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, (, 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. ?


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