Monday, 19 August 2019

Eco Explorers 2: 28-30 Aug. Book Now!

Fun for all!! See pictures of last months Eco Explorers Activities

See pictures of Eco Explorers 1 that met at the end of July:

Please encourage your friends to book. The more people we know are coming the more different workshop sessions we can organise.
We are grateful to friends in Craven Conservation Group who are helping run some of the workshops

and to Stories in Stone /Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and to the Settle Rotary Club for financial support towards running the event.

We value everyone who comes!!!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group visit to Cliff Castle Museum Gardens

We'd had such a good time at Bolton Strid Woods last month that I made a big effort to get to Cliff Castle Museum Gardens for the foray this month.

The Craven Branch of the Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group meets on the first Wednesday of the month, and is usually let by Archie MacAdam and Ron

Here we are, setting forth on Wed 7 August. 
No time to stop at the greenhouses and cafe.

 (Note the Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group is affiliated to the YNU Also Craven Conservation Group members are welcome to attend a meeting of MYFG (and then may be join the MYFG if they want to come to more)

Actually we soon found fungi under our feet on the lawn:- 

The above was a Psathyrella.

Archie explained a useful tip to help sort some of the little brown jobs - it is important to know whether you can pick of the "skin" off a cap with a pin, or whether the surface just breaks up into chunks.  
this videoed fungus was a Psathyrella - 

(Space for video)
N.B. This post is still under construction!!! Please be patient.

You can see the pretty pictures in this blog. 

What you can't hear is the noise of a very loud "reverse vacuum cleaner": a  man was blowing leaves /grass cuttings/ to keep the paths safe.

We progressed down hill, out of earshot of him but into earshot of some large machinery  "Bang, Bang, bang!" with adjacent huge yellow pipes lying on the grass. 
"Excuse me, we are looking for fungi." I politely said to the workmen. "What are you doing?"
"We are replacing all the gas pipes, all the way up this side of the land " he said. "The old ones are leaking gas."

They were right about the leaking gas. We soon walked out of earshot of the workman - not out of scent of the gas all the way up the hillside.

We all survived.
What we do for science

Back to fungi:

Holding up some Oak Mazegill-with the felled oak tree in the background on which it had been growing

It was only August 7th, so the fungi were not profuse. But
Archie seems capable of finding, and mostly naming fungi on nearly every twig!  Those he could not name he took home.

See the black pimples on the black backgound on this thin branch

They are Eu...

And see the tiny pink dot on the branch (top right slightly out of focus.  That turned out to be a Nectria ..... )

I found a larger fungus, with a deep yellow slightly slimy cap. It seemed rather slug eaten - but Archie was interested - A Russula - Its gills and spores had a much stronger colour than white, ..  some version of pale pink or beige..

See video (to be added)

Later determined (after Archie had had a discussion on Facebook with people in NWFG, and with microscope work) as Russula acetolens

Here is a yellow jelly fungus

I wandered into the woods and found this small but prolific fungus - which I have seen before but not named. Now I have learned its name: It was growing on a variety of dead twigs including brambles  
Marasmiellus ramealis - "Twig Parachute"  there is a good description here

Marasmiellus ramealis - "Twig Parachute"

Marasmiellus ramealis - "Twig Parachute"

Marasmiellus ramealis - "Twig Parachute"

We made use of the picnic tables to spread out our finds.

An eartball cut open. These are NOT edible

The gills are split so they have two edges - see the closer photos below.

A Marasmius with "threads like Honey fungus"

Waiting for a name for this "Cep"

Yet another photo of the same table
- but with the museum in the background.

After we had given our thanks to Archie and people had departed I went into the museum to buy a small present for a friend who I would be gatecrashing for coffee in a little while - I found some "Cliff Castle Biscuits".

"Oh but we have fungi in the museum" said the man at the till, and direct me to the natural history section.

They do indeed.

Impressive puff ball in the centre

What a nice display cabinet.

.. Whilst at the museum I saw examples of the prehistoric cup markings on rock that were mentioned in the "Bradford Faith Trail" that I attended the same week and may write about... Maybe 4000 years old.   I am sure the people then enjoyed finding fungi too.

Finally on  the way home to Settle at "Hellifeld Flashes" I stopped at the Lake to see if there were any waders on it. Locals and passers by like to see the birds here.

..but could not see the lake..

Bit difficult to see as they are digging up the soil all around it.!!!

We have another MYGF fungus foray on the first Wednesday of September. This time it will be to near Austwick.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Eco Explorers at Lower Winskill Farm, Langcliffe: Report of 29-31 July event. Book now for 28-30 Aug: Eco Explorers 2:

Would you like to explore the flower-rich fields of Lower Winskill high above Langcliffe and Stainforth, Settle with Eco Explorers?

Would you like to find the names of our common Dales wildflowers in bloom, try out using the binoculars we provide, follow a geology trail, and compete with other children (and adults) to find “coloured wiggly worms?

