Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ogden Water 31-01-14

Michael and I had a pleasant walk around the water this morning to see the Pithya vulgaris again and we were very pleased to see it beaming so brightly on such a cloudy day. We estimated that there must have been well over a thousand individual fruiting bodies on the recycled Christmas trees around the reservoir.

Fir Disco (Pithya vulgaris) – Michael’s photograph above and two below. 

My photo above.

Asci 8-spored. Ascospores spherical, hyaline, smooth 10-13.5 microns.
2014-01-31T15:23:00+00:00January 31st, 2014|0 Comments

Cragg Vale 29th & 30th January 2014

I don’t know if any of you were aware of the mini tornado that struck Cragg Vale last October but it did cause significant damage to the trees in the woodland. Mature oak, beech and birch have been literally uprooted as if they were no more than pencils making some of the paths inaccessible through Turvin Clough. I took these pictures of the damage on the 29th and returned with Peachysteve on the 30th. Steve and I made our way down the valley from Jumm Wood and tried to return via the river side path but it was totally blocked by fallen trees and a couple of landslides. It was so bad that even the dogs couldn’t make it through so we had to scramble up to the path in Higher House Wood on our return.

Looking over towards Blackstone Edge Road.

Phlebiopsis gigantea on a sawn surface of a Pinus. sp stump (found on the 29th January).

Spores smooth, ellipsoid/allantoid, 5-7 x 3-3.5 microns – mounted in water.

Cystidia awl shaped with densely encrusted tips.

Heteromycophaga glandulosae – above and two below.

Bleeding Oak Crust (Stereum gausapatum).

Cinnamon Porecrust (Fuscoporia ferrea).

Butter Cap (Rhodocollybia butyracea) – Steve’s photos above and below.

Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina) – Steve’s photos above and below.

 Inocybe sp.

2014-01-31T14:51:00+00:00January 31st, 2014|0 Comments


Badger culling could come to Calderdale!
If you would like this to be avoided please sign the petition and give your opinion to the council.
The culling of badgers is cruel. There are other ways to do this if badgers must be controlled. Science has proved that this is not the way to go. 
The Scientific Society feel that individuals should have the chance to voice their opposition.  Members may have varying views on the cull and by posting this the Society is not voicing the opinion of the Society as a whole.

2014-01-30T20:01:00+00:00January 30th, 2014|0 Comments

Scout Bottom Wood 29.01.14

More Heteromycophaga glandulosae on Exidia glandulosa.  I wonder if there is there anywhere within Calderdale where these galls cannot be found?

Anterior view.

Posterior view of the same branch.

You can just see the galls appearing.

Snowdrops in bloom.

I thought that is was my lucky day and that I had found a toothed species of fungi that could be new to me until I realised it was just a Piptoporus betulinus. It was a very convincing look-alike though.

2014-01-29T15:38:00+00:00January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

Broadhead Clough 27.01.14

Once again and without surprise I found the H.glandulosae and this time I found them to be significantly larger than the previous galls that I have seen, resulting in considerably more disfigurement to the Exidia glandulosa.
Jelly Rot (Phlebia tremellosa).

Wrinkled Crust (Phlebia radiata).

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum).

Crystal Brain (Exidia nucleata).

Heteromycophaga glandulosae above and three below.

This is the underside of the one above and it had many more galls on its surface.

Dorsal view above and the underside below – again with a lot more larger galls causing disfigurement to the E. glandulosa.

Toothed Crust (Basidioradulum radula).

Spores allantoid to cylindrical, smooth. 9.5-11 x 3-3.5 microns.

Waxy Crust (Vuilleminia comedens). 

Spores allantoid, smooth. 17-21 x 5.5-7 microns.

Crepidotus cesatii.

Spores sub-globose to spherical with short spines. 6.5-7.5 x 5-7 microns.

Silverleaf Fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum).

Bleeding Broadleaf Crust (Stereum rugosum).

Cinnamon Porecrust (Fuscoporia ferrea).
2014-01-28T12:42:00+00:00January 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Walk Report

Last Saturday, 25th January, the Mosses and Liverworts walk went ahead in Hardcastle Crags. There were 5 of us on the walk including an employee of English Nature invited by Johnny Turner, the Brylogist who was leading us. (Johnny has recently been welcomed as a member of Halifax Scientific Society.)

