Monthly Archives: March 2014

Grass for ID please

Whilst traipsing around on Erringden moor this morning Philip’s earlier post on grasses came to mind when I came across several clumps of this grass in flower. I suspect it will be well known to the botanists out there?
2014-03-31T15:31:00+01:00March 31st, 2014|0 Comments


My first Chiff-chaff of the year turned up in Sunnybank wood Todmorden this afternoon.

Also first Meadow Foxtail grass (Alopecurus praetensis) in flower. This grass is always the first one to flower in Todmorden and invariably occurs the last week in March, closely followed by Sweet Vernal (Anthoxanthum odoratum) after a week or two. Anyone wishing to know grasses should start at this time of year when you are guaranteed to get the identity correct of two of them!

2014-03-29T18:19:00+00:00March 29th, 2014|0 Comments

This Saturday and Sunday

Mar 29th      River Watch Day.    A chance to see Otter and Kingfisher whilst counting wildlife throughout the day.  Meet up after to collate lists in a warm hostelry.  Plan your picnic in advance. Meet in the Anglers car park at 10:30 am
And on March 30th (Sunday) Amphibian watch day. Meet at Cromwell Bottom N.R. at 10:30 to look at all the ponds.

2014-03-28T17:43:00+00:00March 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 26-03-2014

I started the walk with Basil from Midgehole car park and just wandered around off the beaten track for a couple of hours. 

Pinecone Cap (Strobilurus tenacellus) – above and below.

Spores hyaline, ellipsoid and smooth. 5-6.5 x 2.5-3.5 microns.

Cheilocystidia pointed and encrusted above the hymenium. 

Snowy Disco (Lachnum virgineum). 

Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina) – above and below.

Spores ellipsoid/allantoid, hyaline and smooth. 5-7 x 2.5-3.5 microns.

Fringed Polypore (Polyporus ciliatus). Cap above and pores with a visitor below.

The pores are very fine and small. 

Spores allantoid, smooth. 5-6 x 1.5-2 microns. 

Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa) – above and two below.

The top of the bracket.

You can see the threads of mycelium on the left hand side of the log. This part was submerged underneath some woody debris and leaf litter.

Calocera pallidospathulata.

Pine Needle Split (Lophodermium pinastri) – above and below.

Spores hyaline, covered by gelatinous sheaths which you can see faintly around the spores. One end pointed, the other end rounded. 70-88 x 1.5 -2 microns. I have no idea at all what the pip shaped spores are but I found hundreds of them. They were hyaline and smooth 3.3-4.5 x 2-2.5 – any suggestions would be welcome.

2014-03-28T14:28:00+00:00March 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Bumblebee ID training session in Centre Vale Park Todmorden

Records of bumblebees are desperately needed for Calderdale and the surrounding areas in order to determine the impacts of climate change and disease on these attractive and highly beneficial insects. Bumblebees provide vital pollination services to growers, gardeners and wildplants as well as being a sure sign that spring is on its way. Please come along and learn how to identify the species that are known to live in Calderdale, who knows, once you are trained up, you may discover a species new to the area! The training will be provided by an expert from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Places are limited, so booking is essential.
The session will be held on the 7th May at 9.45 for 10am start, lunch will be at 12.30 where you will need to provide your own lunch. After Lunch there’ll be a walk around the park to put your new skills to the test.
This will be the end of the training session but if any ones interested they can join the 2pm Bee walk to Stanally stones, part of the Action for Bees in Calderdale project.  

Please contact book the bee ID training session
2014-03-27T18:19:00+00:00March 27th, 2014|0 Comments

North Dean Wood 25-03-2014

A few finds from my walk with Basil.

Heteromycophaga glandulosae on Witches’ Butter (Exidia glandulosa) attached to oak (Quercus. sp). The galls themselves are very tough compared to the gelatinous, soft bodies of the Exidia.

Hyphae with clamp connections. Conidia oblong with drops. 7-10 x 2.5-3.5 microns. 

Beech Tarcrust (Biscogniauxia nummalaria)

Peniophora quercina.

Reticularia lycoperdon a species of myxomycete. It resembles a piece of bubble gum to me.

2014-03-27T11:30:00+00:00March 27th, 2014|0 Comments

Hardcastle Crags 24.03.2014

Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) on a fallen Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) log.

When I saw this at first I had no idea what it was. It was completely desiccated but I took some home and rehydrated it and it turned out to be Phlebiopsis gigantea on Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Rehydrated specimen photographed the following day and what a complete transformation.

 Lamproystidia awl shaped and densely encrusted beyond the hymenium. 

2014-03-26T11:55:00+00:00March 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Toads on the Move

As most of you will know, toads start to move to their historic breeding ponds at this time of year, especially on warm and wet evenings.  There are places where they have to cross or travel along roads and groups of people gather to pick up the toads into a bucket and transport them to a safe location.
The first reports are in:
First sightings of toads were at Shurcrack/ Shepherds Rest then Gordon and Eileen had some at Lumbutts but after that there was a lull due to the colder weather. Come the 7th of March it picked up again starting with a toad found in Cheryl’s courtyard at Woodhouse staring back at her from a hole! Carolyn saw some activity too nearby and Portia found some dead on the road at Pexwood but then a few days later found seven male Toads, six newts and frogs all un-squashed. Finally Christine at Rodmer Clough, Colden rescued several in the morning and Steve found his first toad of the year, at Thornhill Lane.
If you are interested in getting involved and helping a toad across the road the sites and their coordinates are as follows –
Todmorden – Portia – 01706-816698
–              Heather Bank Road
–              Tennis Pond (Stansfield Hall Road)
–              Dobroyd Road / Pexwood Road
–              Golf Course Pond
–              Bottomley Road
–              Shurcrack Farm / Lumbutts Road
–              Lumbutts
–              Woodhouse Road
–              Portsmouth Dam, Cornholme
Hebden Bridge – Betony –
–              Horsehold / Hebble End
–              Hebden Hey / Lee Wood Road
–              Stubbings
East Calderdale – Steve Blacksmith –
–              Washer Lane, Sowerby Bridge
–              Copley
–              Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse

For any more info please contact – 

2014-03-25T16:46:00+00:00March 25th, 2014|0 Comments

Lumbutts 22.03.2014

While visiting the Top Brink Inn I spotted this False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta).
There are only a handful of records for this area.

It was growing out of the bottom of the wall.

Here you can see the short hollow stipe.
2014-03-24T09:11:00+00:00March 24th, 2014|0 Comments

Milner Royd Nature Reserve 21.03.2014

These are what Michael and I found whilst wandering through the reserve.

Scarlet Elfcup (Sarcoscypha austriaca) looking quite tatty after something had been nibbling them.  

Common Tarcrust (Diatrype stigma).

Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma on Willow (Salix caprea).

Peroneutypa scoparia on Elder (Sambucus nigra) – a new one to me.

Asci 8-spored, no reaction in Lugol. Ascospores pale brown, smooth curved , 2-guttulate. 4.5-6.6 x 1-2 microns

Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus).

2014-03-24T09:00:00+00:00March 24th, 2014|0 Comments
Go to Top