Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thursday 23rd.September 2010

After meeting with one of the Rangers at the Visitor Centre at High Elms , I only managed an hour or so this morning , with one eye on the constantly threatening skies , for a look around the area surrounding the Centre , staying within easy reach of the car . At times in the woodland it could have been night , with the dark sky and the leaves still intact on the trees . It was in such conditions that I came across this very friendly Robin , and had to crank up the ISO to 1600 to get a shot , but that didn't help with the sharpness of the image . Tucked away in the corner of the Centre's garden , I came across a plastic sided bee-hive display . Almost in the middle of the centre cell , I noticed what must be the queen , Queen 18 from her sticker . I was surprised that she wasn't bigger when seen alongside her attendants . Interesting also that workers were toing and froing from the hive , even in the far from good conditions .In the orchard , along with many species of Apples and Pears , was this strange fruit , the Medlar . I must admit it doesn't look very appetising , and when I looked it up when I got home , I find that after growing on the tree , it needs to be picked and then go through a process called bletting , where basically the fruit is stored to go rotten , before being used for jams , jellies and the like .Colour was at a premium , but I did find a few plants of Meadow Cranesbill-Geranium pratense still in flower .
Little fungi was found down this end of the Park , but those found included : Lepiota cristata Some better specimens of Mycena pura , than those last found .And a young specimen of Grifola frondosa at the base of this tree .
After several light showers during the visit , they began to get much heavier and I headed for the car . By the time I got home , the rain was almost torrential .
And finally , in answer to a comment made by ShySongbird on yesterday's post . Unfortunately you are unlikely to find Amanita muscaria-Fly Agaric in your local area , because of the geology .
Given your location on the edge of the Cotswolds , the soil is likely be alkaline . The Fly Agaric will be found mainly under Birch and Spruce on acidic soil . But , like the Greensand Ridge , amongst the North Downs , there might be an acidic outcrop in the area , and would be worth a look for the species .

4 comments:

ShySongbird said...

That Robin is beautiful! What with that and the fungi it is beginning to feel like we have left Summer well behind.

Thank you for the reply regarding Fly Agaric, I had a feeling that might be the case as we can't grow anything round here which requires acidic soil. I shall keep a look out when we go further afield though.

Warren Baker said...

May as well leave that ISO right up now Greenie :-)

Phil said...

Have to admit to never having heard of Medlar fruit Greenie, always something new to learn. If Lepiota cristata hasn't got a common name I hereby christen it 'Fried Egg' fungus......:-)

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
I haven't heard the word Medlar for a few years now. A friend of Pam's daughter use to make Medlar jam and she gave some to Pam, must admit I didn't like it.