A liverwort – Plagiochila asplenioides
Liverworts were not my favourite plants for many years as a gardener, having to weed them from the compost around plants in pots, until I learned that many of them are as attractive as mosses, and all grow in their own particular habitat. The one above carpets rocks in damp, shady woodland. It needs slightly less acid rocks. I didn’t realise how frequent these are in Hardcastle Crags.
The moss – Dicranum majus – the one I find most attractive of the many we saw. This one was at the base of the top dam at Gibson Mill.
Johnny uses common names whenever they exist, for instance Catherine’s Moss, which was also there, named after Catherine the Great of Russia, who claimed it was her favourite moss. 
Among birds we saw were the reliable Dipper on the top dam, along with 8 Mallards, which never used to frequent Hardcastle Crags. Perhaps they are trying to escape the mink of lower waters.
At the two Heron’s nests high above Midgehole Road I witnessed a change-over on the nest as I walked up from Hebden Bridge, showing that at least one pair are incubating eggs already. 
We passed by a large and beautiful Tsuga, probably Tsuga heterophylla, the Western Hemlock, a conifer from North America, I had never noticed before, at the top side of  Hebden Hey. It was raining heavily by then, so I didn’t take a photograph. 
It was a brilliant field meeting despite the rain that came on at the end, and a subject I think many people would get a lot of satisfaction from, with a good introduction as we had, and a little study. 

2014-01-27T19:24:00+00:00January 27th, 2014|0 Comments

Cromwell Bottom 24-01-14

It has been a while since my last visit to Cromwell Bottom so I thought I’d take Basil and see what winter species of fungi I could find and rather unsurprisingly I found H. glandulosae once again.

Crystal Crain (Exidia nucleata).

Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma and spores below.

30-35 x 7-9 microns. 3 septate, dark brown central cells, smooth curved with rounded ends.

Heteromycophaga glandulosae on Exidia glandulosa – above and three below.

Crimped Gill (Plicatura crispa).

Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum). 

Leafy Brain (Tremella foliacea).

Melasmia salicina on Salix caprea leaves. At maturity the apothecia will split the black wrinkled stromata and become what is known as Willow Tarspot (Rhytisma salicinum).

Sycamore Tarspot (Rhytisma acerinum) on Acer pseudoplatanus leaf. 

Yellow Brain (Tremella mesenterica) – above and below.

The Salix caprea buds are beginning to burst open with the mild winter weather we are having here.

Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina).

The green mycelium of  Chlorociboria aeruginascens plus some neon yellow dots that I have just noticed, possibly a Myxomycete.

2014-01-27T11:42:00+00:00January 27th, 2014|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 23-01-14

Knowing that Johnny’s Bryophyte walk was on Saturday, I thought that I had better look at the fungi beforehand. Once again I found the Heteromycophaga glandulosae and I am now beginning to think that this is either widespread and overlooked or locally common as it is no longer a surprise when I find it.

Silverleaf Fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum) above and underside below.

Heteromycophaga glandulosae above and below on Exidia glandulosa. 

Brick Tuft (Hypholoma lateritium).

Olive Oysterling (Sarcomyxa serotina).

Bay Polypore (Polyporus durus).

Wrinkled Crust (Phlebia radiata).

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum).

Conifercone Cap (Baeospora myosura) – above and two below.

This one was growing in the needle litter and not rooted to a cone.

Leafy Brain (Tremella foliacea) on pine.

This heron swooped down and landed on this rock probably to do a spot of fishing and it was completely habituated to our presence. It turned occasionally to look at Basil who was sniffing around in the undergrowth but it then refocused it attention on meal time and carried on studying the river and it remained there as we moved on. 

Bleeding Oak Crust (Stereum Gausapatum). 

Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae). 

Black Bulgar (Bulgaria inquinans). 

Scarlet Elfcup (Sarcoscypha austriaca).

2014-01-27T10:24:00+00:00January 27th, 2014|0 Comments

We have just done our annual cleaning of the dozen nestboxes and 2 of them had been occupied by wasp nests. Some of the cells still have emerging (dead) wasps.

Our design of the box shows it is hinged for opening at the front, rather than the top. The box is thus easier to clean and inspect and the top can then be made watertight with roofing felt. Hinged roofs are a phaff to make and can now simply be nailed down.

The front hinge is just a nail at either side of the top of the front ‘door’.  The box is loosely hung from a large head nail via a similar size hole at the back of the box. The flange of the nail head stops the box falling, yet the box can easily be lifted off the nail for inspection or repair. The ‘door’ is held shut by a single protruding nail through the side, in an oversize hole for easy removal by hand.

2014-01-25T15:40:00+00:00January 25th, 2014|0 Comments
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