These are just some of the fun activities enjoyed by children and adults at the three July Eco Explorers workshops run by Churches Together in Settle at Lower Winskill Farm, led by local naturalists, and with 14 families attending for one or two out of the three days. 

And we are going to have three more mornings later in August:.. with extra activities: bees .. moths.. maps..

These mornings are to be repeated
with extra new activities
on 28,29 30 August  

To book: Contact Sally Waterson 0775 3618381  

Let me tell you more about the July event: First we met each other. There were pictures of butterflies to colour, then a game altogether in the field seeing who could spot "Un-nature" objects that had been hidden.

Then we had workshops. People could choose two workshops.It was hard to make a choice from those offered.

I (Judith Allinson) ran wildflower, lichens and tree activities.

Keith Waterson ran geology trips to see the fossils and glacial erratic “Samson’s Toe” along the lane from the farm. 

Les Chandler who has formerly worked for the RSPB ran some run-around nature games for the children and adults, and binocular activities.

Sally Waterson organised colouring sessions and other indoor activities (but fortunately we can save most of the these for the August event because we avoided the forecast rain did not come in the mornings).

After the joint activities and two workshop sessions we gathered together, sat down on rugs and chairs in the barn and Sally led a session with action songs and a reading from “Open the Book” about God creating our wonderful world. Then we had a sandwich lunch - prepared with the help of volunteers and some of the Mums/Grandmums

We are all grateful to farmer Tom Lord who owns the farm for allowing us to use the premises, with its meadows and limestone pastures, beautiful flowers and exhilarating views. He explained a little about the farm. He has managed the fields near by, by reducing grazing in spring and summer, so that they are so good for wild flowers and butterflies.

It's great place to meet. There are toilets and a small newly painted white walled meeting room with sink, and also the large barn where we met that was a shelter from the wind and available for indoor events should the weather turn wet.

We have a second club, 28-30 August ”Eco Explorers 2”. with different Bird activities with Les, and Bee watching and Moth collecting activities, plus the sessions we had in July, but with different flowers and trees and lichens.

One grandmother had enjoyed it so much she asked “Do you do similar activities for adults?”. And Ella (aged 2) is reported to have been going round Settle pointing to each tree saying “Ash?”.

Judith said

“It was delightful to accompany the children as we walked through the field full of red and purple flowers - magenta coloured Betony, Midland-Railway-red Greater Burnet, mauve Small Scabious, shocking-pink Herb Robert, crimson Red Clover, pale pink Yarrow, maroon Wild-Thyme and purple Bush Vetch.   

(And that’s not even telling you about the yellow flowers).” 

When we come back at the end of August these will be replaced with purple Knapweed and pale-blue Devil’s-bit Scabious, and lots of blue Harebells. It is great to be able to share the names of our 
local plants.

We  plan that “Messy Church” sessions in Autumn will be held on the third Sunday each month starting at 4pm at St John’s Church Hall, Settle - and will include some outdoor sessions in the local churchyard, and school playing field (Also see Facebook - Settle Messy Church).

For others interested in Wildlife, do contact Craven Conservation Group - who run wildlife activities in the Settle area - Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Caloplaca flavescens

Learn your Lichens Series No.  14

Caloplaca means beautiful patches

I think of this lichen as "Common orange pleated-edge limestone lichen"

flavescens means becoming yellow, or yellowish 

The edge of the thallus is pleated or "placodioid".

It grows on lots of limestone walls around Settle.

Here it is growing at the porch entrance to Horton in Ribblesdale Church

Can you see it here? The bright orange one.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

SD86 - 00 - SD8060 - SD8061 - Rathmell - Higher Plants - BSBI - Summer Meeting

The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland are staying at Malham Tarn Field Centre from 13 - 19 July .  On Sunday we went on walks based from the Centre to Ha Mire and beyond, and on Monday we visited Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserves - my group to Ashes Pasture. Today we split into groups of 4 to "tetrad" or "monad" bash.

And guess where I was assigned. The beginning of hectad SD86! i.e to Rathmell, and the flat pastures beside the River Ribble, which flood; to the same first monad of my lichen survey.

Here are two plants I was delighted to find (new records I think for SD86): Trailing St John's-wort Hypericum humifusum  in a pasture at the foot of an acid unimproved slope at the edge of the field

and later by the River Ribble: Ranunculus sceleratus Celery-leaved Buttercup

Our plant only stood 5cm tall - amazing what a bit of perspective does for size!

Time to key out Forget-me-nots. This one is Water Forget-me-not

The hill Penyghent is in the background

Returning to our second strategically left car.. I was delighted to discover a stand of Carex acuta. Not a new record for SD86 hectad database for the hectad it seems, but a fantastic new record for me - So accessible - just off the road, (the road to Rathmell that floods) and so close to Settle.

Carex acuta - Slender Tufter Sedge

Below - a reminder of what these fields looked like on the evening of 16 March this year - seen from the road..