Thursday 29 February 2024

St John's, Settle, Rainforest Coffee Morning 2024

St John's Methodist Church, Settle held a coffee morning for the Rainforest Fund on 6 March 2024.  
£200 was raised.
£100 is to be given to World Land Trust to save and acre of rainforest
£100 is to be given to A Rocha Ghana for work in saving forests there.

£132 was raised from  donations for coffee, and £68 from sale of Greetings cards.  A big thank you to those who baked and who served coffee and washed up and especially to those who came and supported the coffee morning.

Could your church hold a coffee morning to raise money to save wildlife? - Two thirds of our worlds larger animals and birds have gone since 1970;

The price of the greetings cards has gone up to £2-00 each .. having remained at £1-50 since 2008 when Judith Allinson first started making them. The first such coffee morning was held at St John's in 2008 .

Judith with Chocolate Rocky Road cake and cards


Tuesday 27 February 2024

Lichens at Cober Hill BLS Winter Meeting 2024

Friday the 23rd of February 2024 sees us assembling at Little Beck Wood - a steep narrow valley in the North York Moors quite near the coast..

... a group with eight members of the British Lichen Society and eight members of Whitby Naturalists' Club.

First,  a group photo. Then we set off following the stream up this wooded valley.. part of the Coast to Coast Footpath.  This was our Field Day - after this the Lichen Society would be indoors with their microscopes (or would we?)  Find out...

On the dry side of an oak trunk we found some Lecanactis abietina.

Lecanactis abietina

The handrail on the bridge over a side stream ... supporting ..


Tiny dots of Micaria peliocarpa 

Tiny white dots of Micaria peliocarpa- picture is 1cm across

Ramonia interjecta (This has another more recent name given to it by Mycologists now:Karstenia rhopaloides ) Picture is just over 2cm across.

Karstenia rhopaloides Picture is 1.2 cm across

Bacidia-I am waiting for Paul Canon who I hope will identify it for me. Picture is 1.2 cm across

Cladonia polydactyla  on rotting log 

Insect larva camouflaged as a lichen

This is the Hermitage. David and I struggled up the Hill, thinking that nearly everyone else was ahead. Paul Canon caught us up, carrying David's lunch, including some raspberries - they gave me a few. delicious - . We ate lunch and waited and waited.. Then decided we must have overtaken people or else they had gone on a different path. So we slowly descended.

On a rock on the ground was some Baeomyces rufus  with "huge" fruiting bodies 

Baeomyces rufus - huge about 3mm diameter.

On the road was a postbox

With many lichens including Xanthoria polycarpa - the thalli are about 1cm across or less and are covered in apothecia

Behind the red postbox was an ordinary wall made out of local stone, with acid crusts on it. This crust below was quite thick, and formed areoles. Neil later said it was Lepraria incana maybe s.s. He shone his UV torch on it. Little flecks in it went orange. This means that little areas of the lichen have the same pigment as Xanthoria parietina.   (You need thin layer chromatography to do Leprarias)

Lepraria incana

Lecanora campestris on the pavement there.

We returned to Cober Hill Centre and set up our microscopes in their excellent big meeting room.  Graham Boswell the Field Meetings Organiser gave us an introductory talk.

On the Saturday morning I woke early.  (Annoying - I really needed the sleep) .. but I got up and went for a walk in the tennis court outside my room and then down the slope to the (children's) exercise/assault course. 

People spent all morning sorting their specimens and using microscopes to identify them. I spent most of the time downloading my pictures and naming a few of them, then sticking some of my lichen specimens onto card. Neil pointed out that grey card backing, when using a UV torch was just about as bad as white card because the card fluoresced.

Microscope work

We had a "specimens table in the centre of the room which worked well. Here are a couple of pictures from them:

Arrhenia peltigerina on Peltigera  - brought in by Nichola - found on fly-ash

Karstenia rhopaloides brought in by Paula

A few of us took an afternoon break to coast the coast 3/4 mile away.

More Xanthoria polycarpa on a decayed wooden post near our sandstone post

Lecanora orosthea on sandstone post

View from sandstone post - see the lynchets.
The others walked back to the centre

I met a couple who had come to live in the area 6 months ago they took this picture- see their and their dogs' shadow). They said they had one seen dolphins in the sea here.

I returned to the centre.
This is an ash tree  with Cliostomum griffithii on it

Cliostomum griffithii  The black marks are pycnidia. 
(Pycnidium (from , variable and complex flask-shaped asexual reproductive structure, or fruiting body, in fungi (kingdom Fungi) of the phylum Ascomycota; It bears spores (conidia).The spores are liberated through an opening (ostiole) in the pycnidium.

 Cliostomum griffithii  . the black marks are pycnidia. 

Beside the road up to the second car-park is a post. At the sandstone base of the post is Lepraria lobificans

Lepraria lobificans.. this grows in shady places. It is fluffy pale green. It is whitish inside

View across tennis court towards sea into the sun at early morning

View across tennis court towards sea into the sun at early morning

Graham asked to borrow specimens of Stereocaulon
from the BLS herbarium for us to look at.

I may put the next bit on a separate post:-

On the Sunday afternoon  a small group of us led by Neil Sanderson went to look at some heathland at Jugger Howes moorland.


Cladonia callosa

Cladonia coccifera s.s. C coccifera has very wide shallow cups.
On the podetia there are just granules, not squamules. 

Baeomyces rufus again

Looking at some bales
bund to stop water and soil flow I suppose.

Bare areas - these have been further disturbed and heather sprinkled across. 
The bare areas were an interesting archaelogical /cultural relict left from the disturbance during the second world war. If dense heather grows on the again it will be a more monotonous habitat.

See the heather sprinkled on the bare area below. Yest at the bottom right of the picture there is Cladonia callosa growing in the part shelter of the Heather

Musings on Location.
There was an old concrete "road" left from the days it was a training place in the second world war over 75 years ago That made walking easy for us and provided extra habitat for different species. We were at the "summit" of the plateau at 210m above sea level (and only 4km (3miles) away from the sea

It also led us not just into a new monad or even 10 km square but into a new 100km square - from NZ9400  to SE9499. 

Also - if Britain is divided into two, as happens in the Geology map of Britain, we step from the northern half in  NZ9400 (where we  parked the car)  to the "summit" in SE9499.

I see that the water that drains from where we are standing down a kilometer  into Judder Howe Beck that flows into the Derwent -- that then cuts a narrow valley south to Hackness then south through the Forge Valley to the Vale of Pickering .. then flows SW almost to York, then turns south through the Derwent Ings to join the river Ouse at Drax Power station.

I was pleased to see Collema tenax var ceranoides again, 
after having been introduced to it at a sandy path through the grass at
the BLS trip at Newsteads Abbey, Nottingham. Here is was growing at the edge of the concrete road

Rhizocarpon (most likely) petraeum on concrete road through heathland

Trapeliopsis  placodioides - with soralia and turns C red. (see dot)

We were pleased to find not just one, but three species of Umbilicaria. This likes acid rocks and clean air.

Umbilicaria on a flat boulder