Thursday, 24 December 2015

Finding Footpaths

Wet and mild has been the story of the winter so far, but yesterday was cooler, bright and sunny. We went on a 9km circular route north -west of the village following footpaths, though several were obscured or did not exist in a few places - ploughed fields, overgrown hedges.    Some of this looks deliberate as the countryside becomes urbanised, made private and tidied up.  The entrance to a grand residence, once a farm, had been manicured, even had little signs saying 'keep off the grass'.

The highlights were two separate sightings of hares.   They are seriously fast; the first raced off away from us disappearing at the top of a wheat field, within seconds - almost too quick to get binoculars on it.   The second emerged from a coppice, did a semi-circle around us before disappearing into a dip.  Brilliant to watch.





The mild weather  meant that a few common arable weeds were still flowering such as dove's-foot cranesbill, field madder, field pansy,  scentless mayweed, and red dead-nettle.    I might go back on New Years day when I plan to participate in the New Year  plant hunt, (http://www.bsbi.org.uk/new_year_plant_hunt.html), the aim being as the name suggests to record plants in in flower at New year.    When we lived on Skye the total was zero, always zero.   Hook Norton is a little different.

Field Pansy
Dove's-foot Cranesbill
Red Dead-nettle
We also came across a fungus in amongst grass near the brewery.  An inkcap, (the gills deliquesced, leaving a black mush on a glass slide) it is probably from the Parasola group, but getting to species has proved a challenge.

Ink Cap

Spores - Parasola sp. ?





2 comments:

  1. Good to see what you are up to in the Remote South. Best, Stephen.

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    Replies
    1. Much the same as ever without the otters!

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