Friday 30 August 2019

Adult Caddisflies at Lower Winskill

I set up the Craven Conservation Group moth trap at Lower Winskill Farm so that we could have an activity looking at moths on 28-30 August. And of course Caddis.

I hope Sharron Flint  will be able to identify them for me..

Caddis have long antennae.. I wonder if I really need to photograph all the antenna for the sake of identfication.

I had said to Sharron 

"We are Moth Trapping at Lower Winskill. We won't get many Caddis because there is no stream there" She just looked at me. !!  (with an expression "You don't know how wrong you are)

OK. Above is Caddis no 1. Three more to come. and that does not count the 6+ that got away

Caddis number 2

This turned out to be the same as:
Caddis number 4
Ah, all the remaining three on the Wednesday and the one I caught on the Thursday seem to be the same.

When I sent the picture to Sharon she said
"You have Potamophylax sp there Judith. We have 3 sp in UK. Large Cinnamon Sedge! P.cingulatus, P.latipennis and P.rotundipennis. Need separation based on genitalia. At least we can get a genus from the wing pattern. Family, Limnephilidae."
and "Did you keep any voucher specimens?"

It was so windy on the last evening we might not find anything.. We'll see.

On the Friday morning I caught just one.

I think this one is Limnephilus lunatus

with the half/crescent moon "cut" into its end wing

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 McAdam and Ron Golightly

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:- 

Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap)

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 - 

There are 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 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 - but 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 Eutypa lata.


And see the tiny pink dot on the branch (top right, slightly out of focus.)  That turned out to be a Nectria episphaeria - which grows on effete ascomycetes )

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..

Archie had a multi-access or synoptic key for identifying Russulas for Kibby's book. 
Later determined (after Archie had had a discussion on Facebook with people in NWFG, and with microscope work) as Russula acetolens

This has a slimy cap.

Here is a yellow jelly fungus: Tremella mesenterica

I pulled a piece of bark off the log further along on the above log and underneath  were some tine white dots, that with a hand lens looked a little like cup fungi but had hairs round the margin. Here they are next to a 1mm scale (picture (C) Archie Macadam)

Archie took them home and worked out they are not Ascomycetes (cup fungi) they are actually a Basidiomycete called
Lachnella villosa 

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 earthball 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"

Boletus (now Neoboletus) luridiformis  Scarletina Bolete

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 directed 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 enjoyed finding fungi 4000 years ago 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 4th 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.