Sunday 13 November 2022

Low Bentham Churchyard - Hairy Earthtongues, Waxcaps, Increase in Dog Lichen (Peltigera hymenina)

It is Fri 11 Nov 

Exactly two years ago - on 12 Nov 2020 - Doris and I visited Low Bentham Churchyard of St John the Baptist Church. She was investigating whether to do a few paintings of flowers in the grounds for Revd Tim Fox and the people of the Church.

This little strip of mown grassy burial ground with its sombre dark green conifers, set between the scattered tree bordered River Wenning, and the narrow quiet country road with pastureland beyond is constantly revealing new secrets.  The land extends downstream with a narrower strip of unmown grassland. (Past secrets:-

1.  Visit with Doris in Nov 2020 (still to write this up -including Lichens and Earthstar- see end of this article)

2. Visit in March 2021 to look at Lichens

3. Visit in May 2021 just before Churchyard Week with Sharon, Peter Flint and Doris looking at Insects.

4. June 2021 Wildflower Churches Count on Nature Walk with people from the church 

Todays finds:-

1. How Peltigera hymenina has increased in cover.

2. Waxcaps including "The Ballerina" or Pink Waxcap

3. Lots of Earthtongues.. O just looked closely and discover they are Hairy Earthtongues!!

4. Other fungi

5. Revisit to Oak Tree.

6. Brief reunion with David and Tim Fox.

Note on current weather - 1. The weather by 11 November 2022 is still very mild - Though  there was just one frosty night a week ago.- The church lies in a valley and cold air sinks down into it - hillsides may have missed the frost. 2. Remember we had a drought over summer.

Peltigera hymenina:

Our November 2020 visit was an early outdoor trip in the open air, at the end of the first Covid Year.  We recorded plants then and I recorded lichens.  I remember finding Peltigera hymenina in one place on some shallow soil near two gravestones and in the partial shade of conifer trees, west of but quite close to the church. That was the only place I found it then, or at least the only place of note.

I notice in our June 2021 visit that I found it in another place.

This time - November 2022 I couldn't get over how much there is of it. There is some near the wall at the SE corner of the churchyard.. beyond the grassy place where I found some earthtongues.

But in the main grassy area to the west of the church in various places always on the raised part of the graves (where the lawn mower might have mown closer)  there is lots of the dog lichen.

How has it increased so much in two years?  Maybe the drought over summer has knocked the grass back? Maybe it is easily propagated with the grass mower.

Peltigera hymenina-2020

Specially taken to show Peltigera hymenina-2020

The next pictures are from 2022:
Peltigera hymenina-2022

Peltigera hymenina-2022

Peltigera hymenina-2022 - and Pink Waxcap

This leads us on to..


2. Waxcaps.

Indeed my main aim had been to come and look for waxcaps. (And a dot for our visit is now recorded on the map here.. click and go down the page at this site Yorkshire NEYEDC survey 2022-2024)

Surveys have been carried out on Waxcaps and a group of fungi that grow in unimproved grassland (i.e. not fertilized or reseeded) called CHEGD fungi

Some background papers include: ( CIEEM site CHEGD fungi by Penny Anderson  - CHEGD fungi include Fairy Clubs (C), waxcaps (H), Pink Gills (E), Earthtongues (G) and Crazed Caps (Dermoloma - very rare - (D)  Peak Report -Yorkshire NEYEDC survey 2022-2024)

 We found Parrot Waxcap and Snowy Waxcap .. and Earthtongue  and The Ballerina  one tiny Golden Spindle 

Parrot Waxcap 
Gliophorus (formerly Hygrocybe) psittacinus

Some rather "past it" Parrot waxcaps

Slimy Waxcap - I did find some more.
Gliophorus (formerly Hygrocybe) irrigatus - grey with slimy cap and slimy stipe 

The distinctive Ballerina or Pink Waxcap had to be photographed:

Pink Waxcap at Low Bentham Church

3. Earth tongues

These seemed wider than the usual earthtongues I see, and quite  a few of them were forked. When I looked closely - i.e. with a decent lens or microscope - I could see they have hairs.

Ah - these are Trichoglossum hirsutum (Hairy Earthtongue) - Not Geoglossum cookeanum (Earthtongue)

Earthtongues - mostly to the SW of the church. 

Look closely. is this the Hairy Earth-tongue?

4. Some other fungi.

Well definitely an Agaricus - under a tree - a conifer - well yes you can see the leaves on the right.
Maybe Agaricus langei - Scaly Wood Mushroom but could be others.

Laccaria laccata The Deceiver.

Lichens on the Oak Tree
FinallyI noticed the young oak tree with good lichens is still there. The good leafy and foliose lichens on its branches are looking rather tired and green alga covered, and the Metsgeria violacea is still there (a thallose liverwort that grows well in N  polluted areas)

The good young oak tree was still there but its foliose and fruticose lichens looked really coated in green algae.

By chance we met the church warden who looks after the grounds - David Channing. He had come to meet Rev Tim Fox to do some work in the grounds. David showed me yet more fungi.


Below are some pictures from 2020

1. Pictures from 2020

12 Nov 2020

Earth Star in 2020

Earth Star location in 2020. We could not see one in 2022

More on 11 Nov - trip to Ingleton for Covid Jab and Meal at The Falls Bar and Kitchen

Trip to Ingleton and Low Bentham Church: to keep things in context.. and see distractions of the day.. 

It is 11  November 2022, the day before Sat 12 November which is day of action about Climate change - COP27 - the Climate COP is underway in Egypt.

Main aim of Friday:- to get my covid and flu jabs at Ingleton 10 miles away - where they have an efficient friendly walk in system at the Community Centre. (It would give me Saturday to recover.) My friend Zoe would be on duty that morning.

 As I drove into Settle (on the way to Ingleton)  at 11 am, the radio announced that it was 11am of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Oh. I parked my car abruptly just beyond the cenotaph and was able to stand at the edge whilst a little crowd - mostly representatives from the primary school -  held a short service at the War Memorial (There will be a much bigger crowd on Sunday).

I proceeded to Ingleton Community Centre Car Park where volunteers in yellow jackets showed me where to park.

Ah, there would be just time for me to nip down to the Methodist Coffee Morning at Ingleton Church - a chance to support them since some of them often come to Settle. I marched in at 11.29 - a tad  inconveniently for them I suppose, since I discovered it finished at 11.30, but the remaining four people made me very welcome and gave me coffee and biscuits.  One lady was a very fit 92.

Outside I met a young lady (originally form Latvia) who, like me last year, had followed directions to the pharmacy, not to the Community Centre. I cheerfully showed her the way and we walked up to the centre.

The system worked well. I saw several other friends also queueing.  A man cheerfully stuck a needle in my left arm, then I turned round  and he stuck a needle in the right arm.

I phoned Doris who was in, and went round to see her. We decided to go out to lunch and went to the Falls Bar and Kitchen - i.e. The Ingletorn Waterfalls trail cafe newly refurbished.  - - American style bistro. Doris had had a "take away leaflet" delivered through the door recently  - Link to facebook

Doris had cauliflower fritters (a snack) and salad and I had "Loaded Fries" with butternut squash chilli jalapenos cheddar and sour cream.  (and some of Doris salad). Link to menu

Then we set of for Low Bentham Churchyard - See next blogpost.