road, about 100 or 200 metres from the Settle end.  At eye level.

It's this big pale pastel green patch between my hands

Here's the same patch looking back towards Settle
 The thallus consists of whitish /pale green overlapping pruinose squamules. A squamule is a scale-like or leaf-like projection. 

Pruinose means with a waxy bloom like on a grape. The pruina is most obvious on the the margin of the squamules

Same patch, closer
 The discs are pale brown to dark red brown.

This patch is a bit blueier
 It grows in cracks in limestone. It is recorded as 7 (fairly pure air)on the pollution scale.


It grows on the rocks high above this road, or rather high above the road to Airton. Here is a picture taken on 21 July 2015 -early in the morning after using Frank Rhodes' computer when mine was "on holiday"

View of Settle from the Squamarina cartilaginea

Sunday 1 November 2015

Nov 1st - Was it our hottest November day too?

Sunbathing in Settle on 1st Nov:-

It might be 1 November,  
but by 1 pm the mist had gone 
and people were sitting out on 
the Settle pavements, sipping coffee
as in french cafes.
Wales recorded their hottest November Day ever.

The Ribblehead weather station said it reached 15.8 degrees   at Ribblehead today (Sun)

The trees on Castleberg still have some leaves

Golden leaves at Watershed Mill

Golden leaves at Langcliffe
 On the tree trunks in the picture above are lots of lichens. They look very happy today. This morning it was misty and moist, now it is humid and warm - so the lichens are saying yippee.

This is Parmeila sulcata. The Netted Shield Lichen
There are whitish ridges on the thallus called pseudocyphellae.
In this specimen there are lots of soralia (bodies that make the powder like soredia) growing on some of the pseudocyphellae. 

Parmelia sulcata is often infertile - but it is fertile here with the apothecia with a brown centre. and sorediate rims. It can grow in slightly polluted air and grows over all UK on tree trunks.

The church yard a a beautiful globe artichoke.

And a stunning ly beautiful rose. I photographed it from lots of angles

In the background in the house opposite the church, next to the  institute,
the Middletons have been selling potted plants and flowers this year.  Sadly, Maureen died this week.

1 November is All Saints Day 
and at St John's Methodist Church 
we wrote the names of people we 
wanted specially to remember on Post-it notes...

Acrocordia conoidea - in a Settle garden and on Settle - Langcliffe High Road

 Learn your lichens 3.
Learn your Lichens Series
1. Arthonia radiata

I first met this lichen, with its big pale pink thallus and large protruding black fruiting bodies  in Settle, in a friend's garden in Townhead Avenue, on the limestone wall, that was also the lower-side wall of the highroad from Settle To Langcliffe.  (see lower part of this post) - 

To share it with the public - I would have to find it in a public place so I set off from Settle along the High Road  on 30 Oct.

I put my red knife next to a patch.
- view looking back to Settle.
I have barely passed
the gates to Castleberg
In fact there was lots of it, conveniently at eye level. It is distinctive because the black perithecia are 1mm in diameter and regularly spaced. The thallus is pinkish.

Pollution level 6 ( it needs fairly clean air)
It is called Acrocordia because the summit/tip of its fruiting bodies apparently heart shaped.
Certainly this species had relatively cone shaped fruiting bodies - 

Here it is

In fact it was another 100 yards or so till I got to the wall above my friend's house.. and there was lots more on the wall on the upper side of the road, and a tiny patch on the road side of their garden wall.

Original post:
On 26 October I was wandering round Settle in the late autumn sunlight looking for Lichens in distinctive locations to photograph. "Come and photograph mine" said Barbara A.. So up I went to their house on Townhead Avenue - the garden backs onto the High Road (Highway?) from Settle to Langcliffe. I admired her Hydrangeas and Maiden-hair Spleenwort and almost-over Bloody Cranes-bill and Marjoram.

On the vertical hard limestone rocks of the wall of The High Road are lots of patches of this pinkish lichen with big (1mm) black protruding fruiting bodies:  Acrocordia conoidea

and pale grey green spaces where the fruiting bodies have dropped out.

On the bark of the tree trunk was Melanelixia glabratula

Further round on the trunk was Fuscidea lightfootii (the green one on the right, with large black fruiting bodies)

I think this is Phlyctis argena on the tree bark- I need to go back with some NaOH to check

This is on the footpath in the garden - needs some thought.